Homes are surrounded by flooded water seen after Isaac passed through the region, in Plaquemines Parish, La., Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. Isaac staggered toward central Louisiana early Thursday, its weakening winds still potent enough to drive storm surge into portions of the coast and the River Parishes between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- More residents of storm-ravaged Louisiana are being asked to leave their homes.
Officials in St. Tammany Parish have ordered a mandatory evacuation of areas south of the Pearl River diversion canal. The officials are worried a lock on a canal will fail. Authorities say the order could affect anywhere from several hundred to 2,000 residents in the rural area north of Slidell (sly-DEL').
The number of homes and businesses without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana is down from more than 900,000. But more than 400,000 are still in the dark.
In New Orleans, most of the downtown area and the French Quarter are back on line.
Meanwhile, the remnants of Hurricane Isaac are pushing their way up the Mississippi valley, spinning off severe thunderstorms and at least four tornadoes. The National Weather Service says two twisters touched down in rural areas of north-central Illinois and at least two touched down in rural southeast Missouri. There are no reports of damage in Illinois. Missouri officials say some power lines caught on fire.
The storm has dumped up to 5 inches of rain in parts of Illinois. And the National Weather Service says it's bringing more rain and some drought relief to parts of the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Oil companies are beginning to return workers to drilling rigs and production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Offshore sites in the gulf were abandoned as the storm that became Hurricane Isaac approached. As of Friday, more than 94 percent of the daily oil production in the Gulf had been shut in. But production is expected to ramp up soon. Companies began redeploying workers Friday and updated production figures are expected Saturday afternoon.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says that, when Isaac was approaching, 499 of 596 oil and gas production platforms were evacuated, as were 48 of 76 rigs that were drilling for oil or gas in the Gulf.
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) -- For all the lives it took when it plowed across the Gulf Coast in 2005, Hurricane Katrina may have saved some during Isaac.
Officials took lessons from Katrina and applied them to their emergency plans. Storm shelters that can house tens of thousands of people have been built across Mississippi, communication systems have been upgraded and there are more stringent building codes.
But more than anything, Katrina taught people just how bad a hurricane can be.
Donald Langham, emergency operations director for coastal Jackson County, says people "are much more aware of what can happen."
Brenda Johns lost nearly everything when Katrina destroyed her house in Long Beach.
She wasn't taking any chances with Isaac even though it was weaker. She packed up and evacuated.
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) -- Isaac is gone and now the focus turns to cleanup with an eye to rising rivers in south Mississippi.
In Jackson County, Emergency Management Director Donald Langham says local officials will being documenting Isaac's damage.
He says the assessments process will ramp up next week, Langham said, as workers photograph damages, make reports and measure water lines.
The National Guard was still being staged in the Helena area to assist with calls.
The Pascagoula and Escatawpa rivers continued to rise Saturday with more flooding in the forecast over the next few days, according to the National Weather Service.
Crews have sand and debris to clear off U.S. Highway 90 and motorists are asked to stay off the highway and let them get the work done.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi utilities are chipping away at power outages around the state as Isaac weary residents begin the recovery from Isaac.
The Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, which had the largest number of outages, reports 12,160 customers without service early Saturday. Included in this figure are approximately 950 meters that can't be reconnected because of flooding or damage.
Entergy Mississippi reported 13,919 customers without serviced as of 9 a.m. Friday. Total system outages, including Louisiana and Arkansas topped 437,000.
Mississippi Power Co. said it had restored power to all its customers who could receive it just before midnight Thursday. The Southern Co. unit said that at points during the storm, nearly one third of its 186,000 customers lost power.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Insurance claims from Hurricane Isaac are trickling in, with one estimate saying losses to insurers could total $1.2 billon.
AIR Worldwide, which models losses for insurers, says insurers could pay between $700 million and $2 billion depending on how much damage Isaac's winds and rains produce.
State Farm Insurance Cos., the largest homeowners insurer in Louisiana and Mississippi, says it has received more than 4,000 homeowners claims as of Friday. The company says it has also received more than 1,000 auto damage claims.
Other companies have received fewer claims. Bob Warner, claims manager for Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance, says loss claims don't appear to be coming in at a high rate.
FEMA says it won't have an estimate of federal flood insurance claims for weeks.
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