POSTED: Friday, August 31, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Friday, August 31, 2012 - 8:01am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Isaac may have been a smaller storm, but in some places in Louisiana it's done more damage than Hurricane Katrina.
For Jesse Shafer and his wife Suzanne the only way back to their home in Braithwaite is by boat.
The wake pushes away remnants of life here before Isaac, water splashing against rooftops and scattering debris in a neighborhood swallowed by the storm.
"It's hard to fathom. It really is," Suzanne says. "I say I was prepared. I think I'm just numb. Hasn't hit me yet."
There is no question Isaac made a direct hit.
Entire communities have been washed away, and in some areas the rain is still falling.
Hundreds of thousands are without electricity and it will be a week or more for some before the lights are back on.
Still, power is the least of the problems for families like the Shafers, forced to climb in through an attic window to find what little is left inside their flooded out homes.
For the time being they have to get comfort and strength from the small victories, finding some clothes or keepsakes, because the big picture is an image that right now is just too difficult to bear.
Suzanne lost her home seven years ago, but says this time things are even worse.
"Absolutely worse than Katrina, yes," she says.
The house it took a year and day to rebuild is under water again.
As they leave, the resolve it took to come back the first time reappears as they start to deal with what Isaac left behind.
"We'll be good," Suzanne says.
Because like so many here, they are survivors.