New Orleans in darkness after Hurricane Ida cuts power to entire city and saturated soil turns parts of city into ‘brown ocean’: Ida downgraded to tropical storm as carnage leaves in its wake
- More than 1 million people were without power Monday through Louisiana and Mississippi
- Hurricane Ida flooded much of New Orleans and overwhelmed levees that were reinforced after Hurricane Katrina hit the area 16 years ago
- The only power entering the city was from generators
- Meanwhile, the storm had weakened to a tropical storm when it crossed Mississippi on Monday
- One person has reportedly been killed so far, although many others are feared to be trapped
Ida left more than 1 million people without power through Louisiana and Mississippi when torrential rain poured down over the area, flooding much of New Orleans before it was downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday.
All of New Orleans lost power around sunset on Sunday, leaving people without refrigeration and air conditioning in the hot summer weather as they used flashlights to search the damage as the storm passed around dawn.
Figures from energy supplier EntEnergy confirmed that 144,000 households were without power in the Big Easy. Another 195,000 are without power in nearby Jefferson Parish, while 80,000 are without power in St Tamany Parish.
The New Orleans outage was caused by a tower toppled by Ida, with power suppliers warning that power would be cut indefinitely while damage is assessed — and locals could wait weeks for it to return.
Entergy confirmed that the only power in New Orleans came from generators, the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Energy Preparedness tweeted, citing “catastrophic transmission damage.” The city relies on Entergy for the backup power for the pumps for the dikes.
That has raised fears that locals could poison themselves by attempting to run the generators — which emit dangerous carbon monoxide — in poorly ventilated indoor areas. So far, one person has been killed, an unidentified victim who died Sunday when a tree fell on their home in Prairieville, Louisiana.
Greg Nazarko, manager of the Bourbon Bandstand bar on Bourbon Street, stands outside the club, riding out the storm that left New Orleans without power on Monday
A police officer patrols a woman walking along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Anyone in need of emergency assistance was asked to go to their local patrol officer or to the nearest fire station
Police used flashlights to see through the rubble early Monday after a building collapsed from the effects of Hurricane Ida
Downtown buildings were lit by backup generators as nearly 1 million people were without power
The levees — which had been upgraded since Hurricane Katrina devastated the area exactly 16 years ago — either failed again or became inundated, flooding homes with saturated sails turning parts of the city into a phenomenon known as the brown ocean.
Anyone in need of emergency assistance was asked to go to the nearest fire station or approach the nearest officer.
Some people also took to social media to post their addresses and locations and ask for help, with officials promising rescue efforts would begin in the early morning hours Monday, when it entered Mississippi.
The levees – which were strengthened after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – failed and were flooded
Montegut Fire Chief Toby Henry walks back to his fire truck in the rain as firefighters chopped through trees on the road in Bourg, Louisiana as Hurricane Ida swept the city on Sunday
A knocked-down sign lies on the street along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter
The storm shattered the Buddy Bolden mural on the wall of The Little Gem Saloon
The storm’s highest wind speed on Monday was 60 mph, and forecasters expect it to weaken dramatically if it rains on Mississippi.
It was centered about 95 miles southwest of Jackson, Mississippi this morning.