- Seven children and five adults were taken by ambulance from a home in the Gert Town neighborhood.
- Some power was restored in New Orleans East.
- Six deaths have been attributed to the storm.
There was a glimmer of hope in New Orleans early Wednesday morning: Power, however limited, was restored in some areas of New Orleans East.
But it was just that, a glimmer. Hundreds of thousands of people in southeast Louisiana still had no power and no prospect for power for weeks. Temperatures will once again climb Wednesday and gas, clean water and other supplies are still hard for many to come by.
Officials across the area continued to stress that those who had evacuated should not return, given that some places, like Grand Isle, were “uninhabitable.”
The situation after Ida was so dire that one Jefferson Parish official told those left behind to “leave” rather than endure the weeks of hardship ahead. Residents in Tangipahoa Parish fled to Red Cross shelters seeking refuge from the sweltering conditions, only to find out that these shelters of last resort were only for those who had lost it all. Even if there was room, the shelters had no power anyway. It was a microcosm for the kind of hardship playing out all across the region.
Here’s our running updates from Wednesday:
Some Services Return in St. Bernard Parish
Emergency services such as the fire department and sheriff’s office are fully operational in St. Bernard Parish, and five gas stations are open, as well as WalMart, Home Depot and several other businesses.
But the wait for supplies remains long, especially for gas.
“They have lines for miles at a certain gas station and that station runs out of fuel and it’s just not an easy turnaround to get fuel back to those stations,” Sheriff James Pohlman said in a briefing Wednesday morning.
There still is no power and schools are closed until further notice. Vacuum trucks are taking the place of sewer lift stations by transporting the waste to a main treatment plant.
Parish President Guy McInnis asked residents to remain patient while parish officials work with utility company Entergy and address other recovery related isses.
“Know that we need you in this community and don’t worry about things you can’t control. Know that we’re in that room fighting for you …,” McInnis said as his voice cracked with emotion. “Ah shoot … everyday”
Residents have been allowed to return to check their property in some of the hardest hit parts of the parish. The Yscloskey Bridge to Shell Beach and Hopedale remains closed.
Shell Beach is where an annual memorial service is held to mark Hurricane Katrina’s anniversary. This year’s event was canceled. Ida roared into southeast Louisiana on Katrina’s 16th anniversary.
Multiple People Transported for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in New Orleans
Seven children and five adults were taken from a home in New Orleans to the hospital Wednesday morning due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
“This was a portable generator related carbon monoxide poisoning,” New Orleans EMS said on Twitter. “CO is a DEADLY colorless, odorless gas. Only operate generators outdoors.”
Six ambulances and multiple other rescue vehicles responded to the home in the city’s Gert Town neighborhood at about 8:45 a.m. CDT.
Nine people in Louisiana died of carbon monoxide poisoning after Hurricane Laura pummeled the southwest part of the state last year.
(MORE: Generators Can Be Deadly If Used Improperly – Here’s How to Stay Safe)
Limited Power Restored
Entergy officials announced they’d restored power to parts of New Orleans East, but cautioned there was still a long road ahead to wider restoration with considerable damage to infrastructure.
Late Tuesday, the power company announced that it was exploring two options for power restoration. Either way, the company planned to funnel the first power into places that needed it the most, like hospitals. Entergy New Orleans CEO Deanna Rodriguez said that the company will utilize its new gas-fired power plant to accomplish these efforts.
Two Utility Workers Killed in Alabama
Two utility workers trying to restore power after Ida were killed in Jefferson County, Alabama. The two Pike Electric workers were electrocuted assisting restoration efforts in Adger. Six people have been killed by Ida so far.
Here are some highlights from Tuesday’s updates:
Nearly Every Home in Jean Lafitte is Damaged
Timothy Kerner, mayor of the town of Jean Lafitte, said Ida was too much for the local levee, which was overtopped by floodwaters.
“Ninety percent, at least, of the homes have got serious damage,” Kerner told weather.com in an interview Tuesday afternoon.
He thinks the levee would have held if the storm would have moved through faster.
“If this thing would have stopped an hour earlier, then the town would have been protected. The levee held a category 4, a few mph away from a category 5 hurricane, for over 12 hours. And on the 13th hour it was overtopped,” Kerner said.
“It was just heartbreaking.”
About 1,800 people live in Jean Lafitte, which is in a rural area of Jefferson Parish about 14 miles south of New Orleans.
Climate Change Fueled Hurricane Ida
A warming world helped make Ida stronger.
