As Issac wrapped up its weekend run over the Gulf Coast, leaving almost a million residents in Southern states without power, the weakened storm is reportedly making its way toward southern Missouri later on Friday.
The latest reports out of the National Weather Center indicate that Isaac is about 25 miles northeast of Fort Smith, Ark. Flood and flash flood warnings were in effect in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana as Isaac is expected to continue its heavy rainfall raid while it makes its way northeast into the Ohio River Valley on Saturday.
Three people were pronounced dead as of Friday, with the storm leaving 827,000 customers without electricity across Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi as of late Thursday, utility companies said.
In an apparent effort to gain political backing and show their support, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is visiting Louisiana to view storm damage, while President Barack Obama is canceling a Monday trip to Cleveland to visit the state.
The current president of the United States will also be meeting with officials dealing with Isaac's impact and "making sure that unmet needs are being met and that the federal response led by FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] is helping citizens in the affected areas and the state and local officials who are responding to the storm," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
The storm, which made landfall as a category 1 hurricane on Tuesday, caused a reported $2 billion in damage, including a breached levee in Plaquemines parish, La.
Massive flooding inundated the parish where the bodies of a man and woman were found in 7 feet of water in the kitchen of a home on Thursday. An autopsy will determine the cause of the death of the couple, described as being in their 40s, according to Billy Nungesser, the president of Plaquemines.
One more death was reported as a result of the storm in Picayune, Miss. According to local officials, a tow truck driver attempting to clear debris on a road was struck and killed by a falling tree.
Despite significant damage to the surrounding areas, an earthen dam on Lake Tangipahoa in Mississippi held its position on Thursday as the storm plowed through low-lying areas of the state.
On Friday, the Coast Guard captain at the New Orleans port reopened the Mississippi River, from Baton Rouge to the mouth of the river, to limited vessel traffic.
"Although the Mississippi River was heavily impacted by the storm, the navigational channel is in good condition. The Coast Guard is working with the maritime industry to respond to a number of ship groundings and barge strandings along the riverbank caused by the river surge and high winds of the storm," the Coast Guard said.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport said Friday that flights have resumed and commercial power has been restored.
With somewhat positive news beginning to emerge, the storm is still provoking flash flooding and tornado warnings in certain areas of Arkansas.
"It's looking more disorganized, but it is still putting out quite a bit of rain," Charles Dalton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Little Rock, told CNN.
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