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Here's what you need to know about Ida as rescue efforts continue in Louisiana
From CNN's Jason Hanna and Madeline Holcombe
First responders rescue a resident from floodwater left behind by Hurricane Ida in LaPlace, Louisiana, on Monday, August 30.
(Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
Hurricane Ida has left catastrophic damage across southeastern Louisiana, killing at least one person, leaving much of the New Orleans area without power, interrupting phone service and sending rescuers scrambling Monday to flooded homes where people were anxiously asking for help.
Ida, now a slow-moving tropical storm over western Mississippi, threatens to cause more flooding not just in the Deep South but also into the Tennessee and Ohio valleys as it crawls north over the next few days.
Rescuers were getting numerous reports of people who climbed into attics or onto roofs as waters rose in their homes, especially in parishes just outside New Orleans.
About 15 people were helped off roofs and into boats early Monday in the city of Slidell alone, and rescuers in high-water vehicles still were taking people to safety in the lower side of town in the late morning, Mayor Greg Cromer said.
Because cell phone service was sporadic in much of the region, rescuers sometimes were having to find for themselves who needed help.
“We’ve had some people that … waded out (of neighborhoods) and flagged police officers down and told us what is going on,” Cromer, whose city is northeast of New Orleans, told CNN on Monday morning.
“Seems like there’s hundreds, possibly more, people trapped in their houses, with some extent of water — from a foot deep to people in the attics,” Jordy Bloodsworth, fleet captain of the Louisiana Cajun Navy volunteer rescue group, told CNN earlier Monday morning.
Portions of St. Charles Parish "highly likely" to be without power for a month, officials say
From CNN’s Keith Allen
St. Charles Parish officials are asking residents who have evacuated from their homes ahead of Hurricane Ida to stay away from their homes for “a few more days” as streets remain lined with debris, trees, and downed power lines Monday night.
A boil water advisory remains in effect for the entire southeastern Louisiana parish, and in a Facebook post Monday night, officials say they have “limited to no communications abilities.”
Crews are working to restore water service on the parish’s east bank as early as Tuesday, and residents parish-wide are being asked to conserve water in the event firefighters need it to fight fires, according to the Facebook post.
Residents are asked to stay away from their homes, if possible, but when they do return, officials are asking them to be prepared to stay there for some time.
“If you evacuated and can stay in place for a few more days, we highly advise it. When you do return, you will need to bring everything you need for at least a week including food, ice, water, and fuel,” the statement continues.
“It is highly likely that we will be without power for a month,” officials say.
St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne has also called a curfew from 8 p.m. local time until 5 a.m. local time, according to the statement.
Entergy says Ida outages could last "more than three weeks"
From CNN's Dave Alsup
Entergy says it could take more than three weeks to restore electricity after Hurricane Ida.
“Based on historical restoration times, customers in the direct path of a storm as intense as Hurricane Ida could experience outages for more than three weeks. While 90% of customers will be restored sooner, customers in the hardest-hit areas should plan for the possibility of experiencing extended power outages,” said Deanna Rodriguez, Entergy New Orleans president and CEO.
“This will be a marathon, not a sprint,” Rodriguez said. “We’re working as safely and quickly as we can, but recovery will vary depending on the damage incurred and its location. We must all be prepared for the recovery to take some time. While too early in the process to give approximate restoration times, our focus remains on getting the assessments completed so that we can begin to provide more guidance to customers as soon as possible. We appreciate our customer’s patience and will continue to provide updates as they become available.”
20 water rescues reported in 3 counties, Mississippi governor says
From CNN’s Keith Allen
Striking a cautiously optimistic tone, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves thanked residents for heeding warnings ahead of Hurricane Ida and asked for one more night of patience as the storm continues to move through the state.
Reeves expects the storm to make its way out of Mississippi by daybreak, and he urged residents who live north of Jackson to remain indoors with heavy rain and 35-40 mph winds still predicted for Monday night.
“And so, while the winds have died down a bit from where they were when the storm entered our state, it is still a dangerous storm and we will still see significant amounts of rainfall over the next 12 hours,” he added.
