Isaac storm surge tops levee in Plaquemines Parish

After making its first landfall yesterday, Hurricane Isaac moved back out into the Gulf of Mexico briefly.  This morning it returned, and the surge topped a levee in Plaquemines Parish, trapping people in their homes and causing flooding:

The center of Hurricane Isaac made a second landfall over Port Fourchon, La., early Wednesday, overtopping a levee southeast of New Orleans, knocking down trees and cutting power to more than 400,000 homes.

There were no reports of injuries as dawn broke over the Gulf Coast area. Property damage reports were just beginning to come in. There were scattered reports of people stranded in their homes by rising water in the New Orleans area.

“I’ve got a four-by-four hole in my roof, several pieces in the front yard, the back wall of my house moved a couple of feet, and with each gust of wind, it’s like you’re breathing in and out,” William Harold “Billy” Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, told “Good Morning America.”

Nungesser said some people are stranded in the flood.

The only good news in this case is that the levee was apparently not part of the Army Corps of Engineers project to strengthen levees after Katrina.  The levee in question was a local one, and the other levees reinforced after the 2005 disaster appear to be holding up well.  Hopefully that remains the case, because the eye of the storm is only 50 miles out of New Orleans.  Winds are at a Category 1 level of 80 miles per hour at the moment, and if Isaac doesn’t bounce out to the Gulf again, it shouldn’t get worse.  The weather service still expects surges to hit between 6-12 feet in Louisiana and Mississippi, even at this strength.

Fox has this report from the ground:

Keep the prayers coming. If you can do more than pray, visit the Salvation Army to help their efforts.