BELLE CHASSE, La (AP):
As Isaac's drenching rains and cooling winds drifted north of the Gulf Coast yesterday, heat and humidity moved back in - along with frustration, exhaustion and uncertainty. People stuck inside stuffy, powerless homes were comparatively lucky.
Thousands of others were displaced by floodwaters and had no idea where they would end up next. Some boarded buses to faraway shelters.
"I'm with my family, and my wife's with her family," said 35-year-old construction worker Jarvis Mackey as the couple and their two children boarded a bus to Shreveport, 51/2 hours away from their Port Sulphur home, which lay underwater.
"All we can do is pray - pray we come back home to something," Mackey said.
LaPlace resident Roshonda Girrad was staying in a state-run shelter in Alexandria, 200 miles from her home. She was waiting for the chest-deep waters in her neighbourhood to recede.
The massive, beige, windowless shelter next to Louisiana State University's Alexandria campus is currently home to almost 1,600 evacuees who either drove themselves or were bussed in from various parishes inundated by rain from Isaac and the rising water from Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas.
"The showers are horrible. The food is horrible," Girrad said. "I'm not from around here. I don't know what's going on. We're in the dark."
As the Labour Day holiday weekend got under way, so did what was certain to be a long, slow recovery for Louisiana.
Motorists ventured out as power came back on and businesses reopened, clogging intersections with no traffic lights and forming long lines at gas stations.
The Mississippi River opened to limited traffic, and in New Orleans, the normally lively French Quarter awoke from its nearly week-long slumber.
Isaac dumped as much as 16 inches of rain in some spots, and about 500 people had to be rescued by boat or high-water vehicles. Thousands remained in shelters yesterday.
At least seven people were killed in the storm in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Isaac remained a powerful storm system carrying rain and the threat of flash flooding as it lumbered across Arkansas into Missouri and then up the Ohio River valley over the weekend, the National Weather Service said.
Meanwhile, newly nominated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited flood-ravaged communities, and President Barack Obama said he would arrive tomorrow (Monday).