Isaac lost most of its destructive steam by Saturday — with the Gulf Coast still recovering from its battering earlier in the week — but the storm managed to bring a small amount of needed rain to drought-stricken parts of the Midwest.“This by no means will be a drought-buster,” said Chris Vaccaro, a National Weather Service spokesman. “But we’ll take whatever rain we can get.”
Up to 3 inches of rain was expected in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys – though some parts of Illinois and Indiana could get more, Vaccaro said.
Residents of the Gulf Coast, meanwhile, were trying to cope with damage inflicted by the slow-moving storm. Then a hurricane, Isaac made landfall Tuesday, the day before the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It then proceeded to pummel the region for several days, largely sparing New Orleans but devastating southern, low-lying parts of Mississippi and Louisiana with flooding.
In Mississippi, where two deaths have been attributed to Isaac, recovery efforts were underway Saturday even though some areas were still dealing with flooding and power outages.
“As we transition to the recovery phase of this disaster, our priority is to identify damages and begin the process of requesting federal assistance for local governments and residents who have been affected by this disaster,” said Robert Latham, executive director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, in a statement.
In Louisiana, more than 3,000 evacuees remained in shelters across the state, though some had begun returning home.
In a Saturday news conference, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said that, although New Orleans had escaped the worst effects of the storm, the majority of the city still does not have power.
“Like everyone else, my patience is wearing thin,” he said. “This is more than an inconvenience; it continues to be dangerous for everybody.”
Recovery efforts in the city are underway and hundreds of workers have been sent out to clean up trees and debris, Landrieu said.