Isaac's storm surge tops La. Levee
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Isaac, downgraded from a hurricane about 19 hours after making landfall, drove water over a levee in a lightly populated part of Plaquemines Parish, flattened sugar cane 50 miles west in Terrebonne Parish, forced evacuation of a neighborhood in St. John the Baptist Parish and knocked out power to more than 700,000 households and businesses statewide.
A hole will be made in the low levee near Braithwaite, where dozens of people who had ignored an evacuation order needed rescue, said Garret Graves, head of the Coastal Protection Restoration Authority. Until the weather stabilizes, he said, it's too dangerous to breach the levee, but it needs to be done so water can flow back into the bay.
Parish spokeswoman Caitlin Campbell said an 18-mile stretch from the St. Bernard Parish line at Braithwaite south to White Ditch was taking water and homes were flooding as storm surge piled up against levees between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River. Civilian volunteers in boats, Louisiana National Guard troops in high-water vehicles and boats and sheriff's deputies from St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes were going house-to-house.
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