I still don’t think national audiences understand all the damage that Isaac is doing. I think Bay St. Louis and Waveland, Miss., are in horrible shape, as is probably the western third or half of Pass Christian. I think low lying areas of Mobile County, AL are in horrid shape, and there is lots of street flooding in areas closer to the rivers and/or bay. And the reports of bad conditions in my original hometown of New Orleans keep growing, as is evidenced by this very handy (and admirably thorough) summary on the city’s website. For most people, this list won’t mean much, but for me, it is full of meaning; it worries me sick. And with reports of 17 inches of rain at Audubon Park, where I grew up, I bet a lot of surrounding streets are seriously flooded; the park used to flood badly with just 8 inches of rain, not 17. Here in Mobile, the winds are only intermittently super-gusty, but the rain has been coming down for 24 hours now, and the past few hours it has been coming down in absolute torrents.
Back to Pass Christian: I just spoke with my aunt and uncle, who are in the higher, east side of the town. They have a tree on their roof and major leaks from it into their bedroom. They say that Highway 90 there, as in Gulfport, was overtopped for at least a while — and overtopping there means bad things for anybody who has rebuilt on the lower, west end of the town near Henderson Point.
Much of the news has rightly focused on the bad situation in Plaquemines Parish, LA, where Parish President Billy Nungesser has done a great job of getting attention (much merited) for their plight; what I am wondering is how bad things are in the other coastal parishes: St. Bernard, Terrebonne, West Jefferson.… I do know there is lots of street flooding in Algiers, directly across the river from downtown New Orleans, in areas that mostly escaped bad flooding in Katrina.
And the INLAND flooding hasn’t even started yet: Lots of little rivers will be well overflowing their banks and flooding whole neighborhoods.
In short, while this is a storm that has not featured extremely high winds, it has brought enough water from above and from the Gulf that it is certainly a serious disaster.