As water rises in New Orleans area, so do rescues

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 29 at 10:32 PM

NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana National Guard began to perform more rescues Wednesday afternoon as tropical storm-force winds released their grip on this saturated city.

Dozens of people — many not even under evacuation orders — had to flee their homes when water unexpectedly began to rise.

Problems popped up in La Place on the west side of New Orleans; in Indian Village to the east; and in Braithwaite to the south.

Braithwaite took the brunt of Isaac’s storm surge after the water topped a local levee in Plaquemines Parish and drowned this town.

“I got at least 10 foot if not more,” said Charles Dodds, who was among 118 residents who had to be rescued by boat.

All around him, a sad scene unfolded. One of the most striking images is of tombs and caskets from an above ground cemetery floating away in floodwater.

Water is up to the rooftops of at least 50 houses, and livestock that didn’t drown sought higher ground on a Mississippi River levee.

Hurricane Isaac is a lot worse than Hurricane Katrina ever was — at least in part of Plaquemines Parish, residents said, even though Katrina was the stronger storm when it struck exactly seven years ago to the day that Isaac made landfall.

Isaac swirled in to New Orleans overnight. Sunrise revealed the reality of uprooted trees, downed traffic signals and tattered flags.

Much of southeast Louisiana is in the dark because of blown transformers, lines down, and submerged electric substations.

Survivors escaped only with what they could carry; for Dodds, it was his dog, named Boo Boo.

Hurricane Isaac’s true toll might not be known, though, until the water eventually recedes.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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