Nearly 20 died in Haiti when Isaac was first gathering strength and speed. Today, Louisiana suffered the first U.S.-based fatality — just as the hurricane was being downgraded back to a tropical storm. Prayers for the victim and for everyone in the storm’s weakened, but still treacherous, path. While the storm rages, tales of heroism are coming to light. God bless ’em! reports that Jesse Shaffer, 25, of Braithwaite, La., and his father, Jesse Shaffer, Sr. 53, have two people assisting them in the rescues, including a Woodlawn firefighter.

“We’ve rescued at least 23 people, including children,” Jesse Shaffer told the website. Shaffer was reached by a Times-Picayune reporter on his cellphone Wednesday morning while he was still aboard his boat conducting rescues.

Plaquemine Parish president Billy Nungesser confirmed that the Shaffers are rescuing east bank residents, including a woman and her 5-month-old infant from a roof.

“He lives here, he knows the area,” Nungesser said.