ITV reporter Jonathan Brown reports 150-mile-an-hour winds battered Louisiana and Mississippi
Hurricane Ida has exploded on the Louisiana coast as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the United States.
The storm cut power across New Orleans, blowing up the roofs of buildings and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River as it rushed off the Louisiana coast into one of the most important industrial corridors in the world. country.
Ida has been blamed for at least one death – one person found dead following a report of a tree fallen on a house in Prairieville, a suburb of the state capital, Baton Rouge, said the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office on Facebook.
The power outage in New Orleans increased the city’s vulnerability to flooding and left hundreds of thousands of people without air conditioning or refrigeration in the sweltering summer heat.
Extreme winds tear buildings and power lines in Louisiana
Ida – now a tropical storm, 16 hours after reaching land as a Category 4 storm – struck on the same date Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and the Mississippi 16 years earlier, dropping down to about 72 kilometers west of where Category 3 Katrina first made landfall.
Ida’s winds of 150 mph (230 km / h) matched it for the fifth strongest hurricane to ever hit the continental United States.
He fell a few hours later in a Category 1 storm with maximum winds of 95 mph (155 km / h) as he crawled inland, his eye about 45 miles (70 kilometers) to the north -western New Orleans.
Significant flooding was reported Sunday night in LaPlace, a community adjacent to Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans meteorologists said. Many took to social media, pleading for boat rescues as the water rose.
The rising ocean submerged the barrier island of Grand Isle as the landing reached just west at Port Fourchon. Ida made a second landing about two hours later near Galliano.
The hurricane swept through wetlands in far southern Louisiana, with more than 2 million people living in and around New Orleans and Baton Rouge under threat.
Gov. John Bel Edwards told The Associated Press: “It’s going to be a lot louder than what we usually see and quite frankly if you were to chart the worst possible path for a hurricane in Louisiana it would be something very, very close. to what we see.
Louisiana residents woke up to a monster storm after Ida’s strongest winds increased 72 km / h (45 mph) in five hours as the hurricane moved through some of the world’s most oceanic waters. warmest in the world in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The entire city of New Orleans was without power on Sunday night, city officials said.
The city’s electricity supplier – Entergy – has confirmed that the city’s only electricity comes from generators, the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Bureau said on Twitter.
The post included a screenshot citing “catastrophic transmission damage” for the power failure.
The city relies on Entergy for back-up power to pumps that drain stormwater from city streets. Ida’s rain should test this pump system.
More than a million customers were without power in Louisiana and more than 40,000 were in the dark in Mississippi, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks blackouts across the country.
In New Orleans, the wind tore the awnings and swayed the buildings and caused the water to overflow from Lake Ponchartrain.
The Coast Guard’s office in New Orleans has received more than a dozen reports of escaped barges, Petty Officer Gabriel Wisdom said.
US Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Ricky Boyette said engineers detected “negative flow” on the Mississippi River as a result of the storm surge.
Officials said Ida’s rapid escalation from a few thunderstorms to a massive hurricane in just three days left no time to organize a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans’ 390,000 residents.
Ida’s worst-hit region includes petrochemical sites and major ports, which could suffer significant damage.
It is also a region that is already reeling from a resurgence of Covid-19 infections due to low vaccination rates and the highly contagious delta variant.
Hospitals in New Orleans were planning to weather the storm with their beds nearly full, as also stressed hospitals elsewhere had little room for evacuated patients. And shelters for those fleeing their homes carried an additional risk of becoming hotbeds of new infections.
Forecasters warned that winds above 115 mph (185 km / h) threatened Houma, a town of 33,000 that supports oil platforms in the Gulf.
The hurricane also threatened neighboring Mississippi, where Katrina demolished seaside homes.
Comparisons to the Katrina landing on August 29, 2005 weighed heavily on residents preparing for Ida.
Katrina has been blamed for 1,800 deaths as she caused dike ruptures and catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.
President Joe Biden approved emergency declarations for Louisiana and Mississippi ahead of Ida’s arrival. He said on Sunday that the country was praying for the best for Louisiana and would put “all of its might behind the rescue and recovery efforts” once the storm passed.