Cleanup begins on Isaac-ravaged Gulf Coast

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — After days of whipping wind and heavy rain, life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is slowly returning to normal as residents return home and begin cleaning up from Hurricane Isaac.

Hancock County Supervisor David Yarborough said today that two of three shelters in the county have been shut down and residents were beginning to go home.

Some roads were still closed, but floodwaters were receding.

“It’s time to start cleaning up,” said Waveland resident Jeff Delle, who was flooded out of his neighborhood on Wednesday.

Hancock County Emergency Management Agency director Brian Adams said it was still too early to assess damages because there was still flooding in some neighborhoods near rivers from heavy rain dumped north of the coast

The remnants of Isaac were still causing rain and flooding in some areas of central and south Mississippi.

Across central and south Mississippi, local officials are transitioning from response to recovery.

Isaac, now a tropical depression, dropped more than 12 inches of rain in some places in Mississippi with sustained wind of about 40 mph and storm surge of 6 to 8 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

Emergency management officials said the concern now is that because of all the rain, rivers could crest at their highest levels in years. Extensive flooding also was preventing some responders from beginning damage assessments.

The National Weather Service has issued flood and flash flood watches and warnings to parts of Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Meanwhile, utility crews were back out to restore power to homes and businesses.

Singing River Electric Power Association spokeswoman Lorrie Freeman said there were evacuated areas, camps along the river and flooded areas that could not be restored.

She reports power outages this morning due to flooding were 210 in Jackson County and two in George County.

Mississippi Power’s latest update reported scattered outages across its 23 county service territory. Crews from Mississippi Power, Georgia Power and other companies providing mutual assistance were working on outages.

The electric power associations, which had the highest number of outages, said that as of 7 a.m. today, 30,037 customers remain without service down from the high of 83,202 customers.

Officials say electric power associations continue to add to their total workforce as crews from other states are assisting.

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