Hardships are compounding for southeast Louisiana residents days after Hurricane Ida crushed the area: With no electricity service in dangerous heat, families are scrambling to find food and gas as supplies dwindle.
In the hard-hit city of LaPlace, west of New Orleans, Rae McMurray was one of numerous people who lined up at a free drive-through water bottle distribution site Wednesday run by Cajun Navy rescue volunteers.
Like others in LaPlace, she’s staying at home with no power or water service, anticipating it may take weeks for that to resume. She was there to get supplies for “the elderly and our friends with young people” near her – and for their sake she’ll try to stick around until utility service comes back.
“We’re the legs for people who aren’t able to get out … that’s who we do this for,” McMurray told CNN.
In the New Orleans neighborhood of Algiers, Yolanda Teague told CNN’s Brian Todd on Tuesday her family was running out of food and drink.
Teague, along with her boyfriend, eight children and two of her children’s friends, are living in a couple of rooms in their four-bedroom house after the roof collapsed into the living room. One of her children has a heart condition that makes overheating extremely dangerous for him.
Making sure he is safe is of immediate concern for Teague, as the state faces scorching heat and power outages – and the store she has access to only stayed open long enough for her family to get a few drinks.
President Joe Biden will visit Louisiana on Friday to survey storm damage and meet with state and local officials, the White House said.
Power outages persist in Louisiana
More than 977,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana and more than 37,000 in Mississippi were without power Wednesday, according to PowerOutage.US.
Some parishes have warned residents that the power outages could last at least a month as the state recovers from now-Post-Tropical Cyclone Ida, which made landfall Sunday in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane and contributed to at least five confirmed deaths – three in Louisiana and two in Mississippi.
Another person died in Maryland after the remnants of Ida flooded an apartment complex Wednesday, according to Montgomery County officials. A 19-year-old man was found dead, but the cause of death has not been confirmed, Montgomery County Police Department spokesperson Casandra Durham told CNN.
With the stifling heat, the lack of electricity could prove life-threatening.