Hurricane Ida has abated and has become a tropical depression. Two people are dead. The people of Louisiana began to count the losses caused by the fierce weather. State officials promised that no injured person would be left behind.
Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the American Gulf Coast, cut more than a million homes in Louisiana from electricity and led to rescue operations in flooded communities around New Orleans.
Two people were killed
Ida came ashore on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane. It struck exactly the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which by its force killed 1,800 people and devastated New Orleans.
Authorities said on Monday that two people were killed due to the harsh weather Ida brought. Late in the evening, local time, the element faded into a tropical depression. According to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, this did not completely eliminate the threat. As he added, he expects that there may be reports of more fatalities.
– We didn’t have a second Katrina and we should be grateful for that. However, the effects of Ida’s transition are also significant, said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell at a press conference.
Help for the injured
For several hours, rescuers have been searching the most affected districts to assess the damage and help possible victims.
“No one will be left behind,” Cantrell said.
President Joe Biden declared a state of natural disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) dispatched more than three thousand of its employees to the devastated area. The inhabitants were given 3.4 million meals. The National Guard sent special vehicles, boats and 34 helicopters to the area that was flooded with floodwater to save people.
The village of LaPlace, on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, has suffered a lot of damage. Trees fell on the houses, blown by gusts of wind, the water flooded everything that she encountered on her way. Fearing fatal consequences, people struggled through the flooded areas to check what happened to their loved ones.
“The sky turned black, you heard something like a tornado,” said Madeline Brewer, rescued by the US Army on Monday.
Due to the storm, over a million people had no electricity. Eight industrial lines that supply all of New Orleans with electricity have failed. One of the transmission towers has also collapsed into the Mississippi River, according to the Jefferson Parish Emergency Management Department. It may take weeks to restore energy to all affected areas.
Ida came ashore at a very difficult time for the people of Louisiana. It not only appeared on the anniversary of the most tragic hurricane, but also during the next wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health system in the state is again severely strained, and there are approximately 2,450 patients in intensive care units.
Even so, early assessments indicate that Ida’s casualties are not so high that doctors are completely unable to cope. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the $ 14.5 billion hurricane detection system, levees and gates that were installed after the Katrina crossing.
Although Ida weakened before disembarking, there was a risk that the weather conditions would bring further tornadoes to Louisiana. Storm warnings remain in place in the Mississippi, Alabama and Gulf regions.
Main photo source: DAN ANDERSON / PAP / EPA