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Hurricane Isaac Mississippi: Storm Slows, Dumps Heavy Rain (MAP TRACKER)

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Hurricane Isaac is moving along a northwestern path, dumping heavy rain and lashing the coast with whipping winds, as it hovers over Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

"Isaac [is] moving slowly along the coast of southeast Louisiana and producing a dangerous storm surge," the National Hurricane Center reported on Isaac, which is now a 350-mile-wide Category 1 hurricane. "Flooding from rainfall [is] also expected."

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, the storm was about 45 miles from New Orleans, with winds gusting up to 80 mph.

The NHC reports that dangerous storm surge and flood threats are likely to continue through tonight. A hurricane warning remains in effect from east of Morgan City, La., to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Isaac is skirting the coast and is half-inland, half-offshore, and as a result, has not weakened,” National Weather Service Chief Meteorologist Ken Graham told Bloomberg in a telephone interview Wednesday. “We’re going to have strong tropical-storm force winds with hurricane gusts almost all day today in some areas. You’re going to start losing trees, having more power outages and more flooding.”

On Tuesday night, residents in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama were told to leave or hunker down.

As Isaac inched along its path on Wednesday -- on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina -- it left 494,000 Louisiana customers without power, 158,000 of them in Orleans Parish, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A surge overtopped an 8-foot levee in Plaquemines Parish, La., MSNBC reports. Up to 12 feet of water flooded the streets and left up to 60 people stranded as of 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Hurricane Isaac 2012 path. (Story continues below.)

"We have flooding, inundated four-to-nine feet in areas on that side" of the levee, parish emergency management official Guy Laigast told the Weather Channel, according to MSNBC. "We've got homes that have been inundated. We have folks who are trapped in their residences."

"It's piling that water up on the east side of the Mississippi River," Laigast added. "All that water is ponding up in that area and that's what's causing the overtopping."

Mississippi has not felt the mightiest thrust of Hurricane Isaac yet.

"Areas further inland like Jackson haven't felt the brunt of Isaac yet," according to the Jackson Clarion Ledger. "It's slow movement means of worst of what's to come -- drenching rain -- may not arrive until late Wednesday and Thursday." However, in south Mississippi, the Gulf Coast Electric Power Association already reported 12,000 customers without power in Harrison, Hancock and Pearl River counties.

In Alabama, National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Garmon said the biggest danger to the state's coast was a storm surge between 6 and 8 feet late Tuesday/early Wednesday with a rainfall up to 10 inches, The Associated Press reported.

"With New Orleans being under threat and Mississippi, we've got a lot of calls from folks wanting to come over here and stay during the storm," Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon told The AP. "So we've let them know we're open for business and we welcome them. We don't expect any road closures, anything that would prevent them from coming over."

This exemplifies President Barack Obama's message to help each other.

"When disaster strikes, we're not Democrats or Republicans first, we are Americans first," Obama said at a campaign rally at Iowa State University. "We're one family. We help our neighbors in need."

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According to BBC News, the U.S. Geological Survey found that "The storm surge ahead of Hurricane Isaac made the Mississippi River run backwards for 24 hours."

Read the full story here.

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National Hurricane Center issued the following advisory at 4 p.m. CDT:

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION ISAAC BRINGING HEAVY RAINFALL AND THE THREAT OF FLASH FLOODING TO THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY...

More here.

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@ The_Gambit : The city just announced a water boil advisory for Venetian Isles, in effect until further notice.

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@ jimwxgator : More MAJOR flooding from Isaac today in Pine Bluff, AR. via @KATV_Weather: http://t.co/9SWtF75p

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@ NOLAnews : Isaac's floodwaters should start to recede in St. Tammany Parish http://t.co/IvG0v4UY

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@ NOLAnews : Isaac evacuees database available for St. John Parish families http://t.co/BegMKyc4

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@ chadmyerscnn : #Isaac is now a trop. depression. Winds to 35mph. Lingering storms coming in from the Gulf may have higher gusts or tornadoes.

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@ wunderground : Over 1 million people without power in LA/MS due to #Isaac.

