Eastern Iowans Keeping An Eye on Hurricane Isaac's Path
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Families in Iowa live hundreds of miles away from those bearing the brunt of Hurricane Isaac.
As the storm churns in the gulf, however, anxiety and worries continue to build in the Hawkeye State. All people can do, though, is simply hope they can keep in contact with their family and friend down south to make sure they are safe.
So far, the storm’s arrival has done a lot of damage for a category one hurricane. Hundreds of thousands are without power Wednesday morning. The storm brought sustained winds of around 80 miles-per-hour and a lot of rain.
Erika Brighi lives in Cedar Rapids, which is far away from her Aunt Deborah Dickinson in Slidell, Louisiana. That's a city that is about 30 miles northeast of New Orleans and right where the storm hovered on Wednesday morning.
Dickinson said she had done everything she could to prepare. The family put patio furniture and other outside belongings into their pool and then covered it up to keep the items from flying away.
Neighbors also boarded up their windows. Dickinson said forecasters expected the worst part of the storm to hit Slidell. As of 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, Dickinson didn't have any power. She said a steady rain started Tuesday night and came down all night long and into the morning. She was most concerned about the rain.
"They're expecting it to be a category one which is about ninety miles per hour winds... it's going to be that and rain for 36 hours. I don't know how much rain they're expecting, I think it's somewhere between 12 and 16,” Dickinson said.
"I made sure their phones would be charged and everything would be good to go and had everything ready as far as a charger in the car so they can keep their phones on. Probably hoping to hear from them every few hours to see how everything is going,” Brighi said.
Both of them said Hurricane Isaac was bringing back memories from Hurricane Katrina.
“I am worried. It brings back a lot of the same emotions that came with hurricane Katrina,” Brighi said.
Dickinson evacuated her home and stayed in Cedar Rapids until it was safe to go back after that storm. As of Tuesday, authorities had not asked her to evacuate for Hurricane Isaac.
Jennifer Gideon lives in Anamosa, nearly 900 miles from her best friend Pamela Tucker in Natchez, Mississippi. That city sits in the southwest corner of the state and is right in the Hurricane's path. Tucker prepared for the worst by checking her generator and stocking up on water. She took a photo at a local store where shelves that used to be filled with jugs of water are now empty.
The Mississippi woman reported feeling very anxious. One of the worst parts of a storm like this is that with power outages and poor cell phone signals, families often lose touch with family and friends, like Gideon in Iowa.
"That means people that are worried about you are even more worried. It puts a level of stress on you because you can't dial 911. It's absolutely, if I had to choose, the worst part, just feeling cut off when that happens,” Tucker said.
"I probably won't get to talk to her for a few days, so I'm a little upset about that being that we talk all of the time,” Gideon said.
Tucker told us that it was tough to feel prepared for Isaac, especially after she remembers feeling ready for Hurricane Katrina. She said that storm ended up being much worse than experts predicted.
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