International Charter activated for floods in USA

Hurricane Isaac at Night
Hurricane Isaac at Night
Credit: NASA

On 31 August 2012, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) activated the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Geosystems Research Institute (GRI) of the University of Mississippi, USA, is handling the project management for this activation.

A Category 1 hurricane had hit New Orleans on Tuesday, 28 August 2012, bringing torrential rain and force-winds to the Gulf Coast. As winds dropped below 75mph, the hurricane downgraded to Tropical Storm Isaac despite expecting another 24 inches of rainfall. The flooding impacted Braithwaite and Louisiana the most where 75 people including their pets were rescued while another 25 still remain on rooftops.

The Tropical Storm Isaac killed 23 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic before heading towards the Gulf Coast. Isaac struck on 28 August 2012 with winds up to 80mph passing through Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. The storm came seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, killing nearly 2,000 people. Plaquemines Parish, just 60 miles southwest of New Orleans, collected flood water topping a nine-foot-high flood bank causing 2,000 residents to be evacuated from the area. No deaths or injuries were reported.