Tropical Storm Isaac Continues to Dump Rain on Louisiana
(NEW YORK) — As slow-moving tropical storm Isaac moves away from New Orleans, surrounding areas of Louisiana are expected to see almost two feet of rain and more dangerous floods by the end of the week. Meanwhile, seven tornadoes have spun off from Isaac in Mississippi and Alabama so far.
A tornado that touched down in Gulfport, Miss., has caused the most damage, where significant destruction to homes has been reported. Carlos Redmond, a spokesman for Harrison County Emergency Management said they’re still assessing the damage.
“We’re looking for daylight. That’s what we’re looking for. We’ll be able to tell a lot more at that time,” Redmond told ABC News on Thursday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said tornadoes are possible along the central Gulf Coast region and parts of the lower Mississippi Valley through Thursday.
The rising waters from rain and flooding has already left locals scrambling up to attics and onto roofs. The main parishes that are an area of concern are those that sit around Lake Pontchartrain. With another four to seven inches of rain expected, many officials are worried about the rising waters.
Officials in LaPlace, La. — about 25 miles northwest of New Orleans — in St. John the Baptist Parish said the situation is dire.
“I’m afraid the tide is really going to catch some of us off guard tonight,” Parish President Layton Ricks told ABC News late Wednesday night.
More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in LaPlace since 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to a National Guard officer, with more than a 1,000 waiting for rescue, as the city sees its worst flooding in 40 years. The Louisiana National Guard said they will be out in force Thursday across St. John the Baptist Parish, assisting in rescue efforts.
Towns southwest of New Orleans have already gotten about 20 inches of rain, with another four to seven inches possible. New Orleans International Airport has officially seen 10 inches of rain so far.
More than 725,000 homes and businesses throughout Louisiana are without power.
As of 5 a.m. ET Thursday, Isaac was about 55 miles southeast of Alexandria, La., and about 110 miles northwest of New Orleans. Tropical storm winds extend outward up to 175 miles. Isaac’s maximum sustained winds are at 45 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
A tropical storm warning was still in effect from Cameron, La., to the Mississippi-Alabama state border, according to the Hurricane Center.
President Obama declared federal emergencies in Louisiana and Mississippi late Wednesday, according to a statement from the White House. The disaster declarations free up federal aid for affected areas.
Of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, 58 were under states of emergency Thursday morning.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio