10:36 AM PDT, August 30, 2021
Search and rescue operations are underway in coastal Louisiana after Hurricane Ida, which was upgraded to a category 4 storm on Sunday afternoon, touched down in the state this weekend. “We know that individuals are out there waiting to be rescued because their homes are not habitable, many places we have flood waters encroaching on those homes,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Monday.
More than 1,000,000 homes and businesses, representing between 60% to 100% of the entire area, are still out of power in southeastern Louisiana, and Hurricane Ida, now downgraded to a tropical storm, has left at least one person dead – a 60-year-old man who was killed when the storm caused a tree to fall on his Ascension Parish home just south of Baton Rouge, according to NBC News.
Additionally, there had been reports of people trapped in homes, levees being breached, widespread cell service disruptions, and boil water advisories issued in some areas.
“Obviously Hurricane Ida packed a very powerful punch. She came in and did everything that was advertised, unfortunately,” Edwards said. “For the most part, all of our levees performed extremely well especially the federal levees, but at the end of the day, the storm surge, the rain, the wind, all had devastating impacts across southeast Louisiana.”
In Houma, wind gusts were so strong that video footage captured roofs being ripped off buildings.
In New Orleans, Mayor LaToyal Cantrell is urging everyone to continue staying indoors and off the roads as power remains out, and 911 services were still unreachable as of Monday morning.
The city had completely lost power Sunday night during the height of the storm.
“The plant that provides power to Entergy New Orleans was compromised,” Cantrell said Sunday night. “We rely on this plant to ensure that we have power throughout the city. Right now, it’s compromised which means it’s very dangerous, in addition to the storm, also without electricity …It’s not a time to venture out in the city, at all. It’s not safe.”
Thibodaux Regional Health System outside of New Orleans in Lafourche Parish had experienced a partial generator power loss Sunday, and some patients needing ventilator support were instead bagged by hand, meaning staff manually pushed air in and out of their lungs until they were able to be transported to a different part of the hospital, NOLA.com reported.
Nearby in St. Tammany Parish, a curfew banning non-essential travel and a boil water advisory continues to be in effect as of Monday afternoon. City officials are also warning residents that evacuated not to return yet as roads are still unsafe.