There are still approximately 85,000 power outages throughout the state, down from 136,000 outages, and 19 shelters remain open, down from 28 earlier in the day, Reeves said.
Over the last 36 hours, approximately 20 water rescues were performed in Jackson, Harrison, and Hancock counties, but reports of damage so far have been light, the governor told reporters Monday.
Reeves also said that he authorized the release of federal assets earlier in the day on Monday, so that they may be deployed to harder-hit Louisiana.
“It was very clear and very evident that we could take care of ourselves, and when you’re in a major hurricane of this magnitude, if you can take care of yourself at the local or the state level, it’s imperative that you do the right thing and let the federal assets go to where they are most needed,” the governor said.
Jim Craig, senior deputy and director of the Mississippi Department of Health, also summarized the storm’s impact on the state’s vulnerable population.
Mississippi has four nursing homes that are running on generator power and two nursing homes that reported minor damage. Five hospital facilities are operating on a mixture of electric grid and generators, and six hospitals are reporting minor damage, Craig said.
Two assisted living facilities are without power Monday afternoon and three such facilities are currently operating on generators, Craig added.
Nearly 800 people rescued in St. John the Baptist Parish
From CNN's Raja Razak
St. John the Baptist Parish rescue teams place a person onto the back of a truck during an evacuation on the morning after Hurricane Ida hit the area, Monday, August 30, in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana.
(Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate/AP)
St. John the Baptist Parish president Jaclyn Hotard said nearly 800 people were rescued, and approximately 18,000 residents remain without power, calling it “a parish-wide disaster.”
“This is the first time in about a 24-hour period that we’ve been able to make phone calls, be able to get on the internet, check email. All of our communication systems had failed. Even the backups that we had to our communication systems failed, and those backups to the backups failed. So we were pretty much cut off from any communication,” Hotard said during a news conference on Monday.
“We have worked tirelessly through the night with our rescue efforts. We are quickly moving into recovery as we still continue to rescue individuals. There were almost 800 people that were actually rescued,” she added. “We have about 18,000 residents still without power in St. John. We’ve experienced 17 inches of rain and five feet of storm surge, and this system sat over St. John for hours … Devastating winds for hours. This is one of the worst natural disasters I’ve ever seen in St. John.”
Hotard urged residents to remain safe when traveling on roads, saying there are many roads blocked due to downed trees and power lines.
At this time, there are no reported storm-related deaths, according to Hotard. St. John the Baptist Parish will be under a curfew beginning 6 p.m. local time Monday to 7 a.m. local time Tuesday.
Tulane University in Louisiana cancels classes and evacuates students
From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph
Tulane University in Louisiana is closing its campus and canceling all classes through Sept. 12, the university announced on Twitter
Undergraduate, in-residence and off-campus students will be transported by bus to Houston, Texas, on Tuesday morning.
The university is establishing a hub in Houston to provide food and accommodations until students can find flights home, the announcement said.
Second storm-related death reported in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida
From CNN’s Rebekah Riess
The Louisiana Department of Health on Monday evening confirmed a second storm-related death due to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.
According to the Department of Health, the death is a man who drowned after attempting to drive his vehicle through floodwater near I-10 and West End Boulevard in New Orleans.
The man’s age is unknown at this time, the department said, adding that the coroner does consider the death to be storm-related.
About 1.1 million customers still without power in Louisiana
From CNN’s Rebekah Riess
Members of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's office rescue people from floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Louisiana, Monday, August 30.
Around 1.1 million customers in Louisiana are still without power today, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday evening.
“Electricity is practically non-existent for most people in Southeast Louisiana,” the governor said, adding that there are 25,000 lineman in the state working to restore power now.
“First of all we really need our hospitals, more than anything else, to come back up, so that people who are in ICU rooms and on ventilators and so forth can continue to receive the life-saving care that they need,” Edwards said. “That’s important all the time. It’s certainly important, even more so, because of the Covid situation.”
“I have to keep reminding people that whether we like it or not, we’re still in the Covid environment. It’s a very difficult Covid environment, where 100% of our cases today are attributable to the Delta,” the governor said.
