Isaac inundates New Orleans, low-lying parishes flooded

Hurricane Isaac, downgraded now to a tropical storm, is delivering a somber seventh-anniversary reminder to the Gulf Coast. The storm, as anyone who has a TV probably knows, is less powerful than Katrina was seven years ago, but is moving so slowly that it is dumping huge amounts of water on an area still in recovery mode from Katrina. There is extensive street flooding and all eyes are on the levees.

The big hit seems to be in Plaquemines Parish, where the levee has been over-topped and 10 to 12 feet of water has flooded the community of Braithwaite to roof levels in a scary reminder of Katrina. We know that some people and pets are still in the most severely affected areas.

Unlike was the case during Katrina, evacuation crews are taking pets along with people. The primary concern with regard to the animals at this stage of things is to clear out the local shelters of animals who were there prior to the storm before those displaced by flooding create severe overcrowding.

Our Friends at Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) are sitting out the storm at their Jefferson Parish location. You can follow them on their Facebook page. Likewise, St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in southern Mississippi, the location of Best Friends emergency shelter during Katrina, will be heavily affected, especially since they are recovering from building damage due to a recent tornado that swept through earlier this month. You can follow St. Francis on their Facebook page. These organizations do great work and can use your help.

Best Friends Emergency Response is in communication with Jefferson Parish EOC, and plans are in the works to help relieve crowding of the shelter there. St. Bernard and Orleans Parish had relocated their shelter occupants to cooperating shelters in Texas and Georgia prior to the storm.

We’ll keep you posted as plans unfold — in the meanwhile, send all prayers and good thoughts to the people and animals of the Gulf Coast.

Gregory Castle