Hurricane Ida struck the state of Louisiana in the southern United States and plunged New Orleans into darkness, killing at least one person.
Ida struck the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 hurricane, but weakened to a tropical storm on Monday.
President Joe Biden described Ida as a âlife threateningâ and declared Louisiana a disaster area. The hurricane has been compared to Katrina, which devastated Louisiana exactly 16 years ago to the day.
The storm is expected to continue to weaken as it moves over land with a predicted track leading it north into the central United States before veering east, reaching the central region. Atlantic by Wednesday.
Here are the latest updates:
Louisiana hospitals evacuate dozens of patients
Hospitals in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida were forced to evacuate dozens of patients after the storm left them with pieces torn from their roofs and water flowing down the walls to get drop to the ground while relying on emergency generators for electricity.
Hospitals that suffered the worst damage worked Monday to transfer patients to other medical centers in the state, while others continued to operate on a generator.
Ochsner Health, which runs Louisiana’s largest hospital network and had about 15 hospitals on Ida Road, evacuated 165 patients on Monday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said four hospitals in Louisiana suffered damage from Ida and 39 medical facilities were running on a generator.
Biden holds virtual meeting with mayors and governors
US President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting on Monday with the governors and mayors of cities and states affected by the storm, highlighting the federal government’s efforts to respond to the hurricane.
“We know that Hurricane Ida had the potential to cause massive and massive damage,” Biden said during the remarks, “and that’s exactly what we saw.”
He said more than 5,000 National Guard members from several states have been dispatched to support search and rescue efforts, adding that the number of confirmed deaths is expected to rise in the coming days.
United States declares public health emergency in two states
U.S. health officials declared public health emergencies for Louisiana and Mississippi on Monday, seeking to halt government red tape that could hamper aid to those affected by Hurricane Ida.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra’s emergency declaration pauses certain payment rules and other requirements that could become an unwanted distraction for hospitals and doctors trying to provide services under stressful conditions.
The HHS also set up an incident management team in Dallas to coordinate federal health and medical support following Ida’s visit to the area. Another team provides support to people requiring kidney dialysis.
More than 2,000 evacuated to shelters, others retreat to attics and roofs
Four Louisiana hospitals were damaged and 39 medical facilities were running on a generator, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.
The state governor’s office said more than 2,200 evacuees were staying in 41 shelters on Monday, a number that is expected to rise as people have been rescued or escaped from flooded homes.
The Louisiana National Guard said it activated 4,900 members of the Guard and lined up 195 vehicles on the high seas, 73 rescue boats and 34 helicopters. Local and state agencies added hundreds more.
Major power failure in two states
More than a million customers in Louisiana and Mississippi were without power, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks blackouts across the country, increasing their vulnerability to flooding and leaving them without air conditioning or refrigeration.
Entergy energy company noted all eight crucial transmission lines to New Orleans were down and the only electricity came from generators, the city’s emergency office tweeted, citing “catastrophic transmission damage.” The city relies on Entergy for the emergency supply of its rainwater pumps.
In Jefferson Parish, a suburb of New Orleans, the hurricane twisted a main electrical transmission tower along the Mississippi River, causing widespread blackouts and disrupting river traffic, the director of transportation management said. emergencies, Joe Valiente, to the NPR radio network.
– John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) August 30, 2021
Economists predict only modest damage to the US economy after Ida
While Ida is sure to wreak havoc in the energy, chemicals, and shipping industries that have significant hubs along the Gulf Coast, the effect on the U.S. economy as a whole should be modest, economists have suggested.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said disruptions caused by Ida will likely lead him to downgrade his forecast for annual US economic growth in the July-September quarter by a few tenths of a percentage point . But that economic loss could be reversed in the last quarter of the year due to reconstruction after hurricane damage that is likely to follow.
âThe key channel for Ida to impact the wider economy is through energy prices,â Zandi said. “We will have to see how much damage has been done to production in the Gulf and how long that production will go offline.”
Louisiana governor tells people to stay put
John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana, ordered people to stay home to avoid the dangerous situation in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
As the sun rises this morning, please stay where you are. #Ida left many hazards across Louisiana, including flooded roads, debris, and downed power lines. Follow the instructions of local authorities and continue to be safe. #lagov #HurricaneIda
– John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) August 30, 2021
“Total devastation”: the mayor describes the consequences of the hurricane
The National Weather Service has issued storm surge and flash flood warnings in several areas, including the town of Jean Lafitte, just south of New Orleans, where Mayor Tim Kerner said the rapidly rising waters had passed the dikes by 2.3 meters (7.5 feet).
âTotal, catastrophic devastation, our city’s levees have been passed,â Kerner told ABC affiliate WGNO. âWe have between 75 and 200 people strandedâ after a barge removed the swing bridge to the island.
âThe winds are still too strong, we cannot launch boats to reach them. It is a very dangerous situation. I’ve never seen so much water in my life, âKerner said.
Start of rescues and damage verification in Louisiana
In southeast Louisiana, residents waited for daylight to be rescued from the flood waters and saw the damage Ida caused.
Dikes have failed or been overtaken in the maze of rivers and bayous south of New Orleans, threatening hundreds of homes. On social media, people have posted their addresses and locations – directing search and rescue teams to their attics or rooftops.
Authorities promised to launch the massive rescue effort when the weather rose and the sun rose.
New Orleans vanishes as Ida floods Louisiana and Mississippi
Hurricane Ida’s strongest winds slowed over the Mississippi, 16 hours after blowing ashore in Louisiana as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the Americas.
âWe have now lost power, across the city! Now is the time to continue to stay in your safe places. Now is not the time to venture out, âNew Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said on Twitter.
Torrential rains continued to fall as the storm slowly moved north, with up to 600mm (2 feet) expected in places, as reports of flooded roads and houses mounted.