Hurricane Isaac made landfall at 8 p.m. Tuesday (2 p.m. HST) in southeastern Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane. The slow-moving storm is expected to dump up to 20 inches of rain in some spots over two days.
Isaac had 80 mph sustained winds — up from 75 mph when it reached hurricane status earlier in the afternoon.
“It’s going to be a long period of really bad weather” for the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts as well as areas inland, National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb said. Even before landfall, some flooded roads and power outages were reported in those states.
In Hawai’i, Fifty local volunteers are on standby to deploy to the Gulf Coast to assist in the American Red Cross Isaac relief operation. Up to 10 Hawaii Red Cross volunteers from Oahu and Maui may be deployed tonight to pre-position in Texas so that they can get to Louisiana more quickly once the storm has passed. Most will be assigned to work at emergency shelters.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he expects his city “will get the brunt of it.” Nola.com reported that the hurricane would arrive in New Orleans around 1 a.m., accompanied by high winds.
“We think that we’re well prepared,” Landrieu said at a briefing, while emphasizing that much depends on how well residents heed warnings to hunker down.
No mandatory evacuations were ordered inside New Orleans, which sits behind levees and pumps reinforced after Hurricane Katrina, which blew ashore seven years ago.
While Isaac is well below the intensity of Katrina, a powerful Category 3 storm on landfall, its vast size and slow track have forecasters predicting widespread flooding.
Hundreds of Army National Guard troops took up positions around New Orleans to ward off any threat of looting.
Their arrival came as bands of driving rain and stiff winds began battering the city and other parts of the coast. Some 10,000 homes and businesses had lost power in southern Louisiana by late afternoon, as did 6,000 customers in Mobile, Ala.
President Barack Obama added his voice to those of local officials urging residents to hunker down or evacuate if told to do so. “Now’s not the time to tempt fate,” he said in brief comments Tuesday morning. “Listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate.”
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says “we don’t expect a Katrina-like event, but remember there are things about a Category 1 storm that can kill you.” Watch his news conference on Isaac preparations. “The inland flooding from the heavy rainfall could extend hundreds of miles from the coast,” Knabb said.
Isaac is very wide as storms go, with tropical storm-force winds stretching 185 miles from its center. Hurricane-force winds extend out 60 miles.
Its size and slow motion, Knabb said, will make for a large storm surge, especially in southeast Louisiana, where a surge up to 12 feet is predicted.
Already by Tuesday afternoon, some beach areas were seeing water lapping onto streets.
The fact that a tropical storm’s winds move counterclockwise will make matters worse, especially for New Orleans if Isaac makes landfall to the west of the city.
“That counterclockwise direction is really a big problem,” NBC meteorologist Al Roker said Tuesday on TODAY. “As it continues to bring in those winds from the southeast, it’s going to be piling water up.”
Rainfall of 7-14 inches across the coast as well as inland is likely, and a few places could even see 20 inches, Knabb said.
New Orleans’ Jefferson Parish has many low-lying areas that are outside the Hurricane Protection Levee System.
Isaac was moving to the northwest at 8 mph and will impact New Orleans seven years to the day Katrina struck on Aug. 29, 2005, killing more than 1,800 people and causing billions of dollars of damage.
New Orleans’ levees built or repaired after Katrina are designed to withstand far more than that 12-foot surge, in some cases storm surge as high as 26 feet.
Mandatory evacuations were issued Monday for unprotected, low-lying areas outside New Orleans, as well as low-lying areas in Mississippi.
Tropical Storm Isaac drenches multiple countries as it moves toward Louisiana. Residents in coastal communities from Louisiana to Mississippi stocked up on food and water and tried to secure their homes, cars and boats.
“Right now we’re starting to experience some flooding of low-lying areas along the beachfront,” Brian Adam, emergency management director in Mississippi’s Hancock County, told NBC News. “We’ve opened two shelters and have about 185 people there. … We’re expecting about 8 to 12 feet of water.”
In Bay St. Louis, Miss., residents in low-lying areas evacuated while those on high ground were keeping an eye on Isaac, resident Ellis Anderson told NBC News.
“It’s not expected to be another Katrina,” she said. “But everybody is watching it very seriously” because of the potential path that could push water into the area hard hit by Katrina and Hurricane Gustav in 2008.
