1st death from Hurricane Ida; power out across New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Ida blasted ashore Sunday arsenic 1 of the astir almighty storms ever to deed the U.S., knocking retired powerfulness to each of New Orleans, blowing roofs disconnected buildings and reversing the travel of the Mississippi River arsenic it rushed from the Louisiana seashore into 1 of the nation’s astir important concern corridors.

The hurricane was blamed for astatine slightest 1 death. The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said connected Facebook that deputies responded to a location successful Prairieville connected a study of idiosyncratic injured by a fallen tree. The person, who was not identified, was pronounced dead. Prairieville is simply a suburb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s superior city.

The powerfulness outage successful New Orleans heightened the city’s vulnerability to flooding and near hundreds of thousands of radical without aerial conditioning and refrigeration successful sweltering summertime heat.

Ida — a Category 4 tempest — deed connected the aforesaid day Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years earlier, coming ashore astir 45 miles (72 kilometers) westbound of wherever Category 3 Katrina archetypal struck land. Ida’s 150-mph (230 kph) winds tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever deed the mainland U.S. It dropped hours aboriginal to a Category 2 tempest with maximum winds of 105 mph (165 kph) arsenic it crawled inland, its oculus astir 40 miles (65 kilometers) west-northwest of New Orleans.

Significant flooding was reported precocious Sunday nighttime successful LaPlace, a assemblage adjacent to Lake Pontchartrain, meteorologists successful New Orleans said. Many radical took to societal media, pleading for vessel rescues arsenic the h2o rose.

The rising water swamped the obstruction land of Grand Isle arsenic landfall came conscionable to the westbound astatine Port Fourchon. Ida made a 2nd landfall astir 2 hours aboriginal adjacent Galliano. The hurricane was churning done the acold confederate Louisiana wetlands, with the much than 2 cardinal radical surviving successful and astir New Orleans and Baton Rouge nether threat.

“This is going to beryllium overmuch stronger than we usually spot and, rather frankly, if you had to gully up the worst imaginable way for a hurricane successful Louisiana, it would beryllium thing very, precise adjacent to what we’re seeing,” Gov. John Bel Edwards told The Associated Press.

People successful Louisiana woke up to a monster tempest aft Ida’s apical winds grew by 45 mph (72 kph) successful 5 hours arsenic the hurricane moved done immoderate of the warmest water h2o successful the satellite successful the bluish Gulf of Mexico.

The full metropolis of New Orleans precocious Sunday was without power, according to metropolis officials. The city’s powerfulness supplier — Entergy — confirmed that the lone powerfulness successful the metropolis was coming from generators, the city’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness said connected Twitter. The connection included a surface changeable that cited “catastrophic transmission damage” for the powerfulness failure.

The metropolis relies connected Entergy for backup powerfulness for the pumps that region tempest h2o from metropolis streets. Rain from Ida is expected to trial that pump system.

More than 1 cardinal customers were without powerfulness successful 2 Southern states impacted by Ida — much than 930,000 successful Louisiana and 28,000 successful Mississippi, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages nationwide.

In New Orleans, upwind tore astatine awnings and caused buildings to sway and h2o to spill retired of Lake Ponchartrain. The Coast Guard bureau successful New Orleans received much than a twelve reports of breakaway barges, said Petty Officer Gabriel Wisdom. In Lafitte astir 35 miles (55 km) southbound of New Orleans, a escaped barge struck a bridge, according to Jefferson Parish officials.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Ricky Boyette said engineers detected a “negative flow” connected the Mississippi River arsenic a effect of tempest surge. And Edwards said helium watched a unrecorded video provender from astir Port Fourchon arsenic Ida came ashore that showed that roofs had been blown disconnected buildings successful “many places.”

“The tempest surge is conscionable tremendous,” Edwards told the AP.

Officials said Ida’s swift intensification from a fewer thunderstorms to a monolithic hurricane successful conscionable 3 days near nary clip to signifier a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans’ 390,000 residents. Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged residents remaining successful the metropolis connected Sunday to “hunker down.”

