- Title: "Right now, I've got nothing"- aftermath in Louisiana
- Date: 31st August 2021
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) 70-YEAR OLD, THEOPHILUS CHARLES, SAYING: "I was born here, we went through all the major hurricanes here. So I figure I'll stay here and ride this one out. I couldn't Things just start falling apart, blowing away. I ain't got a dry spot in the house. My roof fell, I lost all my clothes, my furniture, my appliances, everything. Right now I've got nothing. All I've got here is, I got a back pack with a few clothes in it, in case I had to run out somewhere. But you know what? I didn't know where, so I just stayed here."
- Embargoed: 14th September 2021 00:14
- Keywords: Hurricane Ida Louisiana aftermath damaged home destruction homeless loss
- Location: HOUMA, LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES
- City: HOUMA, LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES
- Country: US
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,United States,Wind/Hurricane/Typhoons/Tornadoes,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA003ESH38SN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Hurricane Ida ripped through Louisiana with most of the state losing electricity as the storm roads with debris and flooded isolated the home of 70-year old Theophilus Charles who said, "Right now, I've got nothing."
"I ain't got a dry spot in the house," he told Reuters. "My roof fell, I lost all my clothes, my furniture, my appliances, everything," he said.
"I was born here, we went through all the major hurricanes here. So I figure I'll stay here and ride this one out," he said. He hopes to never go through another hurricane.
At least one person was killed in Louisiana and more fatalities were expected, Governor John Bel Edwards told media, as Ida grinded north as a tropical storm.
Virtually no one in the state has electricity and many water systems are also out, the governor said. Emergency 911 service was not available in New Orleans, which is 100 miles (160 km) from where Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. Energy company Entergy said customers in the hardest-hit areas could experience power outages for weeks.
Climate change is fueling deadly and disastrous weather across the globe, including stronger and more damaging hurricanes.
President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state, ordering federal assistance to bolster recovery efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) sent 3,600 of its personnel and 3.4 million meals to the storm-devastated area, the White House said in a statement.
Ida crashed ashore at a time when Louisiana is reeling from a resurgence of COVID-19 infections that has strained the state's healthcare system, with an estimated 2,450 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide, many in intensive care units.
Even so, early assessments indicate that the healthcare system in Louisiana largely escaped catastrophic damage.
The storm arrived 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina, one of the most catastrophic and deadly U.S. storms on record, struck the Gulf Coast, and about a year after the last Category 4 hurricane, Laura, battered Louisiana.
(Production: Adrees Latif; Deborah Lutterbeck)
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