After Isaac, New Orleans Struggles to Rebound but Counts Its Blessings

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The city is still reeling from the storm earlier this week. But as residents know all too well, it could have been worse. 

On the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans area received an unwelcome visitor named Isaac. The rain and wind began to pick up on the afternoon of August 28, and by 9 p.m., Isaac had been classified as a category 1 storm.As night turned to early morning, debris swirled around the streets, knocking over trees and signs and cutting off electricity to more than 700,000 homes.

It soon became clear, however, that history would not repeat itself. This time, the floodgates and pumping station held the waters in check around the city. At 2 p.m. on August 29, after hovering over the area for hours, Isaac was downgraded to a tropical storm. By nightfall, lines were forming at the few open bars and gas stations.

Nearby Plaquimenes Parish wasn't so lucky. The streets are flooded there, and talks are underway to release water by blowing up a levee. In LaPlace, in St. John the Baptist Parish, lives are in peril as the waters continue to rise. Meanwhile, wind and rain continue to pelt the entire region, and the New Orleans airport remains closed. At this point, it's hard to say how long it will take for the city and state to resume its normal functions and recover from Isaac's visit.

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Julie Dermansky is a multimedia reporter and artist based in New Orleans. She is an affiliate scholar at Rutgers University's Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. Visit her website at www.jsdart.com.

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