Hurricane Ida pummels Louisiana, knocks out power in New Orleans
New Orleans: Hurricane Ida battered the southern US state of Louisiana and plunged New Orleans into darkness in the wee hours of Monday, leaving at least one person dead.
It has been 16 years since the Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.
Ida slammed into the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 storm but had weakened to a Category 1 by Sunday night.
Ida was packing maximum sustained winds of 95 miles (153 kilometers) per hour on Monday morning and the powerful storm knocked out power for all of New Orleans, as per the media reports.
“Entergy New Orleans has confirmed that the city has no power,” tweeted NOLA Ready, the city’s emergency preparedness programme, referring to the area’s electricity provider.
“The only power in the city is coming from generators and nearly a million customers across Louisiana were without power,” as per an outage tracker Power Outage.
US President Joe Biden, described Ida as a ‘life-threatening storm,’ and declared a major disaster for Louisiana, which gives it access to federal aid.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said one person was killed when a tree fell in Prairieville, 60 miles northwest of New Orleans.
Ahead of Ida’s arrival, showers and strong wind swept New Orleans’ deserted streets throughout the morning, buffeting boarded-up windows at businesses and homes surrounded by sandbags.
The National Hurricane Center warned that the storm surge could create a life-threatening situation and urged residents in affected areas to take all necessary actions to protect life and property.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Ida could be the most powerful storm to hit the state since 1850.
“There is no doubt that the coming days and weeks are going to be extremely difficult,” he said at a briefing on Sunday, adding that some people might have to shelter in place for up to 72 hours.
“Find the safest place in your house and stay there until the storm passes,” the governor tweeted.
“Most residents had heeded warnings of catastrophic damage and authorities’ instructions to flee,” said a resident Charles Fields, while bringing his garden furniture indoors.
“Roads leading out of New Orleans had bumper-to-bumper traffic in the days preceding Ida’s arrival,” he said. “In one neighbourhood in Eastern New Orleans, a few residents were completing preparations just hours before landfall,” he added.
“I’m not sure if I’m prepared, but we just have to ride it. We’ll see how it holds up,” added the 60-year-old, who in 2005 saw Hurricane Katrina flood his house with 11 feet (3.3 meters) of water.
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