Darrell Hill, 11, feeds his sister Floy Dillon, 2, at a flood shelter in a school gym in Kentwood, La., Thursday. Residents fled to the shelter after officials announced that a dam upstream in Mississippi was in danger of bursting.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Errol Ragas walks past a cemetery to recover dry blankets from his home as rising waters from Hurricane Isaac flood the neighborhood of Oakville in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
It is the wind that defines the strength of a hurricane. The storm is not a hurricane at all until the wind reaches 74 miles per hour. Hurricane Isaac's sustained winds were not much beyond that, so it was a Category 1 storm, not two, three, four or five. But if the winds define a hurricane, it's the water that can do the most damage.
Winds from Tropical Storm Isaac overturned a kayaker who was paddling to his truck, and St. Tammany Parish sheriff's deputies had to rescue the man and his dog.
Sheriff's spokesman George Bonnett Jr. says the man had parked his truck along Highway 90 in the Slidell area, and was paddling from his home to the truck with his dog Wednesday morning when the accident prompted a call to 911.
Bonnett says Marine Division deputies tied themselves to their vehicles with long ropes, then swam to the rescue.
In St. John the Baptist Parish about 25 miles from New Orleans, at least 1,500 people were forced from their homes by floodwaters and thousands should evacuate, according to the governor's office.
Rising water closed off all main thoroughfares into the parish, and in many areas, water lapped up against houses and left cars stranded. F
Floodwaters rose to waist-high in some LaPlace neighborhoods, and the Louisiana National Guard was working with sheriff's deputies to rescue people stranded in their homes and surprised by the flooding.