Meridian Star

September 2, 2012

Unpredictable Isaac

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Hurricanes are unpredictable. Isaac was no exception.

    No one could have predicted prior to its landfall that Isaac would stall out once it made landfall, dumping up to 20 inches of rain in some places as it inched north and west.

    Packing winds of 80 mph, Isaac came ashore Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane.

    In New Orleans and in south Mississippi thousands of homes were flooded, and authorities scrambled to rescue those trapped by the rising water.

    At least four deaths were attributed to the storm, with one of those reported in Picayune where a truck driver was killed after a tree fell on his truck.

    Nearly half the state of Louisiana was without power at one point, with estimates of another 150,000 homes in Mississippi having lost electricity.

    But it was not just coastal counties impacted by the storm. Heavy rain bands that stretched out from the storm's epicenter flooded inland counties in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

    Although minor flooding occurred in Meridian, Lauderdale County residents in Quitman, Stonewall and points south were not as fortunate.

    For inland residents, it would have been easy to downplay Isaac's potential impact as it approached. After all, the reasoning could have went, even if Isaac made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane as was originally predicted, the storm was no Katrina, or even Ivan for that matter.

    We were glad to see that residents took the storm seriously.

    Some local residents stocked up on gas, water and other necessities, while others along the Mississippi Gulf Coast evacuated in advance of the storm.

    Isaac was the first hurricane since 2008 to strike a Gulf state and we are glad to see residents have not grown complacent.

    Isaac served as a reminder of just how unpredictable hurricanes can be and proved that there is no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to hurricanes.