Outside of New Orleans, an even longer road to Ida recovery

“Next stop, I don’t really know …” he said and fell silent. “We just lived day in and day out.”

Both Dulac and Houma are located in Terrebonne Parish, one of the hardest hit areas of Louisiana that was hit on an unprecedented scale by Hurricane Ida. Though Louisiana’s largest electricity company, Entergy values ​​most New Orleans residents will have power By Wednesday, the recovery effort outside of town could be a much longer bore.

Meanwhile, residents continue to face food, water and gas shortages as they struggle against heat and humidity.

Some communities outside of New Orleans have been ravaged by winds of 100 mph or more for hours.

Full restoration of electricity in some of these southeastern communities could take until the end of the month, according to Phillip May, President and CEO of Entergy.

Ida damaged or destroyed more than 22,000 electricity pylons, more than Hurricanes Katrina, Zeta and Delta combined. More than 5,200 transformers failed and almost 26,000 wire spans – the route of the transmission cables between the poles – had failed.

By Saturday morning, power had been restored for approximately 282,000 customers, from the peak of 902,000 who lost power after Ida.

Jay Breaux wipes sweat from his eyes after crossing his home destroyed by Hurricane Ida on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (AP Photo / John Locher) Outside Dulac, 45-year-old shrimp Jay Breaux was standing in front of his house, torn up by the storm. Breaux could see a bed exposed by a crater-strewn wall and a garden chair dangling from the rubble. But he smiled broadly and said his family was not doing as badly as others.

“It’s not worth crying about,” he said of Ida, the recent storm to hit his little town on the bayou. “I have 10 or 12 of these under my belt. But this one is the worst. “

At least 16 deaths were attributed to the storm in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. To the northeast, Ida’s remains have dumped record-breaking rain and killed at least 50 people from Virginia to Connecticut.

The 12 storm-related deaths in Louisiana included five nursing home residents evacuated to a warehouse in Louisiana along with hundreds of other seniors before the hurricane, where health officials said conditions became unsafe.

On Saturday evening, the state health officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter announced the immediate closure of the seven care facilities that residents were sending to the Tangipahoa Parish warehouse.

“The lack of consideration for the well-being of these vulnerable residents is a violation of human dignity. We have lost confidence in these nursing homes to provide their residents with adequate care, ”said Kanter.

As restoration efforts continued, state officials monitored a system of disturbed weather in Campeche Bay, Mexico, which was believed to be encroaching on the central Gulf of Mexico closer to Louisiana.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Saturday the state was planning an exercise to assess its emergency response procedures, if necessary. Previous predictions don’t show the system will intensify into a hurricane, but he said, “Even if it’s a tropical storm, we’re not currently able to receive that much rain.”

“We can’t take the playbook we normally use because the people and assets are no longer where they would have been,” said Edwards. “How do you occupy the accommodations you need for the new storm and continue to test for COVID? My head hurts just thinking about it. … We will be as ready as possible, but I pray we don’t have to deal with that. “

The lower Mississippi River was reopened to all shipping in New Orleans and major ports in southeast Louisiana after power lines were removed from a crashed transmission tower, the US Coast Guard said.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city will begin offering transportation to any resident who wants to leave the city and go to a public animal shelter starting Saturday.

By the end of Saturday, city authorities conducting wellness checks had evacuated hundreds of people from eight senior housing complexes where officials believed the conditions were unworthy of life. The coroner’s office is investigating four post-storm deaths that occurred at three of these facilities.

In a suburb of New Orleans, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto urged people to “calm down” when he announced on Saturday that a man wanted to shoot another man the day before in custody during a dispute in a line at a gas station.

In the meantime, coast guard clean-up teams were on Saturday Response to a sizeable oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after the storm. The ongoing leak appears to be from a subsea well in an offshore well lease approximately 2 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

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