PHOENIX, LA (August 28, 2012) – Residents of this community, which was rebuilt in large part by Covenanters from across North America after Hurricane Katrina destroyed it, were ordered Monday to evacuate in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac.
Forecasters expect Isaac to hit tonight or early Wednesday. If it hits Wednesday, Isaac will have struck seven years to the day that Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast.
Phoenix is located in low-lying Plaquemines Parish, which is not protected by the New Orleans levee system. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune website, a nine-foot tall levee protects the east bank, where forecasters currently predict a 5.5-foot storm surge. A five-foot levee protects part of the west bank. National Weather Service models currently show a storm surge of 4.5 feet.
There were 180 homes in Phoenix before Katrina hit the area leaving just 15 repairable houses standing. The community was home to more than 300.
By 2008—three years after Katrina struck—more than 2,000 people from roughly 250 Covenant congregations had worked in Phoenix, Louisiana, and other parts of Plaquemines Parish, a Covenant News Service story reported at the time.
A video, Rebuilding Phoenix, recounts the work of Covenanters in the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
While still a tropical storm, Isaac passed over Haiti, killing several people and demolishing several tent cities where thousands of people continue to live since an earthquake devastated much of the nation in 2010.