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Old Aug 30th, 2012, 03:05 PM   #1
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Tropical Storm Isaac Causes First Regional Death as Tornadoes Ravage Region

Tropical Storm Isaac Causes First Regional Death as Tornadoes Ravage Region


Against the advice of authorities, young people frolic in the high surf on the Lake Pontchartrain lakefront in
Mandeville, La., Aug. 29, 2012. (Ted Jackson/The Times-Picayune/AP Photo)


By ANTHONY CASTELLANO and KEVIN DOLAK (@kdolak) | Aug. 30, 2012


As Tropical Storm Isaac moves away from the Gulf Coast and into the country's interior, spinning off tornadoes across two states, the storm has caused its first death in Pearl River County, Miss.

A tow truck driver was killed on the job by a tree that fell around midnight, Pearl River Emergency Management Deputy Director Amanda Harris told ABC News. The man's name and age has not yet been released.

"[The county] is completely flooded. And it's only going to get worse," Harris said, adding that rivers and creeks along the county near the Louisiana border will not crest until midnight tonight through 4 a.m.

"The worst is yet to come," Harris said.

Pearl River County conducted four search and rescue operations and it is believed there are no more residents holding out in their homes, Harris said. The county is receiving assistance from FEMA, state agencies and neighboring counties.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for intra-coastal city Louisiana to the Mississippi-Alabama border, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

Lt. Vernon Smith of the Pascagoula, Miss., police tells ABC News that a tornado touched down at 8:20 a.m. just south of town that sits 28 miles from Biloxi.

"It landed right on top of a house, just sat on it," Smith said, adding that people were believed to be inside. "There are people injured."

Smith said the tornado was now off the ground and moving through the main part of town, having traveled about a mile since touchdown. Officials are mobilizing emergency crews, but the torrential rain has made roads impassable, with the 2 to 3 feet of water flooding the area too much for even their emergency vehicles to handle.

"We can't get through and we are scrambling," said Smith.

Surrounding areas of Louisiana are expected to see almost two feet of rain and more dangerous floods by the end of the week, while eight tornadoes have reportedly spun off from Isaac in Mississippi and Alabama in the past 24 hours.

Hurricane Isaac: Massive Evacuation Underway Watch Video

Hurricane Isaac: Severe Flooding, Tornadoes in Mississippi Watch Video

Isaac Downgraded to Tropical Storm Watch Video

A tornado that touched down in Gulfport, Miss., has caused the most damage, where significant destruction to homes has been reported. Carlos Redmond, a spokesman for Harrison County Emergency Management, said it's assessing the damage.

"We're looking for daylight. That's what we're looking for. We'll be able to tell a lot more at that time," Redmond told ABC News Thursday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said tornadoes are possible along the central Gulf Coast region and parts of the lower Mississippi Valley through Thursday.

The rising waters from rain and flooding have already left locals scrambling up to attics and onto roofs. The main parishes that pose the greatest concern sit around Lake Pontchartrain. With another 4 to 7 inches of rain expected, many officials have expressed worry about the rising waters.

Officials in LaPlace, La., about 25 miles northwest of New Orleans, in St. John the Baptist Parish, called the situation dire.

"I'm afraid the tide is really going to catch some of us off guard tonight," Parish President Layton Ricks told ABC News late Wednesday night.

Some 3,100 people have been evacuated in the town since 3 p.m. Wednesday, a National Guard officer told ABC News, while more than 1,000 are waiting for rescue in LaPlace as the city sees its worst flooding in 40 years.

Housing developments, such as the River Forest subdivision where dozens of families were rescued Wednesday, are under 5 feet of water. The Louisiana National Guard said it would be out in force Thursday across the St. John the Baptist Parish, assisting in rescue efforts.

"It's our own little Katrina," said Tania Trege, wife of St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Trege, describing the situation in Laplace.

Towns southwest of New Orleans have already received about 20 inches of rain, with another 4 to 7 inches possible. New Orleans International Airport has officially received 10 inches of rain so far.

As of 8 a.m. ET, Isaac was about 35 miles southeast of Alexandria, La., and about 125 miles northwest of New Orleans. Tropical storms winds extend outward up to 175 miles. Isaac's maximum sustained winds are at 45 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Isaac is expected make a turn toward the north-northwest later today, followed by a turn toward the north on Friday.

