NewsHurricane "Ida": At least one death and severe damage

Hurricane "Ida": At least one death and severe damage

The true extent of the destruction is by no means foreseeable, but first impressions lead to fear of bad things. President Biden promises to help rebuild.

New Orleans – Hurricane “Ida” caused considerable damage in the southern US state of Louisiana and claimed at least one human life.

In the community of Prairieville, a person was fatally injured by a falling tree, said the local sheriff’s office on Sunday evening (local time) on Facebook. The place is southeast of Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. In addition, more than a million customers in the state and in neighboring Mississippi were without electricity, according to data from the website.

Massive flooding and damage from the hurricane could be seen in photos and videos. Local media reported that houses were destroyed, streets were flooded, and trees and electricity pylons were broken. In the town of Galliano, the storm tore off parts of the roof of a hospital. But nobody was injured.

Low-lying areas southwest of the city of New Orleans, for which evacuation orders had previously been issued, were particularly hard hit. The first reports of serious damage also came from the small town of Houma further north with around 30,000 inhabitants, which was directly in the path of the storm. Floods and damage to buildings were seen in New Orleans.

Memories of “Katrina”

As an “extremely dangerous hurricane” of level four, “Ida” hit land on Sunday noon (local time). The National Hurricane Center in Miami (NHC) warned of heavy rain, a “life-threatening storm surge” and catastrophic gusts of wind. The cyclone brought wind speeds of around 240 kilometers per hour when it reached the coast. Around nine hours later, the NHC downgraded the storm to level two (out of five), but the gusts still reached speeds of up to 175 kilometers per hour.

“Ida” struck Louisiana 16 years to the day after the arrival of the devastating hurricane “Katrina”. “Katrina” had caused catastrophic damage and floods in and around New Orleans. Around 1,800 people were killed at that time. Since then, however, billions of dollars have been invested in flood protection in the region.

US President Joe Biden visited the headquarters of the US civil protection agency Fema in Washington on Sunday because of the storm. “It’s going to be a devastating hurricane, a life-threatening storm,” warned Biden. “To the people of the Gulf Coast, I want you to know that we are praying for the best outcome and preparing for the worst.” Biden pledged the government to support the people. “As soon as the storm passes, we will use all the might in this country to rescue and rebuild,” said Biden.

The storm moved slowly across the country, which is why the places in its path were exposed to extreme winds and heavy rains for a long time. Experts therefore feared great damage.

Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards warned that the true extent of the destruction in the state will not become apparent until Monday, once the storm has withdrawn in a northeastern direction and rescue and recovery operations can begin. Edwards declared a state of emergency because of the hurricane, activated the National Guard with around 5,000 soldiers and mobilized hundreds of salvage experts. In addition, thousands of workers were ready to restore the power supply.

Power outage across New Orleans

“Ida” caused a meter high storm surge on some parts of the coast. As US media reported, the force of the incoming water was so strong that the water in the south of New Orleans in Mississippi flowed for about three hours upstream according to measurements. Meteorologists also warned that the unusually heavy rainfall triggered by “Ida” could cause further flooding. Emergency services stopped work in the area until Monday for security reasons.



A news team stands in the waters of Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans. Hurricane Ida could cause severe damage.

The power failed in the entire city of New Orleans, as the city operations center announced. “The only electricity in the city comes from generators,” they said. Almost 400,000 people live in New Orleans. It is not to be expected that the supply will be restored anytime soon, said the utility Entergy. The hurricane damaged all eight lines responsible for supplying electricity to the city. The repair work continued.

Hurrikan „Ida“


Hurricane “Ida” as seen from the International Space Station (ISS).

The US civil protection agency Fema flew hundreds of relief workers and supplies – including millions of meals, drinking water and generators – into the region. Dozens of ambulances and several medical aircraft were also provided. The Coast Guard stationed numerous helicopters and boats for the upcoming rescue operation. The US military was also preparing for an aid mission. dpa

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