Flood waters left by Hurricane Isaac slowly recede in hard-hit Louisiana

POSTED: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 1:53pm

The flooding is slowly receding across southern Louisiana, but the water dumped by Hurricane Isaac still has some neighborhoods on high alert.

St. Tammany Parish officials are closely monitoring a breach at a lock on Pearl River and considering evacuations of 5,000 homes.

"We don't do this lightly, because we don't want people out of their homes," says St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister, "but safety is first."

As power crews work to restore electricity to the more than 200,000 still in the dark, the rebuilding in the bayou has begun.

Still, for many residents losing everything again is making them think twice about staying.

Diane Alfonsa has decided not rebuild her Plaquemines Parish home.

"Maybe if it was inside the levee system down this way, not so bad. No, I have no plans on returning," she says.

It's that levee system, credited with protecting New Orleans, that now has some residents concerned.

They worry that post-Katrina upgrades may have diverted the flood waters to nearby communities.

"If you're gonna put this flood system up, which is a good thing, it's a good thing, it stopped the city from flooding, it's a good thing, but you're not going to worry about where you're pushing the water," says flood victim Charlene Martin.

The Army Corp of Engineers will study the impacts of Isaac and investigate if the new protection system ended up harming surrounding areas.

"We wouldn't have built a system that would induce flooding in other areas," says Colonel Ed Fleming.

Still, close attention will be paid to how the system performed.

"We will run it through our models and see what lessons we learn," Fleming adds.

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