A tropical storm warning was still in effect from Cameron, La., to the Mississippi-Alabama state border, according to the Hurricane Center.

An unofficial rainfall total of 22.5 inches was reported in Arabi, La., near the city's 9th Ward on Wednesday. An official report from Audubon Park in New Orleans listed 17 inches of rainfall.

Livingston Parish officials told ABC News that they felt the worst of Isaac at 10 p.m. Wednesday, and expect flooding in the low-lying parts of the parish. Rescue efforts were under way and officials said this will be the first overnight of many water rescues in the area.

Rescue operations are still under way in Plaquemines Parish, where more than 100 people in the parish have been rescued so far. A levee in Plaquemines Parish will be intentionally breached at some point Thursday to relieve pressure on it. That area has been under mandatory evacuation.

Continued @ ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/US/tropical-st...7112491&page=2)
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Old Aug 30th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re: Tropical Storm Isaac Causes First Death as Tornadoes Ravage Region

It's already killed about 30 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, no?
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Old Aug 30th, 2012, 04:22 PM   #3
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Re: Tropical Storm Isaac Causes First Death as Tornadoes Ravage Region

Yes indeed. I've edited the headline.
____


Posted: 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012


Isaac death toll rises to 24 in Haiti, 5 people died in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

View Larger

Winsky Pierre, left, 5, helps to drain mud from his flooded house after
the passing of Tropical Storm Isaac in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday Aug.
26, 2012. The death toll in Haiti from Tropical Storm Isaac has climbed
to seven after an initial report of four deaths, the Haitian government
said Sunday. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)


By JACQUELINE CHARLES | The Miami Herald

PORT-AU-PRINCE —
The death toll from Tropical Storm Isaac rose Tuesday to 24 in Haiti where disaster officials warned the number could increase, and donors continued efforts to assess damage to crops and homes.

Edgard Celestin, spokesman for Haiti’s Office of Civil Protection, said three people remained missing. Another 42 suffered injuries.

The deaths included a man who died in a camp when a tree branch fell on him, another young man who was killed by mudslides in the southeast and several killed by electrocution.

Beyond the lost of life, Haitian and humanitarian officials were still trying to assess Isaac’s impact as the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations flew reconnaissance flights around Haiti’s capital and some of its hardest hit regions. Among them, the southern region where mountain hamlets remained cut off to some assessment teams trying to tally the loss of crops and homes.

“We are still collecting information,” said George Ngwa, communications chief for the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe who visited several hard hit communities in the capital Sunday with President Michel Martelly said the disaster has reinforced the need to increase resettlement efforts for those living in the tents.

“This was a test for Haiti, and we did well,” Lamothe said. “The goal now is to fast track the rent subsidy program 16-6 to help more people.”

Among what was known on Monday: at least 2,346 homes damaged and 335 destroyed, according to Civil Protection. The International Federation of Red Cross, which conducted an assessment along Route 9 near the Port-au-Prince international airport, said 1,600 households were affected by floods from the rain and an overflowing Grise River. The numbers included both homes and shanties occupied by victims of the January 2010 earthquake.

The big concern, humanitarian partners said, remained over the loss of crops and the storm’s impact on a deadly cholera epidemic that has already killed more than 7,000 Haitians.

As a precautionary measure, Doctors Without Borders on Monday reopened a 275-bed Cholera Treatment Center in Carrefour, a suburb just south of the capital.

Concerns about cholera have now been joined by worry over food security as reports continued to flow about the lost of plantain, beans and other crops in storm-hit rural communities.

“We still have two months of hurricane season,” Myrtha Kaulard, World Food Program representative in Haiti. “In rural areas, we need not to underestimate the fact that some communities are isolated because beyond the collapsed bridge there are entire households that lack all possible access.

“It is absolutely important that we sustain the flight against food insecurity in Haiti because it is something that is addressable.”

The Palm Beach Post (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/we...4-haiti/nRLw8/)
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Old Aug 30th, 2012, 04:55 PM   #4
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Re: Tropical Storm Isaac Causes First Regional Death as Tornadoes Ravage Region

I wish Haiti would catch a break. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the calamity should hit other countries more,
but those people already have a lot to deal with.
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