What’s left of Isaac is ratty looking on the radar tonight. The center is inland. Isaac has seen his strength diminish. No land based observation is currently 30 mph sustained or greater. Ratty.
The talk of today concerns Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Parishes are just like the counties found in 48 other states¹.
Plaquemines Parish sits below sea level on the Gulf of Mexico and was under a mandatory evacuation order when Isaac breached a levee. The effect was to create a deep windblown saltwater pond submerging everything within its banks. Residents needed to be rescued as the storm reached its apex.
What do you do? Folks were foolishly in harm’s way.
From WSJ.com: About 25 people were stranded in their attics and 65 people were on a rescue list as of Wednesday morning.
Local TV footage Wednesday showed Fred Leslie, a 70-year-old Braithwaite resident, being rescued from the attic of his house with his four dogs and taken away by boat after having called 911.
“It seemed like five minutes and the damn thing was six feet deep,’’ Mr. Leslie told a WWLT reporter after being rescued.
Mr. Leslie said he evacuated early for Katrina, which also destroyed his home, but had decided to wait out Isaac.
“I was just hard-headed. I didn’t think it was going to happen again,’’ said Mr. Leslie, adding that he plans to move somewhere else.
As I said yesterday, “The Gulf of Mexico is beautiful. It is an idyllic location, but no one lives there without understanding the potential downside.” That’s important to note. It’s tough to have a plan that mitigates ‘hard-headed.’
There are weather systems that cause damage in the United States nearly every year. Today it was Plaquemines Parish, but it could have been anywhere and from nearly any type of storm. These won’t be the only homes destroyed by weather this year.
What happened to these folks on the Gulf is tragic, but not totally unexpected. As tropical systems go the damage was light and limited.
As what’s left of Isaac continues to move inland water will still be the concern. Isaac’s rains have died down, but there’s plenty of water still to fall!
¹ – Alaska has boroughs.