10/5/2012 - New report provides closer look at Hurricane Isaac's track
With much of the economic and property insurance losses known regarding Hurricane Isaac, a new report is providing a clearer picture of the unusual track the late August storm took and how strong it was.
According to catastrophe risk modeling agency RMS, Isaac - which was officially declared a significant storm on August 21 - maintained a tropical depression status for the majority of the time until being upgraded to a hurricane when it was just outside of the Mississippi River. It carried maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, which could be felt as many as 60 miles away from the storm's eye. Some reports indicated that at one point during the storm, Isaac brought wind gusts topping out at 106 mph.
Though blustery conditions were considerable, the most distinguishing characteristic of Isaac was the amount of flooding that it caused, RMS notes. According to the Hydrometerological Prediction Center, the maximum rainfall that accumulated was 20 inches in parts of New Orleans. The unofficial total, however, was closer to two feet, which was recorded in Arabi, Louisiana.
Forecasters say the slow-moving nature of Isaac enabled water levels to accumulate as high as they did.