September 23, 2021

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At Least One Person Is Dead As Ida Leaves A Million People Without Power In Louisiana – BuzzFeed News

3 min read
Eric Gay / AP

A firefighter assesses damages to downtown buildings resulting from the effects of Hurricane Ida, on Monday, Aug. 30, in New Orleans.

At least one person died as Hurricane Ida slammed Louisiana on Sunday with 150 mph winds, damaging buildings, uprooting trees and power lines, causing 911 outages, and leaving a million people, including all of New Orleans, without power.

Ida weakened to a tropical storm early Monday, and is moving to Mississippi as officials warned of life-threatening flash flooding and dangerous storm surges over parts of southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and southern Alabama. Tornado threats also continued across the central Gulf states, the National Weather Service said.

One person died on Sunday after being possibly injured from a fallen tree at a residence in Ascension Parish, the sheriff’s office said.

“I fully expect that the death count will go up considerably throughout the day,” Gov. John Bel Edwards told MSNBC on Monday, as search and rescue efforts were underway.

Many 911 call centers throughout Louisiana were down, and people in New Orleans with emergencies were asked to go to their nearest fire station or flag down an officer.

More than 1,600 personnel, including the National Guard, have begun conducting search and rescue across the state, Edwards said.

The entire city of New Orleans lost power on Sunday night because of Ida’s “catastrophic damage” to its transmission system, according to Entergy, the main power utility in the city.

The company said it will likely take days to determine the extent of the damage to the power grid in the city and “far longer” to restore electrical transmission in the region. Those in the hardest-hit areas could experience power outages for weeks, Entergy said.

As of Monday morning, a little over a million customers across the state were without power, according to PowerOutage.US. Power outages also affected more than 100,000 people in Mississippi.

One of the reasons New Orleans is without power. This transmission line that runs across the Mississippi River from Avondale to Harahan had a collapsed tower. Lines are literally in the River. #hurricanida #lawx #neworleans

Twitter: @brianemfinger
Even as the threat of severe weather had passed New Orleans, authorities warned residents that it was not safe to leave their homes on Monday.

While Edwards said Monday the state’s levee system performed very well, the mayor of the town of Jean Lafitte said that its tidal surge levees had overtopped on Sunday night, leaving up to 200 people in “imminent danger,” according to the National Weather Service.

Some residents, trapped in their attics or rooftops, posted their addresses on social media in an attempt to be rescued.

Jefferson Parish received approximately 200 calls for rescue as people endured “a very, very long night,” Cynthia Lee Sheng, president of Jefferson Parish, told the Today Show.

She said a lot of “frantic” family members hadn’t heard from their loves one through the night as there was no power and communication lines were down.

Here’s what it looks like in lower Jefferson where water rescues are ongoing for the Laffite area. This viewer is in Crown Point and says the water is surrounding the house. They’re safe. #BeOn4

Twitter: @paytonmalonewx

A mandatory curfew is in effect for all of Jefferson Parish until at least 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Residents were asked to minimize wastewater leaving their homes to avoid overloading the sewer system, with power outages increasing the likelihood of sewerage backups.

In Lafourche Parish, re-entry will be delayed for up to a week, maybe longer, as roads were unpassable, the Parish said. Lafourche, which has a population of nearly 98,000, is also under a boil water advisory with many residents without water.

There were reports of damage and loss of power in hospitals that are already struggling with the deluge of COVID-19 patients — with some facilities having to move patients around, and others planning to evacuate patients.

This is a breaking news article. Please come back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

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