According to the governor, three hospitals across the state have already been evacuated, with a fourth hospital, Terrebonne General Health System in Houma, in the process of being evacuated Monday evening.
Edwards confirmed there has been one storm-related death, a 60-year-old man from Ascension Parish who died after a tree fell on his home.
According to the governor, there are currently also 18 water system outages impacting more than 312,000 people, and 14 boil water advisories impacting more than 329,000 people across Louisiana.
“There are certainly more questions than answers. I can’t tell you when the power is going to be restored and tell you when all the debris is going to be cleaned up, and repairs made, and so forth. But what I can tell you, is that we’re going to work hard every single day to deliver as much assistance as we possibly can,” Edwards said.
A tornado warning has been issued for parts of 2 Alabama counties
From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph
Auburn University in Alabama has advised its main campus community to seek shelter immediately, citing a tornado warning,
A tornado warning by the National Weather Service remains in effect until 4:30 p.m local time for central Lee and northeastern Macon counties.
The NWS advises residents to take immediate cover, “move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building,” avoid windows for those who are outdoors, in a mobile home or vehicle to find shelter and guard against flying debris.
Ida weakens to a tropical depression
From CNN's Taylor Ward
Two men help a stranded motorist in floodwaters on Monday, August 30, in Biloxi, Mississippi.
(Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Ida has weakened to a tropical depression with sustained winds of 35 mph, according to the 5 p.m. ET advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Ida is now located about 20 miles north of Jackson, Mississippi, with the heaviest rain falling across Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
A wide swath of three to five inches of rain will impact areas from the Deep South tonight through the Tennessee Valley, central Appalachians, and into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast through Thursday.
Flash flood watches are in effect for more than 80 million people from Louisiana to Massachusetts.
Nighttime curfew extended for second day in Ascension Parish
From CNN’s Andy Rose
For the second day, residents of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, are being ordered to stay off the roads after dark.
The sheriff’s office announced the extension of a dusk-to-dawn curfew for Monday evening.
The parish’s emergency preparedness office said in a Twitter post crews have been working throughout the day to clear debris and downed power lines from roadways.
Boil water advisory issued for Jefferson Parish's Grand Isle and entire West Bank
From CNN’s Rebekah Riess
The Jefferson Parish Water Department has issued a boil water advisory for Grand Isle and the entire West Bank due to an anticipated loss of pressure in the distribution system, a tweet from the water department said Monday afternoon.
“Work crews are syncing generators in an effort to ensure continuous service and a temporary loss of pressure is expected,” the tweet said.
The boil water advisory will remain in effect until it is rescinded by the Jefferson Parish Water Department.
Here's a list of school closures in Louisiana
From CNN's Dave Alsup
Several schools are closed in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida, which is now a tropical storm, rain and wind on the state.
Here’s a list of some of the closures:
New Orleans Parish: All schools and facilities are closed until further notice, New Orleans Public Schools announced Monday in a statement. Broad power outages make school reopening unclear, the statement said. New Orleans Public Schools serves 44,631 students, according to the district’s website.
Jefferson Parish: Neighboring Jefferson Parish’s school district also remains closed for in-person and remote learning at least through tomorrow, according to a message on its website.
St. Tammany Parish: St. Tammany Parish Public Schools are closed until further notice, according to a message on the district’s website.
St. Bernard Parish Public Schools: St. Bernard Parish Public Schools will remain closed until further notice due to the loss of power sustained during the storm, the district said in a message on its website. According to the district’s message the decision to close “was made in close consultation with St. Bernard Parish Government officials and includes all district and school events and activities.”
Terrebonne Parish School District: The 36 schools and office buildings in Terrebonne Parish School district will remain closed until further notice, according to a post on the district’s Facebook page. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our entire community as we come together to recover from Hurricane Ida,” the district said in the post.
St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools: St. John the Baptist Parish offices and schools will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday in order to fully assess the full extent of damages, the district said in a statement on its website. “This will also give families an opportunity to do the same in our community,” the statement said. “Please look forward to updates about school closures on Wednesday morning.”
