Residents huddle in shelters as flood waters rise

HOUSTON Thousands of people were huddled in shelters Wednesday night with only the clothes on their backs after escaping the flood waters produced by Tropical Storm Isaac.

Pick a neighborhood or a community and you could find flooding and rescue stories. Many of them were still underway.

In LaPlace west of New Orleans, with Interstate-10 already underwater, houses started going under next. One thousand residents crowded onto the highest points of land they could find, and waited to be rescued.

In a method much more refined than in the days of Hurricane Katrina, the evacuees were identified with bracelets to track who had been rescued and whose families needed to be kept together.

On the opposite northeast corner of the lake a similar story was found in Slidell. Several feet of water rushed into homes there. By early evening 50 people had been rescued. And rescue crews in small boats were still searching for more.

In a small neighborhood called Guste Island on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain a levy broke. It immediately flooded one neighborhood and threatened two more. Ten people needed to be rescued.

Then trees started to fall blocking the only escape route. But St. Tammany Parish deputies, thankfully, carry chainsaws too.

Meanwhile officials called for rescues in Lafitte because the water was too high for their high water rescue vehicles.

As for power, while some were lucky to have electricity in the French quarter, for hundreds of thousands of others, officials said power could be out for the rest of the week.


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