Isaac, once a Category One hurricane but now just a tropical storm, is expected to be downgraded further to a tropical depression by late Thursday. In the meantime, the storm continues to pack winds of 45 miles per hour and pour down about feet of rain in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Hurricane Isaac packed a punch to New Orleans exactly seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina tore through the bayou and left more than 1,800 New Orleanians dead. We've gathered a slew of photos of the devastation throughout New Orleans and Mississippi from Isaac. Take a look through our gallery to see how residents are being affected by the storm.
The National Hurricane Center said Isaac still has potential to bring down plenty of rain and floods as it moves across the center of the country over the next several days, and while New Orleans looks to have survived another test of its flood containment plan since Katrina, many states in the north are actually looking forward to some rain. The heart of America has experienced a drought this summer, and as a result of critically low rivers and dams, many summer crops have been significantly damaged.
According to Reuters, more than 730,000 residents of Mississippi and Louisiana are still without power as of Thursday.
Hurricane Isaac never came close to the strength of Hurricane Katrina, the Category 3 hurricane that smashed into New Orleans in 2005, but the city is very proud that its new $14.5 billion system of "walls, floodgates, levees and pumps," built specifically for New Orleans by the Army Corps of Engineers, performed "exactly as it should."
In general, the property damage from Hurricane Isaac is not likely to touch the Top 10 worst hurricanes, even with adjustments for inflation, but the storm produced plenty of headaches for local Southerners, especially with the high winds and seemingly endless rain.
Late Wednesday afternoon (shortly before his AMA, or ask me anything interview, on Reddit), President Barack Obama declared Mississippi and Louisiana as federal emergencies, which means the disaster areas within those regions will receive free federal aid.
Many residents of Louisiana and Mississippi still found themselves on rooftops, a similar image for those who remember Katrina, and several Coast Guard helicopters were flying around many of the affected areas, hoisting families and pets from their homes following devastating storm surges.
The floodwaters in New Orleans "were shockingly fast-rising, from what I understand from talking to people," said Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. "It caught everybody by surprise."
One of the worst affected areas in Louisiana unfortunately was the Plaquemines Parish, where officials were forced to evacuate more than 100 sick and elderly patients from the local nursing home.
"I don't think we had to evacuate to begin with," said Romaine Dahl, 59, as he sat in a wheelchair. "The weather was a hell of a lot worse last night than it is now. And I got an idea that after all this is said and done they're going to say everything is over with, go on back home."
Hurricane Isaac hit the main land on Tuesday with winds of 80 mph, driving a wall of water nearly 11 feet high, but that Category 1 status has since been disappeared. Two days of rain later, tropical storm Isaac is expected to drop its winds below 39 mph by Thursday night, and its path will reportedly cross Arkansas on Friday and southern Missouri on Friday night.
Melba Leggett-Barnes, who has been living in a newly-rebuilt home in New Orleans since 2008 (thanks to Brad Pitt's "Make It Right" program), said her house took a beating from Isaac but it's still holding steady.
"I have a hurricane house this time," Barnes said. "I don't have power, but I'm all right."