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More than 50,000 still without power in Louisiana after Isaac

September 04, 2012|By Matt Pearce
  • Mario Tama / Getty Images
Mario Tama / Getty Images (m9t44ppd20120903210517/600 )

Isaac may be gone, but it won't be forgotten any time soon.

About 57,000 Louisianans were still without power nearly a week after the Category 1 hurricane came ashore in Plaquemines Parish, Entergy said on its website.

Packing 80 mph winds, Isaac landed just hours before the seventh anniversary of catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, which was blamed for more than 1,800 deaths, most in Louisiana.  Seven have been linked to Isaac. 

PHOTOS: Tropical Storm Isaac

That was little comfort to those flooded out of their homes -- some for the second time.

In the low-lying, marshy outland over which Louisiana’s toe-tip stretches into the Gulf of Mexico, families again debated what would happen next, and whether to stay.

As they returned to their inundated properties and evaluated what they've lost, according to the New Orleans Times-Picauyune, many residents planned to move north to St. Bernard Parish and accept the protection of its 26- to 32-foot federal levees.

"Where do we plant our seed once again after seven years? Where do we do it all over again?" Suzanne Shaffer, 48, told the Times-Picauyune, her home invaded by water up to its attic.

She lost everything in Katrina too and told the insurance company, “You can just use my claim from Aug. 29 seven years ago."

She told the Times-Picauyune she’d be moving out, as others have before her. The parish’s population dropped nearly 15% between 2000 and 2010.

Power outages, heat and humidity plagued residents. 

"It's hot, it stinks, but I'm trying to get all this mud and stuff out of my house," LaPlace resident Barbara Melton told the Associated Press as she cleared mud and other storm detritus from her home, which took on 2 feet of water.

The Associated Press reported that the number of people in Louisiana shelters had dropped from 4,000 to 2,800 on Monday.

President Obama came to see the damage on Monday. His Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, visited last Friday, one day after accepting the GOP nomination. 

Meeting with families and local officials dealing with the disaster, Obama promised quick action to prevent such flooding in the future.

“What I pledge to these folks is to make sure at the federal level we’re getting on the case very quickly” to figure out “what exactly happened here … and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

PHOTOS: Tropical Storm Isaac

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