Hurricane Ida: “Catastrophic Damage” in Louisiana

Status: 08/30/2021 9:19 p.m.

Flooded streets, covered roofs, more than a million people without electricity: Hurricane “Ida” caused severe damage in the southern United States around New Orleans. The governor fears many deaths.

Hurricane Ida caused severe damage in the southern US state of Louisiana and claimed at least two lives. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards described the damage as “catastrophic”. He firmly assumes that the number of deaths will increase “significantly” over the course of the day. The storm raged for hours with wind speeds of up to 230 kilometers per hour.

Rebuilding will take weeks and months, Edwards told NBC TV. The rescue and recovery operations started slowly because so many roads are impassable due to the rubble. “The damage is really catastrophic.” Many residents still have stagnant water in their homes and need to be rescued.

The governor also emphasized that it was very gratifying that the flood protection system in New Orleans, which was built after the destruction by Hurricane “Katrina” in 2005, had held up. “The situation in New Orleans is bad as it is now with no electricity, but it could be so much worse,” he said, looking at the protective dams. He hoped that electricity could be restored “soon” at least in parts of New Orleans.

The numerous overturned electricity pylons pose a particular danger. More than a million people are without electricity.

Build: AP

A million people without electricity

More than a million people in the southern United States are without electricity – most in Louisiana, where the cyclone hit land. According to the website there are around 996,000 households without electricity, in the neighboring state of Mississippi around 36,000.

The power went out in the entire New Orleans metropolitan area. “The only electricity in the city comes from generators,” wrote the city operations center on Twitter. Almost 400,000 people live in New Orleans.

Another dead found

In the Prairieville community, a person was fatally injured by a falling tree, said the sheriff’s office. When the police arrived, the officers could only determine the death of the victim. The place is located southeast of Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. Another fatality was found in New Orleans. A driver drowned there in heavy rain, the authorities said.

Extent of destruction not yet foreseeable

Photos and videos show houses and streets that were under water, covered buildings and numerous uprooted trees in the coastal areas. Low-lying areas southwest of the city of New Orleans, for which evacuation orders had previously been issued, were particularly hard hit. Reports of severe damage also came from the small town of Houma, further north, with a population of around 30,000 and directly on the path of the storm.

The situation is tense for many hospitals. Because of the extremely high number of corona patients, they could not be evacuated. Not a single bed was left in his Baton Rouge hospital, said Dr. Christoper Thomas on CNN: “The hurricane feels almost normal to us. But together with Corona it is really stressful. And we are worried about our oxygen supply.”

The extent of the damage caused by cyclone “Ida” cannot yet be foreseen

Verena Bünten, ARD Washington, daily news 5:00 p.m., 8/30/2021

“Use all the power of this country”

President Joe Biden accepted the Louisiana state of emergency and approved federal aid. He also addressed the residents directly. “As soon as the storm is over, we will use all the power in this country to rescue and rebuild,” said Biden.

2.5 million meals, three million liters of drinking water, 76,000 tarpaulins and 64 generators have already been placed in the region. In addition, hundreds of helpers, 90 ambulances, as well as eight ambulance planes and seven helicopters have been provided, said the disaster control agency Fema.

“The danger is not over yet”, Kerstin Klein, ARD Washington, on the cyclone “Ida”

tagesschau24 4:00 p.m., 8/30/2021

“Ida” is losing strength

The center of hurricane “Ida” hit the coast at Port Fourchon southwest of New Orleans on Sunday afternoon as an extremely dangerous storm of force four out of five – with winds of 150 miles per hour. Over the warm Gulf of Mexico, “Ida” had massively gained strength, but has since lost its momentum.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has now downgraded “Ida” from a hurricane to a tropical storm. However, dangerous tidal waves, violent winds and flash floods are still to be expected in parts of southeast Louisiana and in the south of the state of Mississippi.

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