Louisiana Governor Says He ‘Fully Expects’ Death Count Attributed To Hurricane Ida To ‘Go Up Considerably’
As local officials throughout Louisiana and Mississippi attempt to access the damage inflicted by Hurricane Ida, some local mayors are reporting their communities seemingly escaped worst-case scenarios, but Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned that fatalities related to the storm would likely rise as search-and-rescue missions intensify.
Ida, which made landfall early Sunday afternoon near Port Fourchon with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles an hour, was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday morning.
More than 1 million people in Louisiana were without power Monday morning, according to PowerOutage.US, with another 130,000 customers in Mississippi losing power as well.
Sharon Weston Broome, the mayor of East Baton Rouge Mayor, said Monday that although much of the parish is without power, the parish was “spared from a horrific impact” of Ida.
Natchez, Mississippi, mayor Dan Gibson said in a press conference that roads “for the most part” are in good condition and that he was “grateful to report that everything is well.”
One death has been attributed to the storm (a man in Prairieville, La., died after a tree fell on a house), but Gov. Edwards (D-La.) said Monday he “fully expects the death count will go up considerably throughout the day.”
What To Watch For:
Although Ida is expected to continue losing strength as it moves further inland, it will continue to pose a danger to many parts of the Southeast, according to the National Hurricane Center. A flood watch has been issued for most of Middle Tennessee, and the storm is forecast to drop up to six inches of rain throughout the Upper Ohio Valley on Wednesday.
With Ida making landfall as a Category 4 storm carrying wind speeds up to 150 mph, it became the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the mainland U.S. It’s the fifth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and arrived on the sixteenth anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina, which decimated New Orleans in 2005.
“This is going to be a fairly long ordeal in terms of getting everything cleaned up and certainly getting everything repaired,” said Gov. Edwards.
5,200. That’s the number of National Guard personnel being dispatched to Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama to assist search-and-rescue efforts.
Ida Weakens To Tropical Storm As Images Show Damage Caused By Extreme Conditions (Forbes)
First Death Reported From Hurricane Ida As More Than One Million Louisiana Homes Are Left Without Power (Forbes)