News / USA

Hurricane Isaac Hits US Coast, Louisiana

A woman stands on a partially submerged picnic bench in the storm surge from Isaac, on Lakeshore Drive along Lake Pontchartrain, as the storm approaches landfall, in New Orleans, Aug. 28, 2012.
A woman stands on a partially submerged picnic bench in the storm surge from Isaac, on Lakeshore Drive along Lake Pontchartrain, as the storm approaches landfall, in New Orleans, Aug. 28, 2012.
VOA News
Hurricane Isaac has made landfall, slamming into the southeastern coast of Louisiana.

The National Hurricane Center said the powerful storm came ashore late Tuesday, bringing sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour.  Forecasters also warned of dangerous storm surges along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast.

Earlier Tuesday, President Barack Obama urged residents to get out of the way, if they can.

"We are dealing with a big storm and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area. Now is not the time to tempt fate. Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings," said President Obama.

Earlier, forecasters reported flooding along low-lying areas along the coast.  They said some parts of Louisiana could see surges as high as three to four meters.

New Orleans Louisiana Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been preparing his city for a possible direct hit.

''We have dodged a bullet in the sense that this is not a category three storm but a category one; at this strength from 85 to 100 mph winds with 125 mph gusts is plenty big enough to put a big hurt on you if you fall into complacency," said Landrieu.


  • New Orleans resident Diana Whipple watches waves crash on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches New Orleans, Louisiana, August 28, 2012.
  • Water floods an area outside the levee system along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain as tropical storm Isaac approaches New Orleans, Louisiana, August 28, 2012.
  • 10-year-olds Joshua Keegan (L) and Ruffin Henry (C) play with Scout in a flooded area outside of the levee system along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Isaac approaches New Orleans, Louisiana August 28, 2012.
  • Employees of the Orleans Levee District remove signs from Lake Shore Dr. near the shore of Lake Pontchartrain as tropical storm Isaac approaches New Orleans, August 28, 2012.
  • A man crosses Canal Street in the wind and rain from Hurricane Isaac, Aug. 29, 2012, in New Orleans.
  • Shelly Ackel of New Orleans carries an American flag through the French Quarter as Hurricane Isaac approaches New Orleans, Louisiana August 28, 2012.
  • A man walks by a boarded up business in the French Quarter as business owners prepare for tropical storm Isaac in New Orleans, Louisiana August 27, 2012.
  • Estanislao Fabian straps Jaden Fabian (L), 1, into her car seat by as her family evacuates their home as Tropical Storm Isaac heads towards the Louisiana coast line in Oakville, Louisiana, August 28, 2012.
  • Jaden Fabian, 1, cries in her car seat as her family evacuates their home as Tropical Storm Isaac heads towards the Louisiana coast line, August 28, 2012.
  • Krystal Ledet, back left, looks after her son, Brandon Malbrough as her daughter Alexus Malbrough, left, colors with her grandmother, Melissa Rodrigue, right, after evacuating to a shelter in Houma, La., Aug. 28, 2012.
  • Workers fill Hesco baskets at a flood wall at Route 23, in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac in Plaquemines Parish, La., Aug. 28, 2012.
  • Senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart tracks Isaac at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Aug. 28, 2012.
  • A fisherman takes advantage of the high tide and rising waves to try his hand at fishing from the seawall along Beach Boulevard in Waveland, Miss., as Tropical Storm Isaac's winds begin to hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Aug. 28, 2012.
  • The sun breaks through the bands of storms as the first real impacts of Isaac reach the beaches of Gulf Shores, Ala. at high tide, where all access to the beach is closed Aug. 28, 2012.
  • Charlotte Timmons, 63, and Brenda Batey, 60, discuss their concerns about community preparations for Tropical Storm Isaac during their morning walk along the beach in west Gulfport, Miss., Aug. 28, 2012.
  • Republican Convention
  • A man sleeps outside a boarded up building on Canal St., prior to Tropical Storm Isaac in New Orleans, Aug. 28, 2012.
  • Stacey Davis, left, and his brother board up windows on their home before Tropical Storm Isaac hits Aug. 28, 2012, in New Orleans.
  • A boy plays in the surf in waves ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac in Orange Beach, Ala., Aug. 27, 2012.

Forecasters say the slow-moving storm is bringing heavy rains and maximum sustained winds of about 130 kilometers an hour.  It could make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The president has declared states of emergency for Louisiana and Mississippi. That declaration opens the door for federal funding, almost seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the region, causing massive damage.

VOA correspondent Brian Padden, in New Orleans, says many people already have left.   

"I had a chance to drive throughout the city. I have been driving throughout the lower ninth ward. It is basically a ghost town [deserted] right now," said Padden. "Sheltered in their house or have been self-evacuated."

 
Category Wind Speed Potential Damage
1 119-153 kilometers/hour Very dangerous winds will produce some damage
2 154-177 kilometers/hour Extremely dangerous winds. Extensive  damage
3 178-208 kilometers/ hour Devastating damage will occur
4 209 -251 kilometers/ hour Catastrophic damage will occur
5 252 kilometers/hour or higher Catastrophic damage













New Orleans officials are telling residents to be prepared to live without regular water or power supplies for several days.  But not everyone is ready to leave.

Jennifer Landix in the city's Lower 9th Ward is one of those staying put.

"We'll probably get some street flooding from the rain, but you know, heavy winds and stuff, the lights may go out, but we're prepared for all of that. I'm not really in the mood for leaving, let's just put it that way," said Landix.

Experts say the storm could test New Orleans' upgraded flood control and levee systems, which were put in place after Hurricane Katrina left 1,800 people dead in 2005.  Wednesday marks Katrina's seventh anniversary.

Isaac battered eastern Cuba Saturday, after killing at least 19 people in Haiti, which is still recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake. Two people were killed in the Dominican Republic.  There were no reports of fatalities in Cuba.

Watch video of approaching Isaac

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More