Isaac spurs evacuations, delays

Monday, August 27, 2012 - 2:39pm

Hurricane warnings blanketed much of the Gulf Coast on Monday as authorities across the region warned residents to be prepared for heavy rain, high winds and coastal storm surges.

Thousands in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama began evacuations Monday under states of emergency.

A summary of the latest preparations in each state:


  • New Orleans authorities expect Isaac to hit the city as a Category 1 hurricane early Wednesday, with tropical storm-force winds arriving shortly after midnight Monday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
  • Landrieu did not issue an evacuation order for the city but urged people outside the city's protective levees to leave and told others, "If your plan is to go, now's the time to go."
  • He acknowledged "a higher level of anxiety" because of Wednesday's anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed nearly 1,800 people on the Gulf Coast in 2005. But he added that "We are prepared for what this storm is going to bring us at this point in time."
  • More than 4,100 National Guard troops were activated Monday.
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has called for residents in coastal parishes prone to flooding to voluntarily leave.
  • A total of 23 parishes have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm, Jindal said Monday.
  • Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for St. Charles Parish and parts of Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish.
  • In Jefferson Parish, authorities ordered about 9,000 people to evacuate the towns of Jean Lafitte, Crown Point and Barataria.
  • Jindal confirmed he will skip this week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, because of the storm. Jindal also had to cancel his 2008 appearance at the RNC because of another storm, Hurricane Gustav.
  • The east bank of Plaquemines Parish, as well as the lower end of the west bank from Ironton to Venice, are also under mandatory evacuation orders.
  • In St. Charles Parish, buses are being used to move residents. Evacuees may bring one personal item, one carry-on and pets.
  • Widespread power outages are expected (a "100% certainty"), said Scott Whelchel, director of the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center.
  • As of Monday morning, there were no plans to order evacuations of New Orleans, but officials say they will use buses and trains to move residents out of the area if needed.
  • Crews have been evacuated from 346 production platforms and 41 drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as of Monday, meaning an estimated 78% of oil production in the region has been halted.


  • Gov. Phil Bryant has dispatched 1,500 National Guard troops to the state's three coastal counties to help local authorities.
  • Mississippi has distributed 10,000 sandbags to residents to help prepare for flooding, Bryant said Monday.
  • In Gulfport, authorities ordered the port cleared of cargo vessels.
  • Voluntary evacuations began in the low-lying coastal areas of Hancock County, which includes Bay St. Louis and Waveland.
  • Cat Island and East and West Ship islands in Harrison County are closed because of the storm.


  • Alabama authorities warned residents Monday that strong winds and high water may affect the state's coast even if the storm hits as far west as Louisiana.
  • Jeff Garmon, a forecaster at the National Weather Service station in Mobile, said the coastal counties on either side of Mobile Bay could see storm surges of up to 4 feet even if Isaac remains on its current course.
  • Gov. Robert Bentley has ordered a mandatory evacuation for parts of Baldwin and Mobile counties. Other residents in low-lying or flood-prone areas are urged to leave voluntarily.
  • The area could start feeling storm-force winds as early as Tuesday afternoon, Garmon said.
  • Passengers booked to fly out of the airport in Mobile on Tuesday should check to see if their flights have been canceled.
  • Ten National Guard troops have been activated and others are standing by.


  • Tropical storm-force winds are expected to start hitting the Florida Panhandle by Monday night, Gov. Rick Scott told reporters.
  • People living on the barrier islands of Perdido Key and Santa Rosa Island, near Pensacola, were ordered to evacuate, along with parts of downtown Pensacola and other low-lying areas.
  • Pensacola International Airport was to close at midnight Monday. Almost 250 flights that would have originated in the state Monday were canceled.
  • In Okaloosa County, which includes Fort Walton Beach, county officials called for voluntary evacuations of low-lying areas and offered sandbags to county residents.
  • Isaac caused some relatively minor damage as it skirted south Florida, but 32,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Miami-Dade County, government spokeswoman Vanessa Santana-Renate said.
  • Thirty members of the Florida National Guard were activated, the governor's office said.
  • Aircraft at six military bases have been relocated, the Defense Department said.
  • Evacuation orders were lifted for southwest Florida's Lee County, including Fort Myers Beach, late Sunday.
  • Organizers of the Republican National Convention in Tampa delayed the convention for a day as Isaac approached. Proceedings begin in earnest Tuesday.

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