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Hurricane Isaac drenches South

CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 9/6/2012, 12:38 p.m.

Hurricane Isaac blew through the Gulf last week, causing nine deaths in the United States while leaving thousands of people without power and 2,600 people in emergency shelters.

Starting out as a Category 1 storm, Isaac made landfall and was later downgraded to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression. The storm brought soaking rain that resulted in massive flooding in the southern United States. As of Tuesday, the storm was moving through the middle of the country, affecting Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

In Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, citizens are cleaning up after the storm that brought 14 tornadoes to the region. Damage from Isaac is estimated at $2 billion, according to reports, and over 125,000 people are still without power.

Isaac comes seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina struck, which left nearly 1,800 dead in 2005 in the New Orleans area. The $14.5 billion federal funding that followed allowed the city to reconstruct its flood control system.

Before heading to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., President Barack Obama made a trip to the St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana to survey some of the damage.

"I want to commend everybody who's here for the excellent work they've done in making sure that lives were saved, that although there was tremendous property damage, people were in a position to get out quickly," Obama said.

However, as residents return to their homes, a new health risk lingers. While rain has stopped, temperatures are rising into the triple digits and many homes are still without electrical power and air conditioning. Health officials in Louisiana are warning the public to be aware of heatstroke and take precautions.

"We know everyone's minds are on recovery, but we need everyone to take their risk of heat stroke seriously," said Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. "This is a serious condition that can kill you."

Officials in Louisiana reported on Tuesday that at least 13,000 homes are damaged in the state. Most of the damage is a result of flooding. Earlier this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved nine parishes with damage from Isaac for grants toward temporary housing and home repairs. The grant also covers uninsured property loss.