On Wednesday, as Hurricane Isaac "began a slow, drenching slog inland from the Gulf of Mexico," the newly fortified levees in New Orleans appeared to be withstanding the assault of 75 mph winds, and, in some areas, 20 inches of rain. The storm has knocked out power to more than 500,000 homes and businesses, and while there were initial problems with pumps not working at New Orleans' 17th Street canal, the issues were quickly remedied. "The system is performing as intended," said Army Corps spokeswoman Rachel Rodi. The hurricane made landfall in the state seven years to the day after fearsome Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, prompting questions about whether the levees could hold up this time. While Isaac poses much less of a threat than Katrina, the possibility of storm surges and flooding is expected to last into the night as Isaac's "immense comma-shaped storm" crawls across Louisiana.
Update: Isaac has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but as rain and winds continue to batter New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has issued a curfew in the city that will begin Wednesday night and remain in effect until further notice.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- Deficit scolds are the most crazed ideologues in America
- A scientific fact-check of 2001: A Space Odyssey
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- The disturbing lessons of Arizona's un-American execution
Subscribe to the Week