Across the Gulf, flood victims are comparing Isaac's high waters to their memories of Hurricane Katrina – and they are focused on bouncing back. Plunged into the worst of Isaac's flooding, people in Plaquemines Parish waited for help on rooftops. In Slidell, Harley Himber had to abandon her home by boat after the flood left her surrounded. "Any direction you walk out, it s like a pool, it's like a swimming pool in every single direction," she said. But residents said the flooding is nothing like it was in Katrina – and it's not enough to make them leave home.
Kirk strengthened to a hurricane far out in the Atlantic Thursday morning as Isaac weakened to a tropical depression but still produced heavy rains and severe weather in Louisiana and Mississippi.
As of 11 p.m., Kirk was a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph as it moved north-northwest at 12 mph about 870 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Kirk was expected to continue strengthening over the next two days but remained no threat to land. The storm is expected to turn toward the north on Friday and eventually accelerate to the north-northeast and away from the U.S.
Further out in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Leslie formed on Thursday.
As of 11 p.m., Leslie had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph as it moved west at 18 mph about 1010 miles east of the Leeward Islands. The storm was expected to move toward the west-northwest during the next couple of days.
According to the NHC, Leslie could strengthen to a hurricane by Friday night.
There were no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
Meanwhile, Isaac continued moving north-northwest over Louisiana and was expected to continue weakening as it moves over land, according to the NHC.
As of 5 p.m., Isaac had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph as it moved at 12 mph about 35 miles west-northwest of Monroe, Louisiana and about 40 miles south-southeast of El Dorado, Arkansas. All coastal warnings were discontinued, the NHC said in its last update on the storm.
Water levels were high along the northern Gulf coast and more rain was expected in the area throughout Thursday. While the levee system in New Orleans spared the city from major damage, flooding was reported in rural areas of the state and in Mississippi.