Isaac: Significant flooding, power outages on Gulf Coast
On a street-turned-river in Reserve, on the east bank of the Mississippi River, Cisco Gonzales, a heating and air conditioning business owner, said he got his boat and truck and headed for higher ground when he heard the water was rising quickly, to 6 feet of water in five minutes.
"I've never seen so much water in my life," said Gonzales, who built a home in Braithwaite, southeast of the city, after his previous home was damaged by Katrina in 2005.
He rode out the storm at a ferry landing and when the weather calmed, he went out and rescued about a dozen people.
Lucien Chopin, 29, was last to leave his house, waiting until his wife and three kids, ages 7, 5 and 1 were safely away. His van was underwater and water flowed waist-high in the house he'd rented.
"It's like, everything is down the drain. I lost everything. I've gotta start all over," he said.
Several coastal communities struggled with all the extra water, including Pascagoula, where a large portion of the city flooded and water blocked downtown intersections.
Officials were pumping water from a reservoir to ease the pressure behind an Isaac-stressed dam in Mississippi on the Louisiana border. Crews scrambled to keep the earthen dam on Lake Tangipahoa from bursting Thursday and save nearby towns from 17 feet of floodwaters.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday that the Tangipahoa River crested Thursday night and was expected to go down by 2 feet Saturday. He said Mississippi's work to alleviate pressure on the dam appeared to be working. "So far, operations seem to be proceeding as expected, and they seem to be working," Jindal said.
Some 60,000 people were told they had 90 minutes to pack what they could and go. "I think it's crazy," evacuee Kim Garmillion told CBS News. "We moved here after Katrina, and we're just praying that everything will be fine."
Officials plan to punch a hole in the dam to release excess water in a controlled fashion, but were waiting for daylight Friday to decide exactly where and when, said Donnie Hodges with the Pike County, Miss., Office of Civil Defense.
Lake wind advisories have been posted for dozens of Arkansas counties as tropical depression Isaac rolls through the state. The National Weather Services has issued the advisories for 45 counties through tonight and 10 through tomorrow morning. Forecasters say boaters should use caution.
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