Tangipahoa Parish School System: In a statement on its website, the Tangipaho Parish School System said they could potentially be without power at a minimum for anywhere from three to five days. Schools remain closed Tuesday, the statement said. “Once it is safe to do so, we will evaluate our campuses after the storm and will update families and employees in regards to when we can safely reopen our schools,” according to the statement.
Archdiocese of New Orleans: Both in-person and virtual instruction for all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans will not return until Sept. 6 at the earliest, according to a statement the archdiocese posted today on its website. “Archdiocesan and school leaders will spend the next week assessing damage and planning,” the statement said. The archdiocese oversees more than 60 schools across 10 parishes, according to the Archdiocese website.
Hurricane Ida wipes away entire buildings in Port Fourchon, a key Gulf of Mexico oil port
From CNN's Paul P. Murphy
The first images out of Port Fourchon show widespread devastation with entire buildings destroyed.
Port Fourchon is responsible for 18% of the US’ oil supply.
Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves was on an overflight and took this photo below of the devastation.
Port Fourchon, Louisiana
(Rep. Garret Graves)
Administration officials will travel to Louisiana and Mississippi this week, White House says
From CNN's Jason Hoffman
White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that administration officials will travel to Louisiana and Mississippi this week to meet with state leaders and survey the damage from Hurricane Ida.
Psaki announced that the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday to meet with Gov. John Bel Edwards and survey the damage in the state.
Criswell will also travel to Jackson, Mississippi, to meet with Gov. Tate Reeves to survey the damage in that state.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly described when administration officials will be traveling to Louisiana and Mississippi. They are traveling to both states this week.
Entergy says more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines are out of service
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
Entergy Corp. electric utility company bucket trucks are staged on Canal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday, August 29.
(Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)
The president of Entergy said more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines are out of service across Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
“There are eight transmission lines that feed power to the city of New Orleans that have sustained damage,” Deanna Rodriguez, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, said Monday.
“The catastrophic damage of the storm that hung over west of here, caused a lot of damage to the transmission lines that feed New Orleans,” Rodriguez said.
There are 4,500 boots on the ground in New Orleans doing damage assessment, she said. Rodriguez declined to say when power will be restored.
“By end of day we’ll know more, by tomorrow we’ll know more,” Rodriguez said. “So we’re asking our customers to be patient.”
Pentagon and Homeland Security will provide satellite images to assist with damage assessment
From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury
President Biden said he asked the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security to provide any relevant satellite images to Hurricane Ida to states that have been impacted.
“I’ve also asked the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security to immediately make available any satellite imagery that can assist in assessing the damage in your states and cities and parishes,” the President said during his remarks from the White House.
Biden also noted that the Federal Communications Commission worked on “cooperative agreement” with cellular providers to make sure people who lost cell service have access to a provider.
“We also know a lot of people lost their cell phone service if their particularly carrier tower is down or damaged. This morning the Federal Communications Commission has worked with cellular providers to initiate their cooperative framework agreement. That agreement allows customers… with one provider to go to another provider, if that provider is down.So, it allows customers to use roaming access carriers to any of the carriers that are up and running. And that means you should be able to get a signal no matter who your carrier was or is. The main thing I want to make clear to all of you is we’re providing any help that you’re going to need,” he said.
Biden on Hurricane Ida relief efforts: "We're providing any help that you're going to need"
The President urged residents to continue to “shelter in place if it’s safe for them to do so” as the storm continues its trajectory.
“For those who have lost their homes, the states working with the American Red Cross have already opened 50 shelters in the affected areas across the Gulf Coast,” Biden said.
The President said that search and rescue efforts are already underway. “We’re doing the best we can,” he said.
Biden continued, “More than 5,000 members of the National Guard have been activated from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas to support search and rescue and recovery efforts. And FEMA has pre-positioned, literally, millions of meals and liters of water… as well as other resources. This is in the immediate area.”
The President said that more than 200 generators have been moved into the region and that FEMA is working to send in more.
“We’re in close contact with local electric providers to see what they need, they’re all private providers, we don’t control that, but we’re doing all we can to minimize the amount of time it’s going to take to get power back up for everyone in the region,” he said.
