A search and rescue operation involving more than 25,000 people has begun in the US state of Louisiana after Ida has weakened and was relegated from the hurricane to tropical storm status. One death from an elemental impact has so far been confirmed, but as Governor John Bel Edwards warned, “the death toll could increase significantly.” About a million homes are without electricity.
Hurricane Ida, which hit the Louisiana coast on Sunday, weakened enough on Monday to be classified as a first-class tropical storm. Over 25,000 people started the search and rescue operation.
According to CNN, the threat to life due to the flooding has not yet passed. A storm wave raised the water level in the Mississippi River by about two meters. The wave, together with the strong winds, caused the water in the Mississippi to flow in the opposite direction. 5,200 officers of the National Guard help in removing the effects of the flood.
About a million homes without electricity
More than 80 percent of its 1.1 million customers in Louisiana, including all of New Orleans, are out of power, as reported by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). 3,200 kilometers of transmission lines are out of use. Mobilized, among others, to restore the power supply 25 thousand employees from at least 32 states and the District of Columbia.
“I think we need to be realistic and prepare people for the worst-case scenario, like Hurricane Laura and Lake Charles, where it took (power restoration) weeks,” said New Orleans city council member Joe Giarrusso, quoted by CNN.
Waiting for help may take longer
Louisiana State Police have warned residents that in some cases they will not be able to expect quick support.
“If you’re stranded, it can be difficult to come to your aid for a while,” the state police announced on Facebook. She justified this by the inability of rescuers to reach the affected areas, despite the fact that soldiers are still helping to clear the roads.
“A large part of the roads are blocked by fallen trees and power lines. Some areas are flooded with water. Also, scattered debris can make it very difficult to navigate our roads,” Louisiana State Police explained. She advised people not to travel, “because it is precisely the dangerous conditions that can create additional emergencies that could be prevented.”
So far, authorities have confirmed one death due to Ida. This is a man who probably died pinned down by a falling tree. Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards, however, predicted that “the death toll could increase significantly as the search and rescue operations continued.”
Ida also damaged oil industry facilities. This may lead to an increase in gasoline prices, deepening inflation. A gallon of regular gasoline averaged $ 3.15 on Monday. Wholesale prices on Sunday night rose by a staggering 10 cents a gallon (3.7 liters), so the American Automotive Association believes that retail prices may increase as well.
Broken roofs, flooded buildings, uprooted trees
The element uprooted trees with their roots, ripped off roofs, flooding houses with accompanying rain, and some fell to their foundations. Around At 21.30 on Sunday, rainfall of up to 250 liters of water per square meter was recorded.
Lafourche Parish has run out of potable water due to pipeline damage. There have been calls in various parts of Louisiana to boil water before use.
State of natural disaster
President Joe Biden has declared a state of disaster for the affected areas. He ordered federal aid to be given to them.
“Support may include subsidies for temporary housing and home repairs, cheap loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the White House said.
Ida, a hurricane of the fourth category on the five-point ascending Saffir-Simpson scale, hit the coast of the Gulf of Mexico exactly 16 years after Hurricane Katrina hit it. On Sunday, it was swept with a wind speed of about 240 kilometers per hour. This put it in fifth place among the worst hurricanes ever to hit the continental United States.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / DAN ANDERSON