TRACKING ISAAC: More Rescues In Louisiana
UPDATE: There have been additional rescues in Louisiana neighborhoods left under water from Tropical Storm Isaac.
A Coast Guard helicopter early today pulled a couple and their dogs from a home near Lake Ponchartrain after a storm surge poured into the area. Officials say a lot of homes washed away in the area.
Forecasters say Isaac is still spinning off life-threatening severe weather even as it weakens slowly in its trek north over Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Center says Isaac is still generating hazards from inland flooding, storm surge and potential tornadoes across the central Gulf Coast. Its winds are about 39 miles an hour.
Isaac steered clear of a direct hit on New Orleans and the city's revamped levee system held up well despite nearly a foot of rain.
UPDATE: It was a rough day in Louisiana on Wednesday. Hurricane Isaac came in, dumped a foot of water in some places, hitting Plaquemines Parish the hardest.
The Louisiana National Guard brought in 14 high-water vehicles and 10 boats, and as many as 70 people were rescued from homes with water up to their roofs. Officials in the parish, south of New Orleans, say a levee under severe pressure from floodwaters will have to be punctured. At least one death is blamed on the storm.
Isaac, now a tropical storm, has knocked out power to as many as 700,000 people, stripped branches off trees and flattened fields of sugar cane so completely that they looked as if a tank had driven over them.
The mayor of New Orleans has ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew and police are reporting few problems with looting.
Isaac is moving across the state at only 5 mph -- which is about the pace of a brisk walk. That means the threat of storm surges and flooding will continue for a second night.
LAPLACE, La. (AP) - Scores of scores of buses, dozens of high-water vehicles and 50 boats are evacuating at least 3,000 people in Louisiana's St. John the Baptist.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne says floodwaters caught everyone by surprise, rising "shockingly" fast as Tropical Storm Isaac pushed water from lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas into parts of LaPlace.
Rising water closed off all main thoroughfares into the parish, which is about 30 miles west of New Orleans. The water is being driven higher by south winds as Isaac passes to the west.
Dardenne says officials are speculating that when levees in other parishes along Lake Pontchartrain were fortified after Hurricane Katrina, it forced storm surge into areas that had escaped flooding in past storms.
He says "the water's got to go somewhere, and this is where it went."
With one water district flooded, the National Guard is sending two 5,000-gallon water tankers and 35,000 bottles of water to distribute to residents. State officials are sending 200 one-ton sandbags to protect the water system from floodwater contamination.
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