Weakened Isaac Cuts Power, Threatens More Rain

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PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. - A weakened Isaac, now once again a tropical storm, is taking it's time moving out of New Orleans.

Flooding has forced thousands from their homes, but officials believe everyone has been safely evacuated from the danger areas.

Still, hundreds of thousands are in the dark and the storm may not leave the crescent city for another day.

Meanwhile, President Obama has declared federal emergencies for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, freeing up federal relief funds.

CBN's Operation Blessing International is in Covington, La., preparing to provide assistance to storm victims. They brought clean-up equipment, tools, and portable kitchens capable of serving 2,000 meals a day.

The team will begin assessing damage and cleaning up Thursday.

Jody Gettys, director of U.S. Disaster Relief for Operation Blessing, talked more about the aid group's plans on the CBN News Channel's Morning News, Aug. 30. Click play to see the report and her interview.


Give to Operation Blessing Disaster Relief

Isaac Leaves its Mark

The short drive from downtown New Orleans to Plaquemines Parish is filled with signs of Isaac's wrath: fallen trees, rising flood waters, and battered buildings.

"It's been pretty hectic. Seems a bit more than a Category 1," Plaquemines Parish resident Roderick Robbs said.

Robbs is riding out the storm at home. And like many, he's scrambling to find gas to keep his generator running while the power is out.

"We describe a Category 1 as a strong tropical storm. But I tell you Isaac has been quite a challenge for us," Robbs said.

Part of the challenge: crossing the choppy waters.

The harder hit area of Plaquemines Parish is just across the Mississippi River. On a good day, you can bring your car and rise aboard a ferry.

That, however, is not going to happen in the eye of a hurricane. Without the ferry it's an hour-long drive to the battered east Plaquemines.

Currently, flood waters are so high that rescue crews need boats to reach those still trapped in their homes.

Parish President Billy Nungesser ordered an evacuation earlier in the week. But he's still working around the clock to reach those who didn't leave the east side of the parish.

"We have people on the east bank who have never flooded for Katrina," Nungesser said. "They are under 10 feet of water. And they say the Lord only gives you what you can handle."

"This is four hurricanes, an oil spill, an explosion two weeks ago and now this," he lamented. "I'm in my second term. I am glad they have term limits."

Isaac Not Done Yet

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is also helping -- just as Nungesser decided to evacuate some 120 patients from this nursing home. The move is a necessary precaution.

"Isaac has been and continues to be a slow moving storm," Jindal said. "So we are going to continue to see an accumulation of rain water. We are going to continue to see hours and hours of strong winds."

"The storm may not leave the state until sometime Friday," the governor said.

Isaac's impact will then be felt for years. 

New Orleans pastor Randy Millet leads a ministry still rebuilding homes after Katrina. He lives on a lake on the other side of a levee in Saint Bernard Parish and could see flooding.

Still, he's more concerned about how to give to hope to the victims of Isaac.

"We have to believe that even if we can't understand what's going on at the moment, God still has us in the palm of his hand," Millet said.

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Efrem Graham

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.