Published on Aug 30, 2012 by N0LINKNEWS
(RNN) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal reported the Lake Tangipahoa dam is intact after flooding from Tropical Storm Isaac, but it may be intentionally breached.
During an 11:30 a.m. CT news conference, Jindal said if the McComb, MS, dam breaches, it could affect an area with an estimated population of 40,000 to 60,000 residents. Residents along the Tangipahoa River in Mississippi and Louisiana were ordered at 10:10 a.m. to evacuate within 90 minutes after initial warnings the dam's failure was imminent.
According to WWL, McComb, MS, Mayor Whitney Rawlings said there was a 50/50 chance the dam would fail on its own.
Pike County emergency management declared the dam at Lake Tangipahoa, better known as Percy Quin State Park, damaged but intact, according to the agency's Facebook page. EMA officials are monitoring the situation, they stated.
WAFB reported the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for parts of Pike County in southern Mississippi. A National Guard helicopter had been maintaining position over the dam, according to CNN.
Evacuations have been ongoing, and Jindal agreed to send buses to help move people out of the areas of potential hazard.
The first two U.S. fatalities from Isaac have been reported, as the storm continues its slow trek inland. A tow truck driver died Thursday in Picayune, MS, when a tree fell on his truck after responding to a call of an abandoned car.
According to the Associated Press, Gregory Alan Parker, 62, had gone out to tow a pickup truck that was stuck in a ditch and abandoned by its driver. Parker reportedly decided it was too muddy and the wind was too strong to attempt the tow.
A man in Vermilion Parish, LA, fell approximately 18 feet after climbing a tree for an unknown reason on Tuesday, the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office said. He and two friends had gone to move a car that was under a tree ahead of Isaac when it was still classified as a hurricane.
His identity has not been released.
The Haitian government has said at least 24 people have died in Haiti as a result of Isaac. Multiple deaths have also been reported out of the Dominican Republic after Isaac hit the countries during the weekend.
Isaac has weakened, but it continues to produce heavy rain and strong winds as it moves north.
CNN reported multiple tornados had formed in the Gulf Coast area, including one on the ground in Pascagoula, MS, around 7 a.m. CT.
Rescue operations are under way for people trapped in flooded areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, the hardest hit by Isaac.
Isaac is expected to lose its tropical storm status by Thursday night.
As of 1 p.m., the storm was located about 25 miles southwest of Monroe, LA, with winds at 40 mph. It is expected to continue further north into Louisiana and move over Arkansas on Friday.
As the center of the storm move further inland, it could bring more than a foot of rain to the region, meaning the flooding isn't over yet.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu warned residents to stay prepared.
"In the city of New Orleans, I would just like to say that there is not a time to let your guard down," he said. "You have to stay hunkered down, you have to stay inside and you have to stay on task."
Rainfall amounts could range from 7 to 14 inches, with the possibility of up to 25 inches in some areas, for much of Louisiana, southern and central Mississippi, southwest Alabama and southern and central Arkansas through Friday.
The rains could result in more flooding and tornados along the central Gulf Coast and portions of the Lower Mississippi River Valley.
According to CNN, Isaac caused more than 978,000 people to lose power in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Isaac is believed to have spawned three tornadoes overnight in Mississippi and Alabama.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Wednesday that 34 people were rescued in Hancock County by boat on the coast northeast of New Orleans, and 15 others were rescued by National Guard troops.
According to a statement from the White House on Wednesday, President Barack Obama declared federal emergencies in the areas of Mississippi and Louisiana that were hit hardest by Isaac.
Louisiana state officials said they will intentionally breach a levee at some point to alleviate flooding in Plaquemines Parish, according to the Associated Press.