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  • Isaac thrashes New Orleans, overtops levee

    Authorities say a storm surge driven by Hurricane Isaac is overtopping a levee in a thinly populated part of mostly rural Plaquemines Parish, south of New Orleans.

    Parish spokeswoman Caitlin Campbell said water was running over an 18-mile stretch of the levee early Wednesday and some homes had been flooded.

    Sheriff's deputies from St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes were going house-to-house looking for residents who'd remained after an evacuation order.

    Parish President Billy Nungesser said a portion of the roof of his home had blown off. He described wind-driven rain coming into his home as "like standing in a light socket with a fire hose turned on."

    Dozens of residents in Plaquemines Parish are stranded and trapped inside homes in the area, The Times-Picayune reported.

    "The devastation of my house is worse than Katrina and the flooding in Woodlawn is worse than Katrina, so those things tell me that the damage on the east bank is worse than Katrina," Nungesser told The Times-Picayune.

    Hurricane Isaac knocked out power, flooded roads and pushed water over the top of a rural Louisiana levee before dawn Wednesday as it began a slow, wet slog toward a newly fortified New Orleans, seven years to the day after Katrina.

    Wind gusts and sheets of rain pelted the nearly empty streets of New Orleans, where people watched the incoming Isaac from behind levees that were strengthened after the much stronger Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.

    Water pushed by the large and powerful storm flooded over an 18-mile stretch of one levee in Plaquemines Parish south of New Orleans, flooding some homes in a thinly populated area. No injuries were reported. There have been no rescue efforts yet, due to the severity of the storm, the report said.

    Isaac was packing 80 mph winds, making it a Category 1 hurricane. It came ashore at 7:45 p.m. EDT Tuesday near the mouth of the Mississippi River, driving a wall of water nearly 11 feet high inland and soaking a neck of land that stretches into the Gulf of Mexico. Its next major target was New Orleans, 70 miles to the northwest, where forecasters said the city's skyscrapers could feel gusts up to 100 mph.
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