Hurricane Isaac heads to New Orleans, seven years after Katrina

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Hurricane Isaac heads to New Orleans, seven years after Katrina

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Hurricane Isaac has surged ashore on America’s Gulf Coast, packing high winds and heavy rain, with New Orleans in its sights.

All eyes are on the city, with Isaac set to unleash its wrath there seven years to the day after it was devastated by the much more powerful Hurricane Katrina.

In the small Louisiana fishing community of Jean Lafitte, just outside New Orleans, residents are taking no chances.

“A lot of people have left. I would say 80 percent of the people are gone. It is like a ghost town,” said local woman Leslie Gautreaux.

In New Orleans, people are putting their faith in flood defences put in place since Katrina. Many said they were well prepared.

In Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, in the Mid-City neighbourhod, some gathered to mark Isaac’s arrival with a drink.

“Hopefully the levees will take care of us,” said city resident Teree Campbell. “Just have a few more drinks and might as well enjoy it. There is nothing you can do about it.”

Across Louisiana, more basic flood defences like sandbags are also being used and many people are leaving, amid mandatory evacuations.

Isaac has already proved deadly, killing more than 20 people in the Caribbean. The US Gulf Coast still remember the 1,800 lives Katrina claimed there.