“The Gulf of Mexico was blazing with above average temperatures along the path of Ida,” weather.com meteorologist Kait Parker said in a report published Tuesday. “This hot water is like throwing fuel on the fire. It helps a hurricane like Ida grow stronger faster, and produces more rain.”
Ida By The Numbers
More than 650 people rescued so far.
Over 700,000 people either without water or under a boil-water advisory.
Some 25,000 utility workers toiling to restore power.
A top wind gust of 172 mph.
These are just some of the incredible numbers Ida tallied in Louisiana.
Click here to see more of the stats.
Sweltering Heat Faces Those Without Power
More than a million Louisianans who have no electricity after Hurricane Ida are facing a dire situation as temperatures climb into the 90s and feels-like temperatures hit triple digits.
The National Weather Service issued heat advisories for Tuesday and Wednesday for portions of southeast Louisiana and southeast and southern Mississippi. Heat index values in some places could reach 105 degrees on Tuesday and 106 on Wednesday.
Read our full article on this danger here.
Hundreds Rescued Amid Ida’s Catastrophic Flooding
The Louisiana National Guard has ferried more than 350 people and dozens of pets to safety, via land, water and air amid flooding from Ida. Hundreds of other rescues have been carried out by other state, federal and local agencies across the region.
In a news conference Tuesday morning, Gov. John Bel Edwards said that about 80% of all the rescues done Monday were carried out in St. John the Baptist Parish, where homes and businesses were under water from both surge and heavy rain.
Lines are Long and Supplies are Short
St. Bernard Parish tweeted video of car after car waiting in line for gas, a scene that’s playing out across the region as gas and other necessities is in short supply.
In New Orleans, the few gas stations that had fuel and generator power to remain open had lines around the block, The Associated Press reported.
About 45 miles southwest in Houma, residents were in need of basic supplies.
“Our desperate need right now is tarps, gasoline for generators, food, water,” pastor Chad Ducote told the AP.
Ducote said a church group from Mississippi had brought food and supplies, and neighbors scooped water from his swimming pool.
“The people down here are just doing what they can,” he said. “They don’t have anything.”
Drone Photos Show Mississippi Highway Collapse
Photos taken from a drone reveal just how bad the damage is to Highway 26 in near Lucedale, Mississippi. A portion of the highway collapsed Monday night and killed at least two people. Officials said the incident was likely caused by heavy rainfall from Ida.
Lucedale is about 40 miles northeast of Biloxi.
Hurricane Ida’s Devastation Revealed in Before and After Aerial Images
New aerial imagery from NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey is giving us a before and after look at the damage caused by Hurricane Ida’s intense winds and storm surge in southeastern Louisiana.
Weather.com senior meteorologist Chris Dolce compiled some of the images and explains what they show here.
Grand Isle Mayor Vows to Rebuild
David Camardelle, mayor of Grand Isle, estimates about 85% of the buildings on the barrier island are damaged, nola.com reported.
Some people who had stayed behind despite a mandatory evacuation order were airlifted off the island by helicopter Monday.
The island’s infamous burrito levee, battered by multiple hurricanes and rebuilt earlier this year, is once again damaged. The sand-filled tube helps protect about 1,700 structures in Grand Isle, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Now, with most of those battered by Ida, Camardelle said the town will rebuild.
“As long as there is one grain of sand on Grand Isle, we are going to plant the American flag,” he said. “We not going anywhere.”
Grand Isle, in Jefferson Parish about two hours south of New Orleans, is part of a chain of barrier islands that sits between the state’s marshy, swampy wetlands and the Gulf of Mexico. With some 1,400 permanent residents and as many as 10,000 visitors during the peak summer season, it is the only one of the state’s barrier islands where people live.
St. John Parish Officials: Ida’s the Worst Storm We’ve Ever Seen
Like many areas across southern Louisiana, St. John the Baptist Parish is no stranger to devastating storms.
“The worst disaster that we’ve all seen in St. John parish,” Parish President Jaclyn Hotard said during a news conference with Gov. John Bel Edwards Tuesday.
Hurricane Isaac on Aug. 29, 2012, left much of St. John town of LaPlace under water. Ida did the same, coming ashore in southwest Louisiana exactly 9 years later. The town, with a population of about 29,000, accounts for more than half the parish’s residents. It sits west of New Orleans between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.
On Tuesday, much of the parish was still without 911 service, there was no running water and no idea when power might come back.
“This is going to be a marathon and not a sprint,” Hotard said. “This is going to be very difficult.”
Eighty percent of all rescues that have been conducted since Ida took place in the parish.
Sheriff Michael Tregre asked residents to be patient and not return yet.
“Just sit tight a little longer,” the sheriff said. “We’re going to get you back home.”
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