Storms capable of producing five to eight centimeters (two to three inches) of rain “in a fairly short period of time” were saturating New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi on Monday, and are expected to continue in the South. evening, National Weather Service meteorologist Lara Pagano said.
“Part of that [rain] will occur on Ida-saturated soil, already sensitive areas, with further problematic heavy rains leading to flash floods, ”Pagano told Reuters news agency.
States are struggling to recover more than a week after Ida, one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the US Gulf Coast, devastated the region and damaged New Brunswick’s power grid -Orléans.
The storm killed at least 13 people in Louisiana and more than 500,000 customers in the state remained without power on Monday, according to the PowerOutage.us website, which tracks the power outages.
The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday it was investigating nearly 350 reports of oil spills in and along the Gulf Coast in Ida’s wake.
President Joe Biden has approved disaster declarations for Louisiana, which he visited on Friday, as well as for New York and New Jersey, where he will visit on Tuesday.
The declarations allow states to access federal assistance for repairs and reconstruction after intense flooding.
“Help can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover losses of uninsured property and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects. of the disaster, ”the White House said in a statement.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said Ida caused more than $ 50 million in damage in that state after the storm’s record rainfall of 7.8 cm (3.1 inches) per hour on Wednesday.
Hochul said she had ordered that $ 378 million of risk mitigation funds previously awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) be spent to support New York’s infrastructure against extreme weather conditions.
Biden will travel to Manville, New Jersey and New York’s Queens neighborhood on Tuesday to assess damage from the hurricane.
New York has recorded 17 confirmed Ida deaths – four in suburban Westchester County and the rest in New York City. In New Jersey, there have been at least 27 confirmed storm deaths and four people missing, a spokesperson for the governor said.
In the southern United States, labor and supply shortages leading up to the hurricane will likely slow reconstruction efforts after Ida, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Construction companies have been particularly affected. In a survey last month by real estate search firm Zonda, 93% of construction executives complained of supply shortages while 74% said they were short of workers.
“Natural disasters put a strain on building materials, reconstruction materials and labor,” Ali Wolf, Zonda’s chief economist, told the AP.
“The difference today is that the entire supply chain was damaged even before Ida’s accident. You really have all of these things hitting at exactly the same time. Frankly, the last thing the supply chain needed was some extra tension.