BELLE CHASE, La. — Floodwaters from Isaac receded, power came on and businesses opened Friday ahead of the holiday weekend, the beginning of what is certain to be a slow recovery for Louisiana.
Newly-nominated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited flood-ravaged communities, and President Barack Obama said he would arrive Monday, appearances this part of the country is all too familiar with after Katrina and the Gulf oil spill.
Meanwhile, the leftovers from the storm pushed into the drought-stricken Midwest, knocking out power to thousands of people in Arkansas. At least six people were killed in the storm in Mississippi Louisiana.
In Lafitte, a fishing village south of New Orleans, Romney saw soaked homes, roads covered with brown water and debris-littered neighborhoods. The GOP-friendly community is outside of the federal levee system that spared New Orleans and it lay on an exposed stretch of land near the Gulf.
Romney met along a highway with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and they talked about challenges facing the stricken area, which relies on fishing for its livelihood. He also spoke to town officials and emergency workers.
"I'm here to learn and obviously to draw some attention to what's going on here," Romney told the governor. "So that people around the country know that people down here need help."
At one point, Romney and Jindal talked to a man in waders, a straw hat and holding a neon yellow "Mitt Is Our Man" handwritten sign. The man complained about the area's lack of protection from flooding.
The town is located just outside a region that is protected by levees and other flood protection measures built after Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans in 2005. The Army Corps of Engineers spent about $13 billion on the system.
Richard Riley rode out the storm in his home. Even though the water was receding Friday, he decided it was time the leave. He walked about a mile and found rescuers, who took him to family members.
Riley said he favored building new flood protection for the area, especially after Isaac brought in a surprising amount of water. Riley, a Republican, welcomed visits from Romney and the president. He said he wanted Obama to help make that happen.
"He needs to see the devastation and allocate the money that's needed to build new levees or do whatever is needed to protect us," Riley said.
Crown Point, Lafitte and other nearby settlements that jut inland from the Gulf are accustomed to high water driven by hurricanes. But Isaac, a relatively weak storm by the standards of Betsy and Katrina, pushed in much more water than expected after it stalled after landfall.