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.
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