It could take weeks to bring Louisiana back to normal after Hurricane Isaac, an unusually wet storm that caused serious flooding in 10 parishes and damaged more than 13,000 homes, authorities said Tuesday.
State officials made their first estimates of the toll imposed by Isaac, which came ashore Aug. 28 with 80 mph winds. The slow-moving storm caused flooding but no levee breaks – unlike catastrophic Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Katrina, blamed for more than 1,800 deaths, was followed weeks later by Hurricane Rita. Together, they destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes.
Isaac’s damage will be less, said Christina Stephens, a spokeswoman for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The 13,000 tally is an early estimate that is expected to increase once state and federal teams complete their assessments.
“This is a very preliminary number based on an initial assessment of communities that had flooding and wind damage,” said Stephens, speaking by telephone after a meeting of the Unified Command Group, led by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.