NewsHurricane "Ida" leaves a million households without electricity

Hurricane "Ida" leaves a million households without electricity

Louisiana is hit by the strongest hurricane since Katrina: Several people die – hundreds are now being brought to safety.

New Orleans – Hurricane “Ida” causes massive damage in southern Louisiana. In the middle of the summer heat, “Ida” leaves more than a million households and businesses without electricity. Many people were rescued from the flood areas, but the number of victims could continue to rise.

“Ida” has now weakened to a tropical storm and, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), has moved on to the neighboring state of Mississippi at wind speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour.

Louisiana Governor: Hurricane Took “Worst Possible Path”

In the district of St. John the Baptist alone, almost 800 residents were rescued from flooded or damaged houses, said Jacklyn Hotard, according to media reports. In the village, the water was 1.5 meters high. “This is one of the worst natural disasters I’ve ever seen,” she said.

Hurrikan Ida


Members of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office rescue people from the floods in New Orleans following Hurricane Ida.

Louisiana’s governor, John Bell Edwards, said Ida had followed “the worst possible path.” “It’s not the kind of storm we usually get,” he told the Associated Press. According to the governor, dozens of boats, helicopters and special vehicles are currently in use to rescue people from affected areas. On the island of Grand Isle, which was hit directly by the hurricane on Sunday, around 40 residents were brought to safety by helicopter.

USA: Catastrophic storm destroys infrastructure – National Guard in action

About 5000 soldiers of the US National Guard were assigned to clean-up and salvage work. Further reinforcements are expected to arrive from other states in the coming days. In addition, thousands of workers and experts are working on rebuilding the power grid. New Orleans with its 400,000 inhabitants is still without electricity. This is particularly tragic because in the summer heat, most of the local people are dependent on their air conditioning.

The governor couldn’t make much hope, however: “I can’t tell you when the power will be restored, nor can I tell you by when all the debris will be cleared,” said Edwards. “That was a catastrophic storm”.

White House warns: Supply could take “weeks” – damage is “catastrophic”

Complete restoration of supplies could take “weeks,” the White House warned. The damage reported by the electricity supplier was “catastrophic,” said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. The US military will provide additional generators for hospitals, said Governor Edwards.

There were initially two confirmed fatalities as a result of the hurricane. A man tried to drive his car on a flooded street and drowned, another was killed by a falling tree, authorities said.

Hurricane in Louisiana: Without “miracles”, rising casualties are to be feared

In view of the widespread damage, however, it is to be feared that the number of victims will continue to rise in the coming days, warned Edwards, unless a “miracle” occurs. Due to the floods, many areas are currently barely accessible. The power outages and problems in the cellular network make things even more difficult. At times, even the emergency number could not be reached, media reports said.

Hurrikan Ida


Flood stands in a housing estate in Louisiana.

Edwards, along with New Orleans’ Mayor LaToya Cantrell, now urged all those who had made it to safety in time for the storm not to return home for the time being. In many places there are problems with the water supply and there is still no electricity, do Edwards. There are hardly any open shops and many of the streets are still full of rubble or flooded. It should be waited until the local authorities explicitly welcome a return.

USA: Billions of dollars for flood protection – was it worth it?

The first videos, taken on the Coast Guard’s first flights over coastal areas, show a picture of the devastation. Houses that seem badly damaged, villages that resemble a field of rubble. The head of the disaster control agency Fema, Deanne Criswell, together with the Minister of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas wanted to get an idea of the situation with the governor on Tuesday (August 31, 2021). Ida hit land on Sunday (August 29, 2021) as a stage four (of five) hurricane on the coast southwest of New Orleans. The storm hit New Orleans on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In 2005 it caused devastating damage and floods, in which around 1,800 people were killed.

Billions in investments in flood protection followed. Thanks to “Ida”, this system has now successfully passed its endurance test. A disaster would have been inevitable if the dams had broken, Edwards said. The power supply turned out to be not so steadfast. All eight high-voltage lines that lead to New Orleans were damaged or destroyed by “Ida”. Entergy’s head of electricity company Phillip May said that the massive high-voltage power line that ran over the Mississippi River, which once survived “Katrina”, was badly damaged and inoperable. (Lukas Zigo / dpa)

List of rubric lists: © Gerald Herbert / dpa

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