POSTED: Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 8:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Isaac continues to push inland, downgraded to a tropical storm.
The storm's assault has been relentless.
Punishing wind and driving rains have pounded New Orleans and the Gulf Coast for a full day, with no signs of easing anytime soon.
The rush of water came quickly in Plaquemines Parish.
Hundreds scrambled to get to higher ground.
"We got out the back door with the boat. Tried to save my next door neighbor, which wouldn't happen," says James Oliveri. "The wind was so strong it was pushing the boat the opposite way."
Flood waters swallowed homes, then entire neighborhoods.
Up and down the coast, even in areas where levees aren't an issue, there' simply no place for so much water to go.
Adding to the mess and misery are trees and power lines snapped by the wind.
More than half a million are without electricity, a number that continues to grow.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal warned the conditions could continue through at least the end of the week.