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@ AP : BREAKING: Crews begin breaching levee stressed by Isaac flooding in La.'s hard-hit Plaquemines Parish: http://t.co/Z53F2Omf

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@ NOLAnews : Controlled release of water from Tangipahoa Lake in Miss. begins http://t.co/Cxrzf6h7

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Curfew has been lifted in New Orleans.

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@ twc_hurricane : Tornado warning: southeast Kemper, northeast Lauderdale counties in eastern MS until 2:30pm. Details: http://t.co/yaxQlZkQ #Isaac

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@ NOLAnews : Plaquemines sheriff swept away, saved in dramatic Hurricane #Isaac rescue - http://t.co/7dzVpP51

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@ twc_hurricane : Flash flood warning: St Charles & St John The Baptist parishes in Louisiana until 4:15pm CDT. Details: http://t.co/4wheT4cj

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@ NOLAnews : Miss. officials to breach Isaac-damaged dam on Tangipahoa River - http://t.co/uG8ir7xK

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@ twc_hurricane : Tropical Storm Isaac: 1 PM CT, 40 mph winds, 992 mb, moving NNW at 9 mph. http://t.co/yJDeDChu

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@ Jmoon901 : RT @NOLAnews: LSU officials decide to reopen Baton Rouge campus for classes on Friday http://t.co/OR01ZGlv

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From Tangipahoa.org:

MISSISSIPPI EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT HAS NOTIFIED GOHSEP AND TANGIPAHOA PARISH GOVERNMENT THAT THE DAM AT LAKE TANGIPAHOA AT PERCY QUINN STATE PARK IS DAMAGED BUT HAS NOT FAILED. OUT OF CAUTION, TANGIPAHOA PARISH PRESIDENT GORDON BURGESS CONTINUES TO CALL FOR A MANDATORY EVACUATION OF ALL AREAS ALONG THE TANGIPAHOA RIVER.

Shelter locations are as follows: Hammond West Side Elementary Montessori School, Hammond Junior High Magnet School, Natalbany Elementary School, Nesom Middle School, Amite High School, and Kentwood High Magnet School.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL AND PARISH PRESIDENT GORDON BURGESS HAVE CALLED A 2PM PRESS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD AT THE TANGIPAHOA PARISH COUNCIL CHAMBERS AT 206 EAST MULBERRY ST IN AMTE, LOUISIANA.

Click here for more information.

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From Tangipahoa.org:

MISSISSIPPI EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT HAS NOTIFIED GOHSEP AND TANGIPAHOA PARISH GOVERNMENT THAT THE DAM AT LAKE TANGIPAHOA AT PERCY QUINN STATE PARK IS FAILING. TANGIPAHOA PARISH PRESIDENT GORDON BURGESS IS CALLING FOR A MANDATORY EVACUATION OF ALL AREAS ALONG THE TANGIPAHOA RIVER.

Shelter locations are as follows: Hammond West Side Elementary Montessori School, Hammond Junior High Magnet School, Natalbany Elementary School, Nesom Middle School, Amite High School, and Kentwood High Magnet School.

Click here for more information.

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@ MikePerlstein : Landrieu: NOLA has largest police presence on the street since Katrina: 2,900 cops, troopers and Nat'l Guard troops.

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@ twc_hurricane : Tornado warning: northeastern Choctaw County in southwest Alabama until 12:45pm CDT. Details: http://t.co/rgwzMMXX #Isaac

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@ twc_hurricane : Flash flood warning: Mobile and Washington counties in AL until 5:45pm CDT. This includes the city of Mobile. #Isaac

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"But levees alone won't protect our people."

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@ The_Gambit : Jindal: Tangipahoa levee has not been breached, despite earlier reports. If breached, 90 minutes to flooding in Kentwood, La.

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Jindal: "Every storm is different. Just because your house didn't flood last time doesn't mean it won't flood this time."

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Jindal: Up to 60,000 in evacuation zone

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@ WAFB : Here is a pic of the dam in Pike County, MS. http://t.co/BNO8mQHB http://t.co/FEZaDAMl

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