Hurricane Isaac looks to be a mirror image of Katrina, though not as severe as the tropical storm that ravaged New Orleans back in 2005. Coming nearly seven years to the date that Katrina hit stateside, the forecast for Isaac and the one for Katrina bear striking similarities.
Isaac was expected to hit land last Tuesday or Wednesday, which would have been right on time for Katrina’s seventh anniversary, but luckily for the Gulf Coast’s sake Isaac resembles more of a pipsqueak little brother compared to bruiser big sis Katrina. However, that is not to say that Isaac should be taken lightly.
Right now, Isaac is in its fledgling stage at Category 1 with 65 mph winds and moving at 14 mph about 360 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. But so far this distance is providing Isaac with ample time to get his stuff together, so to speak.
Isaac is on forecast to land near Gulfport, Miss.—10 miles from Katrina’s peak surges—late Tuesday or early Wednesday, and has even caused enough of a stir to delay the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Have no fear, Tampa, for Isaac’s eye is expected to pass well west of the site of the convention.
But as if Isaac has got a chip on its shoulder, the hurricane appears to have something to prove in the shadow of Katrina comparisons.
Isaac bashed Haiti over the weekend—killing six people in storm-related incidents—and even Cuba and the Florida Keys have faced some of its wrath, but the Category 1 hurricane is not expected to deliver as much destruction as Katrina, the most destructive storm in the past 100 years.
Currently, New Orleans has no plans for evacuation. That does not mean that the city is not prepared, if anything Mayor Mitch Landrieu is more prepared than ever.
In a lesson on learning from mistakes, Landrieu said, “We are much, much better prepared structurally than before. If you are called upon, you should leave.”
New Orleans, who was practically blindsided by Katrina’s devastation in 2005, is no longer offering the airport, convention center or the Superdome as last resort shelters.
Although Isaac will not reach the magnitude of Katrina, the hurricane could still cause a considerable amount of destruction as it Isaac is expected to reach hurricane force in a matter of two days.
According to CoreLogic, a property analysis firm, Isaac’s flooding could affect $36 billion worth of property when it matures into a Category 2 storm.
As of right now, the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida is on hurricane alert for the approaching Isaac.