A fallen streetlight sits in a puddle of water in downtown New Orleans, Louisiana as Hurricane Isaac battered the city and surrounding region, flooding homes and driving stormy waters over the top of at least one levee, seven years to the day after Katrina devastated the city. Packing vicious winds of 80 miles per hour and rolling slowly over Louisiana, Isaac has dumped huge quantities of rain on the renowned US jazz city as residents cowered in their homes. Photo by Frederic J. Brown, AFP/Getty
NEW ORLEANS -- Isaac is drenching Louisiana and Mississippi but is weakening as it trudges roughly north over land and should lose its tropical storm status by Thursday night.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Isaac's wind strength should drop below 39 mph to become a tropical depression as the storm's center heads for Arkansas and Missouri on Friday.
Isaac's center bypassed New Orleans and its newly fortified levees as a hurricane Wednesday but flooded areas to the city's north and south, where people had to be evacuated or rescued.
Isaac had top sustained winds of 45 mph early Thursday as its center moved over southern Louisiana. It was still packing heavy rains that threatened lowland flooding through Friday in Louisiana, Mississippi, southwest Alabama and Arkansas.
By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press
The Associated Press