Residents in Louisiana may remain without power for several weeks while officials assess the damage caused by Hurricane Ida, a report said.
Ida arrived on Sunday with winds of 150mph (240km/h), the fifth strongest ever to hit the US mainland. Around one million people remain without power.
One leader from the Greater New Orleans region said, “It’s going be a difficult lifestyle for quite some time.”
Search and rescue operations have seen the deployment of approximately 5,000 National Guard personnel.
CNN reports that more than 25,000 workers across the country mobilized to help restore power to the state.
A tree that fell on their house in Ascension Parish in Louisiana’s Baton Rouge region has left at least one person dead.
Officials from the state and local governments have admitted that the number of victims is likely to rise as search and rescue efforts continue. However, they maintained that the city has largely “held the line”.
“The systems that we relied on to protect our city and save lives did exactly that, and we are grateful for them,” stated LaToya Cantrell, Mayor of New Orleans.
She advised residents who have already evacuated their homes to remain until power and communication are restored.
The slow-moving Ida is moving inland and has now weakened to a tropical hurricane. However, the National Hurricane Centre warned that heavy rainfall could still cause flooding in parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Ida was once considered “life-threatening” and was compared to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which had a similar path to Ida’s and caused 1,800 deaths.
It seemed that New Orleans‘ flood defenses have been able to withstand the storm’s aftermath. Governor John Bel Edwards stated that the levee systems have “performed marvelously” and no breach has been reported.
He acknowledged Monday that “but the damage is still devastating.” “We are still in life-saving mode.”
President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency and released additional funds to support rescue and recovery efforts.
He pledged Monday that the federal government would “stand with the people of Gulf [Coast] until you recover.”
Entergy, Louisiana’s largest power company, said it would take days, and possibly weeks, to restore electricity to more than one million Louisiana homes without power.
Ida gained strength in the warm Gulf of Mexico waters during the weekend. The storm has impacted more than 90% of the country’s oil production.
Ida, a category four hurricane, made landfall in south-central New Orleans on Sunday. It would cause extensive damage to buildings, trees, and power lines. As it moves inland, Ida’s winds have dropped to 95mph (153km/h), meaning it is now a category one storm.
Storm surges are still feared along the coast. These could reach as high as 16ft (4.8m) and potentially submerge parts of the low-lying coastline.
Those affected by the hurricane can also contact Lisa Thibodaux, Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of RV Parks and Campground (LARVC) at (225) 752-1455 or [email protected] for any questions and inquiries.