State-by-State: Isaac prompts evacuations, shuts down transit

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 6:00am

-- Much of the central Gulf coast was hunkered down as Tropical Storm Isaac approached Tuesday. Authorities across the region warned residents to be prepared for heavy rain, high winds and coastal storm surges.

Thousands in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are under states of emergency.

A summary of the latest preparations in each state:

Louisiana

-- There will be no flights out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on Tuesday, a city spokesman said.

-- A spokesman for Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport said there will be no flights Wednesday.

-- Bus and street car service in New Orleans have been shut down.

-- Amtrak service to and from New Orleans has been suspended.

-- Cargo terminals within the Port of New Orleans have ceased operations.

-- President Obama declared a state of emergency and ordered federal agencies to send aid and made federal funding available to the state. He put FEMA in charge of recovery operations.

-- Isaac is expected to hit the city as a Category 1 hurricane Tuesday evening, the National Hurricane Center said.

-- New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu did not issue an evacuation order for the city but urged people outside the city's protective levees to leave and told others, "If your plan is to go, now's the time to go."

-- He acknowledged "a higher level of anxiety" because of Wednesday's anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed nearly 1,800 people on the Gulf Coast in 2005. But he added that "We are prepared for what this storm is going to bring us at this point in time."

-- More than 4,100 National Guard troops were activated Monday.

-- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has called for residents in coastal parishes prone to flooding to voluntarily leave.

-- A total of 23 parishes have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm, Jindal said Monday.

-- Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for St. Charles Parish and parts of Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish.

-- In Jefferson Parish, authorities ordered about 9,000 people to evacuate the towns of Jean Lafitte, Crown Point and Barataria.

-- Jindal confirmed he will skip this week's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, because of the storm. Jindal also had to cancel his 2008 appearance at the RNC because of another storm, Hurricane Gustav.

-- The east bank of Plaquemines Parish, as well as the lower end of the west bank from Ironton to Venice, are also under mandatory evacuation orders.

-- In St. Charles Parish, buses are being used to move residents. Evacuees may bring one personal item, one carry-on and pets.

-- Widespread power outages are expected (a "100% certainty"), said Scott Whelchel, director of the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center.

-- Louisiana State University, which has its first home football game of the season against North Texas on Saturday, says it plans to play as scheduled but will monitor the effects of the storm.

-- Crews have been evacuated from 346 production platforms and 41 drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as of Monday, meaning an estimated 78% of oil production in the region has been halted.

Mississippi

-- Mandatory evacuations were ordered in the low-lying coastal areas of Hancock County, which includes Bay St. Louis and Waveland.

-- Jackson County officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation for people living below highway 90 and other low-lying areas

-- Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport will close Tuesday at 11 a.m. (noon ET).

-- A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire coast.

-- Gov. Phil Bryant has dispatched 1,500 National Guard troops to the state's three coastal counties to help local authorities.

-- Mississippi has distributed 10,000 sandbags to residents to help prepare for flooding, Bryant said Monday.

-- In Gulfport, authorities ordered the port cleared of cargo vessels.

-- Cat Island and East and West Ship islands in Harrison County are closed because of the storm.

Alabama

-- A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire coast.

-- Alabama authorities warned residents Monday that strong winds and high water may affect the state's coast even if the storm hits as far west as Louisiana.

-- Jeff Garmon, a forecaster at the National Weather Service station in Mobile, said the coastal counties on either side of Mobile Bay could see storm surges of up to 4 feet even if Isaac remains on its current course.

-- Gov. Robert Bentley has ordered a mandatory evacuation for parts of Baldwin and Mobile counties. Other residents in low-lying or flood-prone areas are urged to leave voluntarily.

-- The area could start feeling storm-force winds as early as Tuesday afternoon, Garmon said.

-- Passengers flying out of Mobile Regional Airport on Tuesday should check to see if their flights have been canceled.

Florida

-- A tropical storm warning is in effect from the mouth of the Aucilla River west to the Alabama border.

-- People living on the barrier islands of Perdido Key and Santa Rosa Island, near Pensacola, were ordered to evacuate, along with parts of downtown Pensacola and other low-lying areas.

-- Pensacola International Airport closed at midnight Monday. Almost 250 flights that would have originated in the state Monday were canceled.

-- In Okaloosa County, which includes Fort Walton Beach, county officials called for voluntary evacuations of low-lying areas and offered sandbags to county residents.

-- Isaac caused some relatively minor damage as it skirted south Florida, and thousands of homes and businesses remained without power in Miami-Dade County, government spokeswoman Vanessa Santana-Renate said.

-- Thirty members of the Florida National Guard were activated, the governor's office said.

-- Aircraft at six military bases were relocated, the Defense Department said.

-- Evacuation orders were lifted for southwest Florida's Lee County, including Fort Myers Beach, late Sunday.

-- Organizers of the Republican National Convention in Tampa delayed the convention for a day as Isaac approached. Proceedings begin in earnest Tuesday.
 

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