Biden added, that administration officials have been in contact with “the electric sector throughout the night and all day today to assess and understand the full extent of the damage.”
“To accelerate the process I’ve asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work today with Louisiana and Mississippi electric companies to authorize the use of surveillance drones to assess Ida’s damage to energy infrastructure, while ensuring those flight don’t disrupt aerial search and rescue operations,” he continued.
New Orleans mayor calls on residents and businesses to share generator power as city remains dark
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
A TV broadcast is the only source of light on Bourbon Street in the New Orleans French Quarter in the early hours of Monday, August 30.
(David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP)
As the entire city of New Orleans remains without power, the city’s mayor LaToya Cantrell urged people and businesses in the city to “share the power you have.”
“While the power is dependent on generators, I’m calling all of our people and businesses that have the capacity in the city to be good neighbors… Share the power you have, open your businesses with the people to recharge their devices,” Cantrell said Monday.
The mayor noted that when it comes to power outages, “nothing is a quick fix.”
Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said it “is still an extremely hazardous situation” across the city.
Though New Orleans has seen “significant impacts in the city” due to Hurricane Ida, he said the city fared well.
Arnold said if residents have evacuated, it is best to continue to stay away until the city is back on its feet.
The director said especially with Covid-19, if you get injured the hospitals are already “strained,” adding that “right now it’s just not a good time” to come back.
Louisiana governor: "We are still in a life-saving mode here"
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Hurricane Ida left behind “catastrophic” damage and the focus of state officials is conducting search and rescue efforts throughout the impacted areas of the state.
“We are still in a life-saving mode here, doing search and rescue. The roads, the highways into the most affected area were completely clogged with debris, downed power lines, trees,” Edwards said.
The governor said officials are “making really good progress” since starting ground search and rescue operations this morning at daylight.
“We dispatched those forces, and by the way, we already had search and rescue teams from 16 states in Louisiana as of yesterday,” he said.
None of the levee systems in Louisiana failed during the hurricane, governor says
None of Louisiana’s levees failed during Hurricane Ida, Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Monday, calling it “good news.”
He said specifically the federal levee systems and hurricane risk reduction systems performed “magnificently.”
“They were not overtopped. None of them were breached. Even our levee systems that were paid for with state and local funding performed extremely, extremely well,” Edwards said.
The governor said the situation in the state would have been much worse if any of those levee systems failed, “having said that, the damage is still catastrophic,” he said.
He said the damage from the storm was primarily caused by high winds and some areas saw a lot of rain as well.
“We’re going to be dealing with this damage for quite a while and you mentioned the power outage. That is critical for us,” Edwards said. Millions of people in Louisiana are still without power.
NOW: Biden meets with FEMA administrator and state officials on Hurricane Ida relief efforts
From CNN's Jeff Zeleny and Kate Sullivan
President Biden is speaking on Hurricane Ida relief efforts as he meets virtually with a host of leaders involved in the response to the massive storm that has rocked the Gulf Coast.
Biden will meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and governors and mayors from states and cities affected by Ida after the storm made landfall on Sunday in Louisiana and caused catastrophic damage.
A White House official told CNN that Biden would speak on the relief efforts this afternoon.
Where things stand now: At least one person is dead and nearly half of the state is without power, including the entire city of New Orleans. State officials have begun search and rescue efforts. Ida has since weakened to a tropical storm, but life-threatening flash flooding has drawn on into Monday.
Aerial video shows widespread destruction in Grand Isle, Louisiana
The US Coast Guard took video from a flight showing widespread destruction in Grand Isle, Louisiana, following Hurricane Ida.
Here’s a look at the damage:
New Orleans International Airport doing "damage assessment" and expects all flights to be canceled today
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport “is currently conducting a thorough damage assessment,” after Hurricane Ida ripped through the area Sunday.
“MSY is currently conducting a thorough damage assessment. We expect all flights to be cancelled today, but recommend that passengers check directly with their airlines for the most accurate flight info. More details to be provided when they become available,” the airport said in a tweet Monday.
Over the weekend, CNN reported that the airport anticipated airlines to cancel flights due to Ida.