Hurricane Isaac Makes Landfall

Storm slams into the Gulf coast with millions in its path, bringing massive flooding and tornadoes.
3:00 | 08/29/12

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Transcript for Hurricane Isaac Makes Landfall
I am bill weir, and this is new orleans under hurricane isaac. The center of the category 1 hurricane as we speak, about 70 miles south-southwest of the crescent city, canal street where mardi gras floats and cable cars cruise on happier days. A miserable place on this night. The eve of the seventh anniversary of hurricane katrina, the stormt shattered so many lives up and down the gulf coast. A storm that has all of us wondering how will isaac compare? How will the rebuilding hold up? To get a whole picture of what's going on on the gulf coast, the abc news extreme weather team stands out from all the way from gulfport, mississippi and we will check with all of them in just a moment. But first, this is the image so many people areatching in shelters of plaquemines parish and the latest track shows that isaac came ashore at 6:45 p.M. Local time at the mouths of the mississippi with winds of 80 miles an hour. It looks like isaac is destined to be a slow, wet moisture machine which could dump 10 to 20 inches of rain in some areas already saturated and drench the midwest in the coming week. This is what isaac looks like from the international space station tonight. A massive swirl of energy, hundreds of miles across. And this is isaac from the wet and windy streets of new orleans where trees are falling. Power lines are snapping, transformers blowing under the strain of those powerful gusts. After a handful of arrests of looters taking advantage of evacuated homes, sheriff, police and national guard are out in force tonight.But once the winds reach over miles an hour, many parishes refuse to respond to 911 calls from those who chose to stay and ride it out. And after spending billions to shore up the levee system that broke here seven years back, the infamous 17th street canal is having no problem containing isaac so far tonight. There are some surges that are going over some roads. We're hearing reports, also over 200,000 people without power so far tonight. When this thing blows past, it's going to be a sweltering few days here in louisiana. Now, to get a full picture, as mentioned, let's check in with our abc news extreme weather team starting with ryan owens, who is southwest of us here in houma, louisiana. Ryan, how are you doing? Hey, bill, good to see you. We're about 60 miles south and to the west of you to be exact. Not at all far from the gulf of mexico and not at all far from the eye of isaac. We expect that will pass directly over us here in houma in an hour or two. So far, it's not raining. We've seen plenty of rain tonight throughout bands. We have seen gusty bands but nothing that approaches hurricane strength. We are hunkered down at the public library here, about 100 blocks from the shelter. People with small children, saying we're not going to take a chance of losing power, not with small children in the house. Ironically, we met one mother there who has a 4-ar-old son whose name is isaac. She said he's getting quite a bit of grief around that shelter when people find out he shares a name with this storm. Bill? You got to wonder how many isaacs will be born nine months or so from tonight. Ryan, thanks so much. Let's go over to ginger zee. She is east of us in gulfport, mississippi sometimes, a forgotten spot, as we talk about, post-katrinaworld. Ginger, how are we holding up tonight? Well, ght, we're right along highway 90. One of the only stretches still dry. This thoroughfare now shut down from bay st. Louis bridge to biloxi bay bridge. So a long stretch all because of flooding that's been one of the big issues here in gulfport. Now wind gusts not as much. We took a drive. It's not pretty. It's not something you want to drive through. There's a mandatory curfew in effect here, especially at the beaches. It's completely ghosttowns. I want to talk wind speed. We haven't seen many more gusts of 40-plus. Really, the place that has it is just in plaquemines parish. You've been mentioning that. 80-mile-an-hour gusts there. And there's a reason for it. The plaquemines parish president actually had parts of his roof taken off and that is because, as that eye wall crossed over plaquemines parish it carries 80-mile-an-hour winds. But it's also on the right side of the storm. As the counterclockwise rotation going to the left, a little science here, just to the northeast of the center of the hurricane is where you'll get that extra, added higher winds. It's because you're adding the speed of the wind itself plus the eye wall. One place they're going to have high winds and also a big old storm surge. Ginger, we'll take extreme weather from you any night. Over to matt gutman in gautier, mississippi with the latest. Bill, I'm about 100 miles east of you in mississippi. The rain and wind starting to pick up feels like small needles stinging your face. Flooding obviously the major issue here. We've been here watching the waters rise. Now, I'm on this pier, several feet above the water and now several feet beneath it. And the wind is forcing it to crumble apart as we speak. One of the reasons that we've seen evacuation orders here in this marina and all these coastal communities, the folks aren't too concerned about the wind that you're seeing. It's all this water. Now, driving through here really seems like ghost town, folks are taking the evacuations ry, very seriy. But as the weather continues to work and there's more bad news, the floodwaters are only going to get worse, bill. This is low tide. By morning, it's supposed to be even higher than this.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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