Hurricane Déjà Vu, Hurricane Isaac – Issac was barely a category 1, when the hurricane made landfall at 6:45 p.m. on Aug. 28 – exactly seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina roared ashore and gashed the Louisiana coast.
Isaac has made landfall - officially at 6:45 p.m.— WWL-TV(@WWLTV) August 29, 2012
Despite Isaac’s low wind speed when compared to Katrina, it too proved to provide quite the powerful punch, delivering a fierce blow by moving slowly over the metro area dumping heavy rains and bringing a deadly storm surge.
Many of the areas buttressed by projects from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after Hurricane Katrina withstood Isaac’s punch, but different weaknesses were exposed as flooding ravaged Plaquemines, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. John and St. James parishes.
In Braithwaite, levees were overtopped and floodwaters chased residents who dared to stay behind to their roofs and trapped people in their attics – a chilling reminder of those days seven years earlier. Near LaPlace, the water from Lake Pontchartrain rolled in shut down the Interstate-10 and swamped subdivisions. Although not on the scale of Katrina, dramatic rescues were still required in both cases. Residents living below a dam on Lake Tangipahoa were told to immediately evacuate as the structure nearly failed.
The lessons of Isaac are numerous. Isaac’s deadliness came not in wind speed but through its slow, methodical march over the metro area. Areas thought to be safe from flooding, those areas that escaped Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, are not. Even with the billions of dollars poured in to protect us from storms, flood protection must be improved and extended along Lake Pontchartrain, on both sides of the lake. By living in south Louisiana, we live a tenuous existence subject to the whims of Mother Nature, and no storm, whether a tropical storm or a low-grade hurricane, no matter the intensity, should be taken lightly.
--Michael Luke --
- Corps: Levees not to blame for Isaac flooding
- Thousands evacuated in St. John; more looking for rescue
- Rescue boats taking out evacuees in two small communities in St. Tammany
- Franklinton sees worst flooding since 1983
- Residents flee Kentwood, areas near Tangi river as pressure continues on dam