Storm Update- Isaac develops hurricane strength, makes landfall

29 Aug

I’ve still got power so here’s a quick update. I’ll keep ’em coming if I can. Isaac graduated to hurricane status this afternoon and made landfall a couple hours ago in Southeastern Louisiana. This means that there is no longer any appreciable risk of the storm strengthening. It will remain a category 1 as it pushes its way up the Mississippi river towards New Orleans, eventually petering out somewhere North of here. We’re expecting sustained winds of 70-80mph and gusts up to 100mph here in the city but that’s almost business as usual, a category 1 hurricane is not an particularly dangerous event (Katrina was a category 4) and desipte the media hype Isaac poses no real threat to the city beyond the standard power outages and temporary flooding. Actually many of the people who stayed (which seems to be most of the city) seem to be looking forward to a little ‘hurrication’. A handful of bars and restaurants are still open in the city and you can still buy ice and cold beer so most everyone is in a good mood!

But of course Isaac is a hurricane and it will be felt. Louisiana’s Plaquemines parish, where the hurricane made landfall, is currently taking the brunt of the storm with storm surges of up to 10 feet leading to quite a bit of flooding. This storm surge seems to be the biggest impact we will feel from Isaac. The hurricane is moving right up the Mississippi, pushing lots of water along with it, and is also quite slow-moving and very, very wet -up to 20 inches of rain is expected. This means a whole lot of extra water in Southeast Louisiana and along much of the coast storm surges will be 6-12 feet (meaning the water is going to rise that much over normal). Still, this is not as bad as some feared and folks seem well prepared.

 My boat is tied up in Bayou Castile on the Northshore of Lake Ponchartrain and around there no one was particularly worried. They expected water to rise a foot or two over the docks which apparently is pretty normal. So it seems despite all the hype this storm will be over in about 36 hours with relatively little impact. But we knew that all along, right?

On the New Orleans side of the lake some boats are well prepared for the wind and storm surge:

And others? Well. Good luck…

Here’s my boat moored in the Bayou

I’m feeling pretty good about this

And here’s how Lake Ponchatrain looked this afternoon:

By now there should be 5-10 foot waves and 40mph winds but I’m certainly not going out to check! It’s getting wild outside, drenching rain already and gusts of wind blowing trees all over the place, but we’re just getting started.

My backyard

This article was syndicated from Safe At Harbour But Meant For The Sea: DIY Sailing with Paul Calder

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