Similarities: Hurricane Isaac and Tropical Storm Lee
8/29/2012 (Updated 7:25:37 PM)(Source: Travis Eldridge)
BINGHAMTON -- It's an all too familiar sight for people in the Southern Tier and New Orleans. Flood walls struggling to hold back water, with streets and homes being completely submerged. Similar to a year ago with Tropical Storm Lee, it's a similar problem that Hurricane Isaac is raining down on Louisiana.
"As with here, for New Orleans right now the system is moving very slowly," said Mark Pellerito of the National Weather Service. "With any tropical system, if the system is moving slowly, the main threat becomes heavy rainfall or flooding."
Wednesday, Isaac was moving at just six miles per hour, soaking the southern coast of Louisiana with as much as 14 inches of rain, with some areas seeing as much as 20.
In comparison to Louisiana, many parts of the Southern Tier saw anywhere from 6-12 inches of rain a year ago. Enough for water to flow over these flood walls, but what they're getting along the Gulf Coast is even worse.
"An inch of rain in an hour is not terrible, but an inch of rain every hour for consecutive hours?" said Pellerito. "Now you're talking 8-12 inches with some isolated bands well over a foot, and that's a real problem."
That constant rain caused more problems similar to what New Orleans residents saw after Hurricane Katrina, and this storm is one of the first major tests to flood control improvements made along the coast. After two major floods in the area, the question, is the Southern Tier now more prepared?
"You can never control mother nature, but I believe we are more prepared than we were in the past," said Bijoy Datta from the Broome County Executive's Office. "It's one of those things, unfortunately, the more you go through a bad experience, the better off you are to go through a bad experience the next time. Hopefully it won't happen again soon, but you can't control mother nature so if disaster strikes you have to be ready."
Unfortunately the only way to find out if the county has truly done enough, as folks in Louisiana are finding out, is to deal with a disaster again.
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