Isaac, Kirk, & Leslie: Busy Tropics

By: Marvin Daugherty, Jim Howard, Matt Engelbert, Phillip Williams, Greg Albrecht
By: Marvin Daugherty, Jim Howard, Matt Engelbert, Phillip Williams, Greg Albrecht

Tropical Depression Isaac's heavy rains will shift into Arkansas and Missouri on Friday. Hurricane Kirk and Tropical Storm Leslie are gaining strength well off the east coast.

Latest Track

Tropical Storm Leslie
At 10:00 am Saturday Leslie was located at 17.8 N, 53.5 W, or about 575 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Leslie has sustained winds of 70 mph and will likely become a hurricane on Saturday. The latest forecast from the NHC turns Leslie to the north by the middle of next week, with the storm staying well off the east coast of the U.S.

Category 2 Hurricane Kirk
Hurricane Kirk has weakened a bit more, with sustained winds of 80 mph at 10:00 am Saturday. The storm was located at 35.3 N, 48.2 W, or about 1400 miles off the US coastline. Kirk is moving north-northeast, staying well away from the east coast.

Between Kirk and Leslie the beaches of North Carolina will likely see some bigger swells and dangerous rip currents by the middle of next week.

The remnants of Isaac will be lifting slowly into Illinois on Saturday, bringing heavy rains to sections of the Midwest that have been stuck in extreme drought conditions most of the summer season. Mississippi and Louisiana will continue to slowly dry out after 10 to 20+" of rain across the area.

Police cars have been patrolling the nearly empty streets since Isaac began bringing fierce winds and heavy rains to the city Tuesday night. The curfew was set to start Wednesday night and would last until further notice.

Rescuers in boats and trucks plucked a handful of people who became stranded by flood waters in thinly populated areas of southeast Louisiana. Authorities feared many more could need help after a night of slashing rain and fierce winds that knocked out power to more than 600,000 households and businesses.

Officials say New Orleans' flood protections system is holding up so far.

Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Rachel Rodi says the corps expects to be on "high alert" for the next 12 to 24 hours, but they're confident it's going well so far.

Rodi says a pumping station at the 17th Street canal in New Orleans -- which was built at the site of a levee that breached during Hurricane Katrina -- briefly went down early Wednesday, but operators were able to manually get it working again.

Isaac promises to test a New Orleans levee system bolstered by $14 billion in federal repairs and improvements after the catastrophic failures during and right after Katrina hit in 2005.

Utility companies say more than 750,000 have lost power as the storm moves through southeast Louisiana, bringing wind, rain and flooding.

Most of the outages Wednesday are in areas around New Orleans.

The Tropical Storm has pushed water over a rural levee to flood some homes, knocked out power and immersed beach-front roads in Louisiana and Mississippi as it makes a drenching slog inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Wind gusts of more than 60 mph and sheets of rain pelted New Orleans, where people braced themselves for the storm behind levees that were strengthened after the much stronger Hurricane Katrina hit seven years ago to the day.


Hurricane Isaac has gotten a little stronger as it closes in on the Gulf Coast. Isaac's maximum sustained winds increased Tuesday afternoon to 80 mph.

The storm is expected to make landfall late Tuesday on the eve of the seventh anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina devastated the region.

While not as powerful as Katrina, Isaac threatens to flood the coasts of four states with storm surge and heavy rains on its way to New Orleans, where residents have been hunkering down behind levees fortified after Katrina struck.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

At 5:00 p.m., Isaac was located at 28.7N 89.2W or about 30 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River. That puts it some 105 miles south-southeast of New Orleans.

Isaac is moving northwest at 8 miles per hour, with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.

Eastern Carolina Impacts
Isaac will continue to push plenty of moisture laden air up from the south. Scattered tropical downpours will continue Tuesday into Wednesday before drier air comes in Wednesday night. Although there will be a few heavy downpours, flooding in unlikely across our area.

Stay tuned to WITN and for the latest updates.

Previous Story

A hurricane hunter aircraft is headed toward a tropical depression that forecasters say likely will become Tropical Storm Isaac and that organizers for the Republican National Convention being held in Tampa next week are watching.

Storm warnings have been issued Tuesday across a swath of islands in the Caribbean.

It is too soon to say what exact path the storm will take. But some computer models show it headed toward Cuba and then Florida. Others have it making a sharp northern turn in the next couple days near Puerto Rico and then into the open Atlantic.

The depression has maximum sustained winds near 35 mph but is expected to strengthen.

The depression is about 550 miles east of Guadeloupe and is moving west near 18 mph.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Previous Story

Tropical Depression #9 has formed about 2100 miles to the southeast of the North Carolina coast.

The depression will likely strengthen into Tropical Storm Isaac over the next 24 hours.

At 11:00 am Tuesday the storm was located at 15.1 N, 52.8 W, or about 580 miles east of the Leeward Islands. The storm was moving to the west at 20 mph with sustained winds of 35 mph.

The official track from the National Hurricane Center takes the storm through the northern Caribbean Sea over the next 5 days to near Cuba by early Sunday morning. The storm is expected to strengthen a bit each day, bringing it to a strong category 2 storm by the weekend.

Stay tuned to WITN & WITN.COM for the latest.

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