- People in Jefferson Parish told to find somewhere else to stay.
- Entergy will begin to assess power line damage today.
- Widespread power outages are also being reported in Mississippi.
- People were reportedly trapped in attics and on roofs after a levee overtopped in Jean Lafitte.
Hurricane Ida’s catastrophic crawl across Louisiana inundated miles of roadways and neighborhoods, ripped apart buildings and trapped hundreds of residents who can’t call 911 because service has been knocked out and cannot be rescued because conditions are still too treacherous to reach them.
More than 1 million customers in Louisiana alone were without power, including all of New Orleans, where catastrophic damage occurred to the city’s transformers.
(MORE: The Latest Forecast for Hurricane Ida)
Below, we’re updating this page with the latest information as it comes in so check back frequently for the most recent updates.
Residents in Jefferson Parish Told to Make Plans to Stay Somewhere Else
Jefferson Parish District 4 Councilman Dominick Impastato had this message for his constituents Monday morning:
“Please be advised that every major thoroughfare has power lines over it. Expect power to be out for a significant amount of time,” Impastato said in a Facebook message after driving through his district.
“We’d ask that you please make plans to be somewhere else for the next week, two weeks, something significant.”
Entergy Will Begin To Assess Power Line Damage Today
Officials with Entergy, Louisiana’s largest utility company, said early this morning they aren’t sure when power will be restored. All of New Orleans is still without electricity, as well as all or nearly all of Jefferson, Terrebonne, Plaquemines, St. Charles, St John the Baptist and Lafourche parishes.
The power went out when eight transmission lines failed as Ida pummeled the region after coming ashore Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane. A massive powerline tower collapsed into the Mississippi River near Avondale, on the southwest side of New Orleans.
Entergy Louisiana CEO and President Philip May told nola.com that tower “didn’t waver” when Hurricane Katrina struck 16 years to the day before Ida.
Widespread Power Outages in Mississippi
More than 130,000 homes and businesses were without power in Mississippi, as of about 7:30 a.m. CDT, according to poweroutage.us. The outages are concentrated in the southeast corner of the state in counties including Hancock, Pearl River, Pike.
People Trapped in Attics After Levee Overtops in Lower Jefferson Parish
At least one levee overtopped in lower Jefferson Parish, sending more than 7.5 feet of floodwaters surging into Jean Lafitte and Lafitte. Residents there had to flee into their attics and roofs to escape the rising water.
“Total devastation. It’s catastrophic. Our town levees have been overtopped. I have never seen so much water in my life. It’s turned into a total rescue mission. People’s lives are at stake now,” Jean Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner told WGNO.
It’s unclear exactly how many are in need of rescue, but Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng told WGNO that hundreds of residents there had not evacuated, despite a mandatory evacuation order ahead of the storm.
The levee in the area was designed to handle 7.5 feet of floodwaters, but the surge was too high and it overtopped.
“That was the final dagger,” Kerner said. “We’ve never seen water like this. This is the worst storm in our history.”
The school in the area was also destroyed. He estimated that in some places floodwaters were over nine feet deep.
Kerner said the only bridge into Barataria had been destroyed by a vessel, which would complicate rescue efforts for those stranded on the island.
“We are sending an army to you if you live in Barataria,” Kerner said. “Just hold on tight, get to high ground and try to be as safe as possible until we can get to you. I promise we are going to get to you as soon as we can.”
Levee Fails in Plaquemines Parish
Residents were urged to “evacuate the area immediately” after a levee reportedly failed near Highway 23 in Alliance, Louisiana. Evacuees were told to go to Belle Chasse Auditorium if they needed a place to stay.
A different levee overtopped in Plaquemines Parish earlier in the day near White Ditch, prompting similar urgent messages.
911 Knocked Out in Two Parishes
Emergency services were knocked out in Orleans and St. Charles Parishes, meaning people there could not call 911.
In Orleans Parish, residents were told to go to the nearest fire station or to approach the nearest officer in the event there was an emergency.
In St. Charles Parish, both 911 and non-emergency phone lines were down.
Damaged Hospitals to Evacuate Patients
Dozens of patients at two Louisiana hospitals were being evacuated after the hospitals were heavily damaged by Ida.
The damage happened at St. Anne Hospital in Raceland, Louisiana, and Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in, Houma, Louisiana, WWL reported.
Damage included roof damage and patient windows blown out.
Death Confirmed in Ascension Parish, Louisiana
The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said one person was confirmed killed by a fallen tree in Prairieville, a suburb of Baton Rouge, Sunday night. Deputies responded to the incident at a house off Highway 621 and confirmed upon arrival that the victim had died.
Water Entering Homes in LaPlace, Louisiana
Sandwiched between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River, the town of LaPlace was experiencing severe flooding Sunday night, with water entering homes and residents using social media to request a water rescue.
Power Knocked Out to All of New Orleans
All of New Orleans was without power as Hurricane Ida moved inland Sunday night, walloping a huge swath of Louisiana in its path.
More than 1 million homes and businesses were without power in Louisiana as of about 4 a.m. CDT, according to poweroutage.us.
Entergy, the state’s largest utility provider, said that number included every customer in New Orleans. The outages reflect only individual accounts – not the number of people actually in the dark.
The blackout is due to catastrophic transmission damage, according to a tweet from the city of New Orleans.
Entergy later said the outage occurred when all eight transmission lines that provide power to the city were damaged and that means power won’t be restored Sunday night.
