NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Ida knocked retired powerfulness to each of New Orleans and inundated coastal Louisiana communities connected a deadly way done the Gulf Coast that was inactive unfolding and promised much destruction.
Forecasters warned of damaging winds, dense rainfall that could origin flash floods and life-threatening tempest surge arsenic Ida continued its rampage Monday done southeastern Louisiana and past moved into Mississippi. It made landfall connected the aforesaid time 16 years earlier that Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi, and its 150-mph (230 kph) winds tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever deed the mainland.
Ida was already blamed for astatine slightest 1 decease successful Louisiana. Deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a study of idiosyncratic injured by a fallen histrion astatine a location successful Prairieville extracurricular Baton Rouge and confirmed the death, the bureau said Sunday connected Facebook. The unfortunate was not identified.
The powerfulness outage successful New Orleans, meanwhile, heightened the city’s vulnerability to flooding and near hundreds of thousands of radical without aerial conditioning and refrigeration successful sweltering summertime heat.
The 911 strategy successful Orleans Parish besides experienced method difficulties aboriginal Monday. Anyone needing exigency assistance was urged to spell to their nearest occurrence presumption oregon attack their nearest officer, the New Orleans Emergency Communications Center tweeted.
Ida had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) aboriginal Monday — meaning it was a Category 1 hurricane much than 12 hours aft it made landfall successful confederate Louisiana. Forecasters said it would rapidly weaken passim the morning.
The tempest was centered 45 miles (70 kilometers) south-southwest of McComb, a metropolis successful southwestern Mississippi. It was moving northbound astatine 9 mph (15 kph).
As Ida made landfall Sunday, the rising water swamped the obstruction land of Grand Isle and roofs connected buildings astir Port Fourchon blew off. The hurricane past churned done the acold confederate Louisiana wetlands, putting the much than 2 cardinal radical surviving successful and astir New Orleans and Baton Rouge nether threat.
In Baton Rouge, 27-year-old Robert Owens watched the entity successful his vicinity airy up arsenic transformers blew up each astir him.
“Never successful my beingness person I encountered thing this major,” helium said arsenic elephantine gusts rattled his home’s windows.
Significant flooding was reported precocious Sunday nighttime successful LaPlace, a assemblage adjacent to Lake Pontchartrain, meteorologists successful New Orleans said. Many radical took to societal media, pleading for vessel rescues arsenic the h2o rose.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said rescue crews would not beryllium capable to instantly assistance those who were stranded arsenic the tempest raged. And helium warned his authorities to brace for perchance weeks of recovery.
“Many, galore radical are going to beryllium tested successful ways that we tin lone ideate today,” the politician told a quality league Sunday.
But helium added, “There is ever airy aft darkness, and I tin guarantee you we are going to get done this.”
The full metropolis of New Orleans precocious Sunday was without power, according to metropolis officials. The city’s powerfulness supplier — Entergy — confirmed that the lone powerfulness successful the metropolis was coming from generators, the city’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness said connected Twitter. The connection included a screenshot that cited “catastrophic transmission damage” for the powerfulness failure.
The metropolis relies connected Entergy for backup powerfulness for the pumps that region tempest h2o from metropolis streets. Rain from Ida is expected to trial that pump system.
Overall, much than 1 cardinal customers successful Louisiana were without power, and different 80,000 oregon truthful successful Mississippi were successful the dark, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages nationwide.
In New Orleans, upwind tore astatine awnings and caused buildings to sway and h2o to spill retired of Lake Pontchartrain. The Coast Guard bureau determination received much than a twelve reports of breakaway barges, said Petty Officer Gabriel Wisdom. Officials said Ida’s swift intensification to a monolithic hurricane successful conscionable 3 days near nary clip to signifier a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans’ 390,000 residents.
In Lafitte, astir 35 miles (55 kilometers) southbound of New Orleans, a escaped barge struck a bridge, according to Jefferson Parish officials. And U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Ricky Boyette said engineers detected a “negative flow” connected the Mississippi River arsenic a effect of tempest surge.
Ida was churning successful 1 of the nation’s astir important concern corridors — location to a ample fig of petrochemical sites.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality was successful interaction with much than 1,500 lipid refineries, chemic plants and different delicate facilities and volition respond to immoderate reported contamination leaks oregon petroleum spills, bureau spokesperson Greg Langley said.
Louisiana is besides location to 2 atomic powerfulness plants, 1 adjacent New Orleans and different astir 27 miles (about 43 kilometers) northwest of Baton Rouge.
The portion getting Ida’s worst is besides already reeling from a resurgence of COVID-19 infections owed to debased vaccination rates and the highly contagious delta variant.
New Orleans hospitals planned to thrust retired the tempest with their beds astir full, arsenic likewise stressed hospitals elsewhere had small country for evacuated patients. And shelters for those fleeing their homes carried an added hazard of becoming flashpoints for caller infections.
Comparisons to the Aug. 29, 2005, landfall of Katrina weighed heavy connected residents. Katrina was blamed for 1,800 deaths arsenic it caused levee breaches and catastrophic flooding successful New Orleans. Now facing Ida much than a decennary and a fractional later, officials emphasized that the city’s levee strategy has been massively improved.
President Joe Biden approved a large catastrophe declaration for Louisiana. He said Sunday the state was praying for the champion for the authorities and would enactment its “full mightiness down the rescue and recovery” effort erstwhile the tempest passes.
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