Hurricane Isaac Slamming Louisiana & Gulf Coast
After making landfall in southeastern Louisiana, the center of Hurricane Isaac drifted back into the Gulf and stalled for a few hours off the coast of Grand Isle, LA., according to the National Hurricane Center. It has now made landfall once again.
As of 5 a.m Isaac is slowly drifting across Louisiana. Even though the eye of the storm is 60 miles southeast of New Orleans, the city has already been hit with four inches of rain and has received a wind gust up to 75 mph.
The hurricane is expected to gradually weaken however will continue to dump heavy rain across the area. As much as seven to 14 inches of rain across Louisiana is expected, with some places receiving up to 20 inches.
The greatest concern is an expected storm surge of between six and 12 feet off the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, four to eight feet along the Alabama coast and three to six feet on the Florida Panhandle, according to the Hurricane Center located in Miami, Fla.
A storm surge of 11 feet was reported at Shell Beach, LA., late Tuesday while a surge of 6.7 feet was reported in Waveland, Miss., according to the Hurricane Center.
Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center, said Tuesday night, wind gusts could reach about 100 mph at times, which could damage high-rise buildings in New Orleans.
Thursday night into Saturday, Isaac will move into the Mississippi Valley and eventually into Illinois and Indiana with possibly six inches of rain in the drought stricken Midwest.
Entergy New Orleans has listed more than 300,000 homes and businesses without power as of 2 a.m., according to their website.
When Isaac came ashore at 7:45 p.m. ET Tuesday, it dumped heavy rain with that spread 60 miles from Isaac’s center.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landreau told residents Tuesday night, “We are officially in the fight and the city of New Orleans is on the front line.”
While traffic was nearly invisible Tuesday night, a few French Quarter bars remained open and filled with locals in New Orelans. At Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop — the 150 year old dive at the end of Bourbon Street — Chris LaRue recommended the four staples of hurricane preparedness, “Water, canned food, candles and booze.”
“We’re going to have some water to clean up,” said LaRue. “But this kind of wind is nothing.”
In Gulfport, Miss., Highway 90 was closed from Bay St. Louis Bridge to Biloxi Bay Bridge. There’s a mandatory curfew in effect, especially at the beaches.
In advance of the storm, Louisiana set up shelters and stockpiled more than a million packaged meals, 1.4 million bottles of water and 17,000 tarps.
Since the levees failed in Katrina seven years ago, more than $14 billion has been spent on the 133 miles of floodwalls, spillways, gates and pumps surrounding New Orleans.
ABC News’ Max Golembo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.