Hurricane Isaac update

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Officials say New Orleans‘ flood protections system is holding up so far as Hurricane Isaac storms through the area.

Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Rachel Rodi says the corps expects to be on “high alert” for the next 12 to 24 hours, but they’re confident it’s going well so far.

Rodi says a pumping station at the 17th Street canal in New Orleans – which was built at the site of a levee that breached during Hurricane Katrina – briefly went down early Wednesday, but operators were able to manually get it working again.

Isaac promises to test a New Orleans levee system bolstered by $14 billion in federal repairs and improvements after the catastrophic failures during right after Katrina hit in 2005.

   NHC director: Isaac could stay strong through day

The director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Isaac could keep its strength through the day as it lashes southeast Louisiana with rain and wind.

Rick Knabb says the storm’s main area of circulation is over watery marshlands Wednesday and the New Orleans area may see another day of storm conditions because the first half of the storm hasn’t moved through the area yet.

The hurricane made landfall Tuesday evening on Louisiana’s southeast coast with 80 mph winds. Since then, it has pushed water over a rural levee to flood some homes, knocked out power to thousands and has immersed beach-front roads in Louisiana and Mississippi.

   500,000 without power as Isaac hits Louisiana

Utility companies say more than 500,000 have lost power as Hurricane Isaac moves through southeast Louisiana, bringing wind, rain and flooding.

Most of the outages Wednesday are in areas around New Orleans as Isaac lashes the area with 80 mph winds.

The Category 1 hurricane has pushed water over a rural levee to flood some homes, knocked out power and immersed beach-front roads in Louisiana and Mississippi as it makes a drenching slog inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Wind gusts of more than 60 mph and sheets of rain pelted New Orleans, where people braced themselves for the storm behind levees that were strengthened after the much stronger Hurricane Katrina hit seven years ago to the day.

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