The mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, is urging residents who evacuated ahead of Sunday’s arrival of now-Tropical Depression Ida not to return as the massive storm has left the city without electricity. Ida hit the Louisiana coastline as a Category 4 hurricane packing winds of 240 kilometers per hour, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans when the flood barriers known as levees failed and left the city underwater, killing 1,800 people and trapping thousands of other residents for days.  Officials said the new $14.5 billion system of levees that were erected around New Orleans after the 2005 disaster withstood the onslaught of Ida and kept the waters of the Mississippi River from flooding the city again. However, more than one million residents in Louisiana, including New Orleans, and the neighboring southern U.S. state of Mississippi are without electricity.  Local utility company Entergy said all eight electric transmission lines that feed the city are out of service, with one tower falling into the Mississippi River. Authorities said it could be days, even weeks, before power is fully restored, raising further concerns over residents falling ill from the area’s searing late-summer heat, which forecasters say could go as high as 32 degrees Celsius later this week.People move in boat on flooded streets in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Lafitte, La.“Now is not the time for re-entry,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Monday during a post-Ida press conference.  The situation was far worse in several surrounding areas, such as the town of LaPlace, located about 55 kilometers west of New Orleans. The heavy rain Ida dumped on the town left the streets flooded, trapping many residents in their homes Monday. A group of volunteers searched the flooded streets in motorboats in LaPlace and other small towns to rescue the trapped residents.  Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said at least two people have died as a result of Hurricane Ida, including a man who drowned in New Orleans and a person killed when a tree fell on a house outside of the city of Baton Rouge, the state capital. Governor Edwards said he expects the death toll to rise considerably due to the significant destruction caused by Ida.  U.S. President Joe Biden talked with officials from the hardest-hit regions Monday, voicing his confidence that people in “Louisiana and Mississippi are resilient,” while assuring them that “we can certainly see the power of government respond to the needs of the people.”   “We’re going to stand with you and the people in the Gulf (of Mexico), as long as it takes for you to recover,” Biden said during a virtual videoconference call at the White House. The National Hurricane Center downgraded Ida to a tropical depression late Monday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers an hour on a path towards Jackson, Mississippi. Forecasters expect it to veer to the northeast through Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia before heading toward the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. by Wednesday.  Emergency management officials in Tennessee warned about the dangers of the storm in areas that are still recovering from flash flooding that killed at least 20 people earlier in August.  Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters. 



There are currently no comments.