No Power, No Water for Thousands as Louisiana Confronts Ida's Aftermath

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Louisiana communities battered by Hurricane Ida faced a caller information arsenic they began the monolithic task of clearing debris and repairing harm from the storm: the anticipation of weeks without powerfulness successful the stifling, late-summer heat.

Ida ravaged the region's powerfulness grid, leaving the full metropolis of New Orleans and hundreds of thousands of different Louisiana residents successful the acheronian with nary wide timeline connected erstwhile powerfulness would return. Some areas extracurricular New Orleans besides suffered large flooding and operation damage.

“There are surely much questions than answers. I can’t archer you erstwhile the powerfulness is going to beryllium restored. I can’t archer you erstwhile each the debris is going to beryllium cleaned up and repairs made,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told a quality league Monday. “But what I tin archer you is we are going to enactment hard each time to present arsenic overmuch assistance arsenic we can.”

President Joe Biden met virtually connected Monday with Bel Edwards and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on with mayors from cities and parishes astir impacted by Hurricane Ida to person an update connected the storm’s impacts, and to sermon however the Federal Government tin supply assistance.

“We are intimately coordinating with authorities and section officials each measurement of the way,” Biden said.

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Rescuers successful boats, helicopters and high-water trucks brought hundreds of radical trapped by floodwaters to information Monday, and they planned to yet spell doorway to doorway successful hard deed areas to marque definite everyone got retired OK. Power crews besides rushed into the state.

The politician said 25,000 inferior workers were connected the crushed successful Louisiana to assistance reconstruct electricity, with much connected the way.

Still, his bureau described harm to the powerfulness grid arsenic “catastrophic,” and powerfulness officials said it could beryllium weeks earlier energy is restored successful immoderate spots.

More than 1 cardinal homes and businesses successful Louisiana and Mississippi were near without powerfulness arsenic Ida pushed done connected Sunday with winds that reached 150 mph (240 kph). The upwind velocity tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to deed the mainland. By precocious Monday, the tempest had been downgraded to a tropical slump with winds of up to 35 mph (56 kph), though forecasters inactive warned of dense rainfall and a flood menace for parts of the Tennessee and Ohio valleys.

The tempest was blamed for astatine slightest 2 deaths — a motorist who drowned successful New Orleans and a idiosyncratic deed by a falling histrion extracurricular Baton Rouge.

Pamela Mitchell said Monday she was reasoning astir leaving New Orleans until powerfulness returned, but her 14-year-old daughter, Michelle, was determined to enactment and was preparing to cleanable retired the fridge and enactment perishables successful an crystal chest.

Mitchell had already spent a blistery and frightening nighttime astatine location portion Ida’s winds shrieked, and she thought the household could pugnacious it out.

“We went a week before, with Zeta,” she said, recalling an outage during the hurricane that deed the metropolis past fall.

Other residents of the metropolis were relying connected generators — oregon neighbors who had them. Hank Fanberg said some of his neighbors had offered him entree to their generators. He besides had a program for food.

“I person a state grill and charcoal grill,” helium said.

The hurricane blew ashore connected the 16th day of Katrina, the 2005 tempest that breached New Orleans’ levees, devastated the metropolis and was blamed for 1,800 deaths.

This time, New Orleans escaped the catastrophic flooding immoderate had feared. But metropolis officials inactive urged radical who evacuated to enactment distant for astatine slightest a mates of days due to the fact that of the deficiency of powerfulness and fuel.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued exigency substance waivers for Louisiana and Mississippi, effectual immediately, connected Monday night. It volition extremity connected Sept. 16.

Some places were besides dealing with h2o problems. Eighteen h2o systems were out, impacting much than 312,000 people, and an further 14 systems affecting different 329,000 radical were nether boil h2o advisories, Edwards said Monday.

The hurricane twisted and collapsed a elephantine operation that carries cardinal transmission lines implicit the Mississippi River to the New Orleans area, causing wide outages, Entergy and section authorities said. The powerfulness institution said much than 2,000 miles of transmission lines were retired of service, on with 216 substations. The operation had survived Katrina.

The tempest besides flattened inferior poles, toppled trees onto powerfulness lines and caused transformers to explode.

In Mississippi’s southwestern corner, full neighborhoods were surrounded by floodwaters, and galore roads were impassable. Several tornadoes were reported, including a suspected twister successful Saraland, Alabama, that ripped portion of the extortion disconnected a motel and flipped an 18-wheeler, injuring the driver, according to the National Weather Service.

Reeves reported from LaPlace, Louisiana. Associated Press writers Janet McConnaughey and Kevin McGill successful New Orleans; Melinda Deslatte successful Baton Rouge; Sudhin Thanawala successful Atlanta; and Jeffrey Collins successful Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.

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