August 30, 2021

USA: Hurricane Ida Slams Into State Of Louisiana Leaving Destruction In Its Path, Levee Overtopped Leaving Homes Under Water. Power Is Out For More Than 1 Million; Residents Urged To Remain Indoors

KHOU11 published August 30, 2021: Watch: Powerful Hurricane Ida rips through Lafourche Parish, Louisiana
Live Storms Media published August 30, 2021: 08-30-2021 Braithwaite, Louisiana - Hurricane Ida Levee Overtopped - homes deep in water - drone view.
Live Storms Media published August 30, 2021: 08-30-2021 Lafitte, Louisiana Hurricane Ida storm surge forces widespread water rescues- drone-ground-sot.

The Wall Street Journal
written by Arian Campo-Flores and Rachel Wolfe
Monday August 30, 2021

Storm made landfall in southeastern Louisiana Sunday on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as Category 4 hurricane.

Louisianans woke up Monday to a landscape ravaged by Hurricane Ida and the grim prospect of going days or even weeks without electricity and running water in some areas.

The powerful storm, which made landfall in southeastern Louisiana Sunday on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, left more than one million customers without power. Flooded roadways, downed power lines and debris created numerous hazards, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. Service outages at 911 centers persisted, and cell service was spotty.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed the first death from the storm Sunday after deputies responded Sunday night to reports of a person injured from a fallen tree and arrived to find the victim deceased.

“Sadly we know there will be others,” Mr. Edwards said.

Ida was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday with sustained winds of about 40 miles an hour as it moved north over western Mississippi.

All of New Orleans lost power Sunday night, and more than one million residents statewide remained without power Monday morning, according to data from Entergy New Orleans said it would be able to give a timeline of when power could be restored in the city once damage assessments are completed.

The company warned Sunday that some of the hardest-hit areas could face power outages for weeks, though 90% of customers may have theirs restored sooner.

“With extensive damage, we have a lot of rebuilding ahead of us,” the company said in a tweet Monday morning.

Robert Burton, a 33-year-old sign installer who rode out Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, said Ida was even more intense. The storm lifted his carport and tore it down. He lacked power and running water on Monday morning and was trying to figure out how to leave the city.

“I didn’t think it was going to get that bad,” Mr. Burton said. “I was pretty terrified.”

Penny Roberts, a 46-year-old university program director, and Zac Sieffert, a 47-year-old camera operator, rode out the storm in the Pigeon Town neighborhood. Their house, which was built at the turn of the 20th century and has withstood many strong storms, made it through Ida, but seemed to struggle as it shuddered in the fierce winds. On Monday morning, large uprooted trees blocked driveways in their neighborhood and tree limbs littered the ground.

“We’re exhausted,” Mr. Sieffert said. “It’s hard to determine our next move when we’re already worn out and know the next few days will be just as tiring without relief in sight.”

On Sunday night, President Biden approved the governor’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, activating further federal aid for recovery efforts. Mr. Edwards said the state deployed more than 1,600 people to work on search and rescue efforts by Monday.

Ida now sits about 40 miles southwest of Jackson, Miss., but the threat of dangerous storm surges and flooding continued to grip southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southern Alabama, the National Hurricane Center said. The center said the storm surge could flood levees outside of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, put in place after Katrina and managed by the Flood Protection Authority-East.

On Sunday, the authority said it closed the entire system consisting of levees and other protections in anticipation of the storm. Ahead of the storm, New Orleans had ordered residents living outside the $14.5 billion hurricane risk-reduction system to evacuate.

Levees performed extremely well during the storm, Mr. Edwards said Monday. “But, at the end of the day, the storm surge, the rain, the wind, all had devastating impacts across southeast Louisiana,” he said.

Cynthia Lee Sheng, president of Jefferson Parish, which abuts New Orleans, issued a mandatory curfew from 6 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday, urging residents to stay off the roads as first responders worked to assess damage and rescue residents.

“We have got to put this community back together,” Ms. Sheng said on NBC’s “Today Show” Monday morning. “It is no time to come back. I know everybody misses home, but it is no time to come back right now.”

Heavy rain from Ida will continue to pour across the region, with another four to 8 inches expected to fall through Tuesday morning, with similar rainfall across central Mississippi and western Alabama through Monday night. Between 3 to 6 inches of rain will hit the Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley and the central and southern Appalachians later this week, the National Hurricane Center said.

More than 133,000 customers in Mississippi were without power Monday morning, according to, with outages predominantly affecting residents in southwestern parts of the state.

Wireless phone carriers reported spotty service across Louisiana Monday after the storm whipped cell towers, fiber-optic cables and network hubs. Many cell towers include backup batteries that could keep service online for a day or more until authorities restore power to the electrical grid, but damage to the infrastructure linking those towers could take longer to fix. There were few reports of network failures in nearby Mississippi.

ATandT Inc. said its Louisiana cellular network was running at 60% of its normal coverage level, with significant blackouts in New Orleans and Baton Rouge caused by power outages, flooding and storm damage. The wireless carrier said Monday it was wheeling in mobile cell towers and building up a base camp for technicians working to restore service.

A Verizon Communications Inc. spokeswoman said it was too early to tell how much of its wireless network the storm knocked offline. The company said it has portable generators with enough gasoline and diesel to keep cell sites powered.

“Once the storm subsides and it is safe to do so, our crews will begin site assessments to prioritize repairs, move mobile assets into place as needed, and activate a massive refueling operation to keep sites running until commercial power is restored,” the company said in a statement.

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