- - Sunday, September 30, 2012

BATON ROUGE — Hurricane Isaac damaged nearly 59,000 dwellings across southeast Louisiana. The figure is much more than officials estimated a week after the storm made landfall on Aug. 28.

The governor’s office of homeland security and emergency preparedness said the most severe damage was done to houses and rental units in St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes, where flooding swamped some homes with several feet of water.

The latest estimates are for 46,663 owner-occupied houses and 12,289 rental units.

The damage data come from door-to-door inspections of more than 120,000 homes done by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after people registered for federal aid.

The devastation was less than one-third of the housing damage caused by the back-to-back blows of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Back then, more than 200,000 homes were damaged.

CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles drivers heeded freeway-widening warnings

LOS ANGELES — The demolition of a bridge that forced the weekend closure of one of the nation’s busiest freeways is on schedule, while many Los Angeles drivers heeded warnings to steer clear of the area, and officials expect to reopen the lanes as planned Monday morning.

Crews working round-the-clock since Friday evening have taken down all but two columns of the Mulholland Drive bridge over Interstate 405, Rick Jagger, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said Sunday morning. The project is part of a $1 billion project to widen the freeway to accommodate a new carpool lane.

“Everything’s on pace for the 5 a.m. Monday reopening,” Mr. Jagger said.

Carmageddon II, the sequel to last year’s shutdown of a 10-miles stretch of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass, is going according to script as motorists heeded months of warnings to stay off the road.

Drivers faced additional challenges Sunday as the Herbalife Los Angeles Triathlon temporarily closed many surface streets between Venice Beach and downtown LA. Metro detoured 42 bus lines, which meant riders could experience some delays, Mr. Jagger said.

Governor signs bill to limit life sentencing of juveniles

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday announced signing a bill that could one day bring the release of some criminals who were sentenced as juveniles to life in prison.

There are 309 inmates serving life-without-parole sentences in California for murders committed when they were younger than 18.

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