Isaac came ashore a category 1 storm, but its toll on the northern Gulf coast has exceeded what one might expect from a “low-end” hurricane. Its large size helped it spread vast quantities of water ashore - both from the ocean and the sky. Not to mention it has spawned numerous tornadoes and led to hundreds of thousands of power outages.
*Average rainfall totals around New Orleans have been in the 9-12” range.
* New Orleans International Airport has officially received 9.69” and it’s still raining.
* The 7.86” New Orleans International Airport received Wednesday set a daily rainfall record shattering the 4.5” mark established during Katrina in 2005. And it’s more than the city averages in an entire month (5.98”)
* The National Hurricane Center said last night an unofficial total of 18.35” was reported in Gretna, Louisiana
Here are some other totals measured from around the Crescent City:
Audubon Park: 11.19” (through Wednesday)
New Orleans City Hall: 11.5”
* The bulls-eye for extreme rainfall has occurred around Pascagoula where around 20” of rain has fallen according to two WeatherBug stations there which have recorded 21.37 and 17.74”. Severe flooding has been reported in that area - not to mention a tornado touched down in the vicinity.
* Some other totals from MS:
Gulfport: 9.59” (through Wednesday)
Biloxi: 4.61” (WeatherBug report)
*Generally 2-5” fell along the coast of Alabama to the western panhandle of Florida. Here are a few totals:
Mobile Airport: 4.67”
Pensacola (Fl): 2-3”
* The Weather Channel’s Greg Forbes estimates Isaac will produce 23.5 trillion gallons of rain water or enough to fill 35.6 million swimming pools.
* Generally speaking, the highest storm surge levels were around 8-10 feet in southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi.
* Via Jeff Masters:
“The peak 11.06′ storm surge at 1:30 am EDT this morning at Shell Beach, which is in Lake Borgne, 20 miles southeast of New Orleans, exceeded the 9.5′ surge recorded there during Category 2 Hurricane Gustav of 2008. In general, the storm surge heights from Isaac have been more characteristic of a strong Category 2 hurricane, rather than the weak Category 1 hurricane”
* Weather.com reports a wind gust to 113 mph was clocked in Belle Chasse, southeast of New Orleans along the Mississippi river.
* Wind has gusted to at least 30 mph for 51 straight hours at New Orleans International Airport
* The peak wind gust at New Orleans International Airport was 68 mph recorded at 4 and 5 a.m. Wednesday morning
* The WeatherBug network clocked a gust to 90 mph at East Jefferson General Hospital just to the northwest of downtown New Orleans
Tornadoes and tornado warnings
* NOAA issued 47 tornado warnings Wednesday and received 9 tornado reports
* NOAA has already issued nearly 40 tornado warnings this morning and received at least 3 reports
* The storm knocked power out to nearly 700,000 customers in southern Louisiana as of this morning (source: New Orleans Times-Picayune)
* 150,000 customers were without power in Mississippi (source: Clario n Ledger)
Potential economic cost
Via Reuters: “Hurricane Isaac has caused up to $1 billion in economic losses for offshore energy properties and up to $1.5 billion in insured losses onshore in Louisiana and neighboring states, disaster modeler Eqecat said on Wednesday.”
New Orleans: By the Numbers (weather.com)