Ida leaves more than a million without power, at least one dead in Louisiana

The storm weakened to a Category 2 overnight

Updated: August 30, 2021 - 10:04am

Over 1 million Louisiana residents are without electricity Monday morning, after Hurricane Ida came ashore Sunday afternoon with 150 mph winds and relentless rain.

At least one person is reported dead, with winds having sheered off roofs and flooded roads having kept rescue teams from responding.

"Nobody should be expecting that, tonight, a first-responder is going to be able to answer a call for help," said Gov. Jon Bel Edwards at a news conference Sunday afternoon. 

Early Monday morning, Ida weakened to a Category 2 storm, as ground teams began rescue operations and assess the overnight damage.

The state faces multiple challenges: its levee system being able to withstand storm surges and flooding, and treating storm victims in a hospital system already overburdened by the coronavirus' surging Delta variant.

Entergy, a company that supplies power to millions of Americans in the South, said that all eight of its transmission lines to New Orleans were out of service. The company also said it's unsure about when service will resume and that some customers could be without power for weeks.

"Due to catastrophic transmission damage, all of Orleans Parish is currently without power," said the company.

Meteorologists and government officials alike are saying they haven't seen sustained winds, flooding, and damage like this in their lifetimes. 

"We've suffered flooding before," said Tim Kerner Jr., the mayor of Jean Lafitte, a city south of New Orleans. "We suffered storms before. But I've never seen water like this in my life. It just hit us in the worst way possible, and it was such a massive storm that it just totally devastated us."

The storm hit the southern state exactly 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina first made landfall. 

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