The passage of Hurricane Ida through Louisiana and Mississippi has left at least four dead, extensive material damage, flooding, and lack of electrical services for over a million consumers.
Hurricane Ida Leaves All of New Orleans Without Power
Ida was downgraded to a tropical depression Monday afternoon and moved inland with torrential rain, leaving extensive damage across the coastal state. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said earlier on Monday that he "fully expects" the death toll would jump as search and rescue efforts get underway.
At least 671 stranded people in Ida-hit areas had been rescued by Monday afternoon. Four Louisiana hospitals were damaged and 39 medical facilities were operating on generator power, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Over 1 million customers in Louisiana and 67,000 more in Mississippi were without power on Monday night. The Jefferson Parish emergency management director Joe Valiente said that it will take at least six weeks to restore electricity to a large section of Louisiana's coast.
"Damage is incredible," Valiente said. "There are about 10 parishes that the electrical grids are completely collapsed and damaged, smashed, out -- however you want to put it."
Power company Entergy, Louisiana's biggest electricity provider, said Monday that more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines were out of service, along with 216 substations.
"I can't tell you when the power is going to be restored. I can't tell you when all the debris is going to be cleaned up and repairs made," the governor told a news conference on Monday, promising to work hard to help power grid recover.
"The full extent of damage is yet to be seen," Louisiana state police said in a Facebook post on Monday, noting that search and rescue workers are still not able to access certain impacted areas.
Ida landed on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's destructive strike, tying with 2020's Hurricane Laura and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 as the strongest ever to hit Louisiana.