Eyes on the sky
On Aug. 26, the wind was already picking up in Boca Raton, Fla., as then Tropical Storm Isaac approached the United States.
Yesterday, hurricane hunters from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration returned to the skies to gauge Isaac's intensity. A glimpse out of the navigator's window, shown above, reveals a menacing tropical storm below, with wind speeds around 70 mph (112 kph).
Above, a woman wades through flood waters to save her possessions from her flooded home.
Haiti hit again
Some victims were electrocuted and other died after being struck by falling objects. Isaac's death toll now stands at 29, with five deaths in the Dominican Republic.
By Aug. 26, U.S. forecasters and hurricane hunters already smelled trouble for the Gulf Coast, and hurricane-measuring aircraft again took to the skies to track and measure the storm.
Isaac is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane at landfall, with winds of up to 95 mph (153 kph). Some forecasters even predict Isaac could reach Category 2 status with winds between 96-110 mph (154-177 kph). Isaac will certainly pack a punch regardless of its category rank, but the storm will be much smaller than Hurricane Katrina, which was a powerful Category 5 hurricane at landfall. Katrina was the costliest storm in U.S. history.
"His ride took him very close to the pier a few times, but he managed to keep control of his kite," wrote Sophia Gribbin of Ocala, Fla., who captured the action from the balcony of a nine-story condo nearby.
On Monday, public officials called for mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas in metro New Orleans, including all of St. Charles Parish. They stopped short of calling for a mandatory metrowide evacuation, as was the case in 2005 as Katrina approached.
"We have been under a persistent Isaac spiral feeder band since last night," Cook wrote, referring to the cloud structure with a long area of rainfall. "It's like a never-ending train of rain/wind/thunder. I've lost about 8 feet of my back garden so far."