Gustav “went to the west of New Orleans,” she recalled, pushing “all that water into that cup that is the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. … We were getting beaten up and we had a lot of homes that were flooded.”
In New Orleans, a bumper-to-bumper stream of vehicles left the city Monday on a highway toward Baton Rouge in search of higher ground. Others prepared, or were forced, to ride the storm out.
Along Canal Street in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, crews boarded up the windows of some stores and businesses.
Offshore in the Gulf, regulators said that 93 percent of daily oil and 67 percent of daily natural gas production in U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf have been shut down by the hurricane.
Isaac has killed at least 22 people and caused significant flooding and damage in Haiti and the Dominican Republic before skirting the southern tip of Florida on Sunday.
(NBCnews.com, Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this story)
HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie has ordered that all national and Hawai’i flags at state offices and agencies as well as the Hawai’i National Guard are to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, August 31, 2012, in memory of astronaut Neil Armstrong, as directed by President Barack Obama.
Mr. Obama made the Presidential Proclamation as a mark of respect for the memory of Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon, on the day of his interment.
“Neil Armstrong’s legacy will endure as an inspiring example of what a nation can achieve when united in a single purpose,” said Governor Abercrombie. “Through iconic words and actions, Mr. Armstrong demonstrated that the greatest of human achievements are so often the culmination of the many small steps of dedicated individuals.”
To view the Presidential Proclamation, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/27/presidential-proclamation-death-neil-armstrong
HONOLULU, HAWAII — August 28, 2012 — Hawaiian Telcom Holdco, Inc. (NASDAQ:HCOM) announced today that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has conclusively dismissed IBEW Local Union 1357’s unfair labor practices charge relating to the implementation of Last, Best and Final Offer employment terms by the company’s Hawaiian Telcom, Inc. subsidiary.
By letter dated August 17, 2012, the NLRB communicated its determination that collective bargaining negotiations did reach an impasse and that the company appropriately imposed the terms of employment. As a result of the dismissal, the terms of employment will remain in effect for the company’s union-represented employees.
Informal discussions between the company and union are ongoing regarding the possibility of entering into a collective bargaining agreement in the future.
Honolulu, HI (August 28, 2012) – Fifty (50) local volunteers are on standby to deploy to the Gulf Coast to assist in the American Red Cross Isaac relief operation. Up to 10 Hawaii Red Cross volunteers from Oahu and Maui may be deployed tonight to pre-position in Texas so that they can get to Louisiana more quickly once the storm has passed. Most will be assigned to work at emergency shelters.
If Isaac makes landfall on August 29, it will be on the same day that Hurricane Katrina struck seven years ago. Across multiple states along the Gulf, the Red Cross has launched a large disaster response as Isaac affects millions of lives with strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and coastal surges.
Hawaii residents with family in the path of Isaac should encourage them to stay informed about the storm and leave the area if authorities direct them to do so. There are also the resources below:
To find a shelter, download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check local media outlets. The free Hurricane App features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. It can be found in the Apple App Storeand the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
The Red Cross Safe and Well website is a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.
Maui Police report that Vevau Street in Kahului is closed this morning.
The cleanup of a felled tree is expected to take a few hours. The affected area is between Kane Street and School Street, behind the Kahului Library.
Maui Fire Department officials have released more details about the car that went over the cliff early this morning at Mile Marker 10 along Kahekili Highway. There were two men in it, one was from Belton, South Carolina and the other was from Lafayete, California.
The male from S. Carolina said that they went over at about 2:30 a.m. He left his friend in the car and started hiking out. It took about an hour to hike up the 100′ cliff. A local resident found him on the side of the road at about 5:30 a.m. They went back and found the area where the car went over, after calling 9-1-1.
MFD Engine 1, Air-1, and Rescue 10 were dispatched to the call. R-10 secured a landing zone in the pasture near the cliff. Air 1 along with R-10 personnel, airlifted the male from California, from the car to the landing zone. Medic-1 transported both to the ER. They both had some bruises and scratches, but both were walking and talking.
No exact ages were given but the male that hiked out was in his 20’s and the other male in his 30’s. Now word yet on the cause of the accident, or if speed, drugs or alcohol might have been factors.
Read the original report here.
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