The degree of damage handed out by Isaac has thankfully been but a sliver of what Katrina caused seven years earlier, but the latest storm has managed to be impressively ravaging still. Isaac has so far taken at least four lives.
Now with the worst of the storm behind the state of Louisiana, residents are returning to their homes — or what’s left — and taking inventory of the destruction caused by the Isaac and assessing the devastation.
By Friday morning, Isaac’s death toll had tallied to four fatalities between Louisiana and Mississippi, with a man and woman from Braithwaite, south of New Orleans, becoming the latest statistics in the storm. The Associated Press reports that the victims, whose names are currently being withheld, were not able to leave their home on Thursday during immense flooding, and that dozens of residents had to be rescued as heavy rain soaked the surrounding area, sending many towns under water.
“It comes to a point when the lake and your yard become one,” Mandeville, Louisiana resident Gerard Braud tells CNN.
Along the nearby Tangipahoa River, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered a mandatory evacuation, citing that a break in a dam there could send floodwaters to the town of Kentwood in only 90 minutes, where 2,200 residents would be at risk of suffering Isaac’s wrath.
Strangely, some in other areas of the US are welcoming Isaac; in the draught-ravaged Midwest, the agriculture industry may finally receive a much needed boost, but at a price that has already cost insurmountable amounts of damage to the Gulf Coast. In their own report on Isaac, Reuters called the tropical storm, “a godsend to farmers suffering from the worst drought in more than 50 years, even if too late for many of this season’s crops.”
Jewel Rico and her dog Chico are rescued from flood waters from Hurricane Isaac on August 30, 2012 in Reserve, Louisiana (Reuters / Chris Graythen)
As the storm stretches north and west off the water, though, so does its wrath. CNN reports that at one point, 915,000 customers lost electricity between the states of Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, utility companies reported.
“It’s not too bad, but the whole coast is going to be a mess,” Pass Christian, Mississippi Mayor Chipper McDermott says to CBS News of the storm.