- Title: Rescue operations underway in Louisiana as Ida death toll expected to rise
- Date: 30th August 2021
- Summary: MARRERO, LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 30, 2021) (REUTERS) ROW OF POWER COMPANY TRUCKS GROUP OF WORKERS ATTEMPTING TO REPAIR A CLUSTER OF DOWNED POWER LINES DEBRIS IN THE MIDDLE OF ROAD
- Embargoed: 13th September 2021 21:53
- Keywords: FEMA Ida Joe Biden Louisiana New Orleans cell phones death toll hurricane power storm
- Location: MARRERO + GULF COAST OF LOUISIANA, LOUISIANA / WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: MARRERO + GULF COAST OF LOUISIANA, LOUISIANA / WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: US
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,United States,Wind/Hurricane/Typhoons/Tornadoes
- Reuters ID: LVA003ESH2TS7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Nearly all of Louisiana lost electrical power on Monday (August 30) after one of the most powerful hurricanes to strike the region downed power lines, littered roads with debris and flooded isolated communities south of New Orleans.
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.
A loss of generator power at the Thibodaux Regional Health System hospital in Lafourche Parish, southwest of New Orleans, forced medical workers to manually assist respirator patients with breathing while they were moved to another floor, the state Health Department told to Reuters on Sunday.
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
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East, the state agency that manages the $14.5 billion system of levees, floodwalls and gates erected after Hurricane Katrina, said in a statement that the system performed as designed during Ida.
Ida lost some of its punch as it pushed through southwestern Mississippi, but the system could still trigger heavy flooding throughout the region, the National Hurricane Center said.
The National Guard said it has dispatched thousands of personnel as well as vehicles that can navigate flooded roads, boats and 34 helicopters to rescue people stranded by flood waters.
Just over 1 million Louisiana homes and businesses were without electricity, as well as nearly 113,000 in Mississippi, according to the tracking site PowerOutage.
(Production: Hussein Waaile, Aleksandra Michalska, Deborah Gembara)
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