All or nearly all of Jefferson, Terrebonne, Plaquemines, St. Charles, St John the Baptist and Lafourche parishes were also without power.
Jefferson Parish Quickly Lost Water Pressure
A boil water advisory was put into place Sunday night amid reports that Jefferson Parish was losing 250,000 gallons of water per hour, according to WWL-TV. The water system was reportedly damaged by fallen trees, and some areas, including Metairie, had no water pressure. With more than 440,000 residents, Jefferson is the most populous parish in Louisiana – and virtually every resident in the parish also had no electricity Sunday night.
Barges Knocked Loose on Mississippi River
More than 20 barges were knocked from their moorings on the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish, nola.com reported. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified but there was little they could do.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the barges broke loose or where they were.
The incident happened in the same part of the river where a passenger ferry had earlier broken away.
Newsroom Evacuated After Parts of Roof Ripped Off
The control room at WGNO-TV was reportedly evacuated during live television coverage as the building sustained damage to the roof that left parts of the newsroom exposed. The station’s office is located in Metairie.
Portions of Interstate 10, Interstate 12 Closed in Louisiana
The Louisiana Department of Transportation warned motorists that downed trees, power lines and other debris were blocking roads across southern Louisiana Sunday night. That included portions of I-10 and I-12.
“This will likely be common in all areas that are in the path of Hurricane Ida,” the agency said in an announcement on its website. “Weather conditions prohibit DOTD staff from clearing state routes at this time. Once it’s deemed safe to begin clearing the roads, DOTD has staff and resources staged to do so. With the widespread devastation, this process could take some time.”
Widespread Damage Reported in Lafourche Parish
Storm chasers are reporting widespread damage in Larouche Parish, where Ida came ashore.
Ventilators Knocked Out When Hospital Lost Power
Doctors and nurses scrambled to keep patients breathing as they were moved to another area after a generator failed in an intensive care unit.
The incident happened at Thibodaux Regional Hospital in Lafourche Parish, nola.com reported. That’s the parish where Ida made landfall just before noon.
The outage meant medical staff had to bag patients by hand, manually pushing air in and out of their lungs while they were moved to another part of the hospital.
Dr. Joe Kanter, Louisiana’s chief health officer, told nola.com that generators were still working in other parts of the hospital.
Devastating Damage in Southeastern Louisiana
Video from Golden Meadow, about 20 miles north of Port Fourchon, showed buildings with their roofs torn off, walls collapsed and vehicles washed away by storm surge.
The community sits about 40 miles southwest of New Orleans, at the start of a narrow strip of Louisiana Highway 1 that runs down to the port.
Deputies Trying to Reach People After Roofs Ripped Off Homes
“We’re getting calls, people losing roofs, and we’re working to try to get to them,” Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Timothy Soignet told The Weather Channel Sunday evening. “We’re working as fast as we can to try and help them out.”
Rescuers were navigating through downed power lines and other hazards during gaps in the wind to try and get to residents who called.
“It’s pretty intense down here,” Soignet said.
A ferry broke loose from its mooring at a maintenance facility in the Algiers section of New Orleans, WWL-TV reported.
Rescues Could Take Up to 72 Hours
State and local officials say it could take up to 72 hours for first responders to reach some areas.
“We have every possible resource ready to go to help you. we’ll get there sooner than 72 hours if at all possible to rescue people across the state of Louisiana but this is the window of time that it may take in order to get first responders to you depending on conditions,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a Sunday afternoon news conference.
‘Catastrophic’ Situation in Grand Isle
Reports trickled out of Grand Isle detailing the disastrous conditions there, where the only road out is reported to be under six feet of water and emergency services buildings are flooded.
“We have gotten requests for rescue for people who stayed on the island,” Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng said in a news briefing Sunday afternoon. “I mentioned white caps are on the highway, our fire station is taking water, obviously first responders cannot get to you so those folks are just going to have to hunker down.”
(MORE: Track Hurricane Ida)
State and local officials have warned that it could take first responders up to 72 hours to reach those in need after the storm.
Police Chief Scooter Resweber said about 15 people who didn’t evacuate were sheltering at the police station.
Resweber described the scene there as Ida neared landfall and he and others with him watched out the bulletproof window of a hardened police bunker.
“We’re watching the roofs peel off buildings next to us. The flooding is catastrophic,” Resweber told The Weather Channel in a phone call. “We’re in bad, dire shape.”
Resweber said a wind gauge at the police station measured 148 mph. And then the gauge broke.
“Things are coming apart all around us,” he said.
Ida Makes Landfall in Southeastern Louisiana
Ida officially made landfall at 11:55 a.m. CDT near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, about 18 miles southwest of Grand Isle and about 60 miles south of New Orleans. Maximum sustained winds were 150 mph, making Ida a high-end Category 4.
Storm Surge Poured In as Ida Made Landfall
Video from St. Bernard Parish, southeast of New Orleans, showed water rushing in.
EMS Service Suspended in New Orleans
New Orleans has suspended EMS service until it is safe to resume. “We are at this point,” Tyrell Morris, the city’s 911 director, said in a news conference early Sunday afternoon. “All the public safety agencies at this point are making decisions of when they will or will not respond.” The 911 system was down for about 10 minutes earlier in the day, Morris said.
Storm Surge Hit Parts of Mississippi
Storm surge flooding was reported in parts of Mississippi, where curfews are in place in Hancock and Harrison counties.
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