Hurricane Ida slammed Louisiana with devastating unit arsenic a Category 4 hurricane Sunday, leaving astatine slightest 1 idiosyncratic dormant and much than 1 cardinal customers without powerfulness arsenic it flooded homes, ripped disconnected roofs and trapped residents successful unsafe rising waters.
While the scope of the harm won’t beryllium wide until time breaks Monday and teams tin measure the chaos — archetypal reports bespeak the concern for galore residents who stayed down is dire.
The tempest slowed aft it made landfall astir 1 p.m. ET Sunday adjacent Port Fourchon, delivering catastrophic winds and torrential rains for hours.
Ida weakened to a tropical tempest aboriginal Monday with sustained winds of 60 mph and the continued menace of life-threatening flash flooding.
“We’ve suffered flooding before. We suffered storms before. But I’ve ne'er seen h2o similar this successful my life. It conscionable deed america successful the worst mode imaginable and it was specified a monolithic tempest that it conscionable wholly devastated us,” said Tim Kerner Jr, politician of Jean Lafitte, southbound of New Orleans.
Levees were overtopped successful his metropolis and residents were forced to their roofs, waiting for rescue boats to arrive, Kerner said.
“We’re going to marque definite we get arsenic galore boats arsenic possible,” to assistance with rescues, helium said, adding that boats were acceptable to determination successful arsenic soon arsenic the upwind broke. “It truly breaks your bosom erstwhile you cognize those radical and you can’t get to those people.”
Ida slammed into Louisiana connected the 16th day of Hurricane Katrina, tying with 2020’s Hurricane Laura and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 arsenic the strongest ever to deed the state.
More than a cardinal customers successful Louisiana were without powerfulness arsenic of aboriginal Monday morning, according to PowerOutage.US. Among them is each of Orleans Parish, which was deed with “catastrophic transmission damage,” the metropolis bureau says successful a Tweet Sunday night. More than 93,000 customers were without powerfulness successful Mississippi, PowerOutage.US reported.
Entergy Louisiana said immoderate of its customers could beryllium without powerfulness for weeks. And the tempest surge of up to 15 feet and winds arsenic beardown arsenic 150 mph could permission parts of southeast Louisiana “uninhabitable for weeks oregon months,” according to a section hurricane connection from the National Weather Service successful New Orleans
Residents trapped by rising waters successful their homes
In northwestern Plaquemines Parish, flash flooding was reported aboriginal Monday greeting aft a levee failed adjacent Highway 23, according to the National Weather Service successful New Orleans. Based connected the fig of calls, texts and emails coming from the area, Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser earlier told CNN helium believes determination were astir apt “several dozen” radical who didn’t permission the parish and were waiting retired the storm.
Jefferson Parish has received calls from radical asking for assistance arsenic h2o roseate to their thorax successful their homes, Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng told CNN Sunday night. But with precocious winds, flooding and reports of hazards, including downed powerlines and uprooted trees, Sheng said the unsafe conditions person prevented exigency crews from helping.
Tornadoes volition proceed to beryllium a menace for the Gulf Coast done Monday, with the menace expanding into cardinal and bluish Mississippi and Alabama.
The tempest is expected to crook northeast Monday and caput to the mediate Tennessee Valley and Upper Ohio Valley done Wednesday.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency advised residents crossed the authorities Sunday to hole for Ida, informing that dense rainfall and flooding are imaginable successful areas inactive recovering from a flood exigency past weekend.
Until then, Louisiana volition carnivore the brunt of the rain, flooding and wind.
“I haven’t seen relentless upwind [like this] successful my lifetime,” St. Bernard Parish president Guy McInnis told CNN.
Hospitals damaged and roadways closed
Resources to assistance those affected by the tempest person been impacted arsenic well, with infirmary unit relying connected generators to support life-saving machines moving and sleeping connected aerial mattresses successful their workplaces. And New Orleans 9-1-1 reported method difficulties amid powerfulness outages arsenic of Monday morning, encouraging anyone experiencing an exigency to find their nearest occurrence presumption oregon attack the nearest officer.
Two of the 3 hospitals successful Lafourche Parish sustained harm successful Sunday’s epic storm, Laforche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre told CNN.
A information of the extortion of The Lady of the Sea General Hospital successful Galliano was ripped disconnected arsenic Ida came ashore, Webre told CNN’s Pamela Brown. The region was besides forced to relocate its exigency operations halfway to a antithetic gathering aft the archetypal building’s extortion began to leak Sunday, Webre told CNN.
Hospitals dealing with tempest harm and attending to victims of the hurricane were mostly already stretched by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Before going into this storm, our infirmary was already astir astatine capacity,” Ochsner Health System’s Dr. Derek Smith told CNN. “We cognize the coming hours are going to beryllium adjacent much of a test.”
The hospital, which is adjacent New Orleans, is moving connected generators, and unit determination person been locked successful — sleeping connected aerial mattresses and moving astir the timepiece to attraction for patients, Smith said.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, hadn’t yet felt the worst of Ida erstwhile Mayor Toby Barker spoke to CNN Sunday night, but officials determination were bracing for harm from the tempest and accent connected their hospitals.
“We cognize that some our hospitals are astatine capableness due to the fact that of Covid, and we truly request everyone contiguous conscionable to marque bully decisions,” Barker said.
The tempest has besides impacted entree for rescuers to get successful and residents to get out.
The Kerner Swing Bridge successful Jefferson Parish was deed by a barge Sunday arsenic Ida bushed down connected Louisiana, according to the parish government, prompting officials to pass residents it whitethorn not beryllium harmless to thrust across.
“Any residents that whitethorn inactive beryllium successful Lafitte are advised to not effort to thrust connected this bridge. We bash not judge it is structurally safe,” Jefferson Parish tweeted.
And owed to fallen trees connected the roadway, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development unopen down astir 22 miles of Interstate 10, a large thoroughfare that transits the authorities eastbound to west.
In Lafourche Parish, each roadworthy was impassible Sunday night, Webre told CNN.
Governor asks for assistance with ‘one of the strongest storms to ever deed Louisiana’
Once the tempest does calm, determination are 21 municipality hunt and rescue teams from astir 15 states acceptable to search, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told CNN Sunday.
“At the tallness of a hurricane you can’t get archetypal responders retired due to the fact that it’s conscionable simply excessively dangerous. The upwind speeds don’t let for that,” helium explained. “Just arsenic soon arsenic we can, we volition beryllium engaged successful precise robust hunt and rescue operations.”
Sunday night, President Joe Biden granted Edwards’ petition for a large catastrophe declaration, ordering national agencies to supplement authorities and section betterment efforts.
“It’s pugnacious each implicit southeast Louisiana,” Edwards said, adding “This is simply a precise devastating storm.”