New Orleans as Isaac takes direct aim on southeast Louisiana. Plaquemines Parish has had a levee breach at 3:33 am CDT . The breach was confirmed by Homeland Security at 3:51 am CDT. A breach means the levee is being over-topped.
Isaac is turning out to be a more a significant storm than originally expected as the region observes the 7-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Power companies were reporting more than 500,000 without power across the southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
Mayor Landrieu says 70% of New Orleans was without power as of early Wednesday.
The National Weather Service has reported severe wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph since late Tuesday across the area with numerous trees and power lines down. Some isolated locations have reported wind gusts over 100 mph.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said part of the roof of his home on the parish’s west bank had blown off. He described wind-driven rain entering his home as “like standing in a light socket with a fire hose turned on.”
Officials said an 18-mile stretch of levees on the east side of Plaquemines Parish was over topped by storm surge.
Meanwhile, on the Mississippi coast, dozens of roads were closed or impassable due to storm surge flooding and heavy rainfall. Trees and power lines were also reported down across roads.
Highway 90 from Gulfport to Biloxi was reported to be experiencing significant flooding, with up to two feet of water reaching the doors of the Hard Rock Casino early Wednesday.
A significant storm surge of 11 feet was reported at Shell Beach, La, late Tuesday while a surge of 6.9 feet was reported in Waveland, Miss., the NHC reported.
Fire officials reported they were unable to get to a home that burned to the ground amid storm surge flooding in the Bay St. Louis area Tuesday evening.
Isaac came ashore Tuesday night near the mouth of the Mississippi River, then went nearly stationary back out over the coastal waters for several hours before making a second landfall in Grand Isle.