Marco Apostolico said helium felt assured riding retired the tempest astatine his location successful New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, 1 of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods erstwhile levees failed and released a torrent of floodwater during Katrina.

His location was among those rebuilt with the assistance of histrion Brad Pitt to withstand hurricane-force winds. But the representation of Katrina inactive hung implicit the latest storm.

“It’s evidently a batch of dense feelings,” helium said. “And yeah, perchance scary and dangerous.”

The portion getting Ida’s worst includes petrochemical sites and large ports, which could prolong important damage. It is besides an country that is already reeling from a resurgence of COVID-19 infections owed to debased vaccination rates and the highly contagious delta variant.

New Orleans hospitals planned to thrust retired the tempest with their beds astir full, arsenic likewise stressed hospitals elsewhere had small country for evacuated patients. And shelters for those fleeing their homes carried an added hazard of becoming flashpoints for caller infections.

Forecasters warned winds stronger than 115 mph (185 kph) threatened Houma, a metropolis of 33,000 that supports lipid platforms successful the Gulf.

The hurricane was besides threatening neighboring Mississippi, wherever Katrina demolished oceanfront homes. With Ida approaching, Claudette Jones evacuated her location eastbound of Gulfport, Mississippi, arsenic waves started pounding the shore.

“I’m praying I tin spell backmost to a mean location similar I left,” she said. “That’s what I’m praying for. But I’m not definite astatine this point.”

Comparisons to the Aug. 29, 2005, landfall of Katrina weighed heavy connected residents bracing for Ida. Katrina was blamed for 1,800 deaths arsenic it caused levee breaches and catastrophic flooding successful New Orleans. Ida’s hurricane-force winds stretched 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the storm’s eye, oregon astir fractional the size of Katrina, and a New Orleans’ infrastructure authoritative emphasized that the metropolis is successful a “very antithetic spot than it was 16 years ago.”

The levee strategy has been massively overhauled since Katrina, Ramsey Green, lawman main administrative serviceman for infrastructure, said earlier the worst of the tempest hit. While h2o whitethorn not penetrate levees, Green said if forecasts of up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rainfall beryllium true, the city’s underfunded and neglected web of pumps, underground pipes and aboveground canals apt won’t beryllium capable to support up.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality was successful interaction with much than 1,500 lipid refineries, chemic plants and different delicate facilities and volition respond to immoderate reported contamination leaks oregon petroleum spills, bureau spokesperson Greg Langley said. He said the bureau would deploy 3 mobile air-monitoring laboratories aft the tempest passes to sample, analyse and study immoderate threats to nationalist health.

Louisiana’s 17 lipid refineries relationship for astir one-fifth of the U.S. refining capableness and its 2 liquefied earthy state export terminals vessel astir 55% of the nation’s full exports, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Government statistic amusement that 95% of lipid and state accumulation successful the Gulf Coast portion was unopen down arsenic Ida made landfall connected Sunday, according to vigor institution S&P Global Platts.

Louisiana is besides location to 2 atomic powerfulness plants, 1 adjacent New Orleans and different astir 27 miles (about 43 kilometers) northwest of Baton Rouge.

President Joe Biden approved exigency declarations for Louisiana and Mississippi up of Ida’s arrival. He said Sunday the state was praying for the champion for Louisiana and would enactment its “full mightiness down the rescue and recovery” effort erstwhile the tempest passes.

Edwards warned his authorities to brace for perchance weeks of recovery.

“Many, galore radical are going to beryllium tested successful ways that we tin lone ideate today,” the politician told a quality conference.


Associated Press writers Stacey Plaisance successful New Orleans; Emily Wagster Pettus successful Jackson, Mississippi; Jay Reeves successful Gulfport, Mississippi; Jeff Martin successful Marietta, Georgia; Seth Borenstein successful Kensington, Maryland; Frank Bajak successful Boston; Michael Biesecker and Martin Crutsinger successful Washington; Pamela Sampson and Sudhin Thanawala successful Atlanta; and Jeffrey Collins successful Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.

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