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3 p.m. Tuesday update: Good news on mobile connectivity
There’s some good news on the horizon from the Terrebonne Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness: T-Mobile and Sprint are setting up a satellite communications tower behind Bayou Cane’s Fire department.
The tower should provide access across a 3-mile radius. It should be up and running later this week.
Verizon, T-mobile/Sprint and AT&T wireless have resources deployed throughout this parish to improve connectivity.
Food is available in Lafourche Parish
Here is where you can find food and supplies:
Thibodaux Family Church, 785 N. Canal Blvd. in Thibodaux
Raceland Ag Center, 100 Texas St. in Raceland
Lockport Central Station, 806 Crescent Ave. in Lockport
Our Lady of Promt Succor Church, 723 N. Bayou Drive in Golden Meadow
1:25 p.m. Tuesday update: Questions linger about power in New Orleans with no timeline in sight
Entergy has not provided a timeline on when power will be restored to New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a midday news conference. The utility is expected to announce details soon on when the city might get power again.
Entergy said 216 substations, 207 transmission lines and more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines were out of service following Ida.
Cooling stations are being set up around the sweltering city, with one opening today and seven more Wednesday. The stations will have air conditioning and water, along with facilities for pets.
The city is working with the National Guard to open point of distribution sites, nicknamed PODS, that offer ice, water and ready-to-eat meals. Details about those sites are supposed to be found at ready.nola.gov, although much of the city’s website is down until later in the afternoon due to an electrical fire.
The Louisiana SPCA said that any seriously injured animals in New Orleans should be reported to 911. Residents should not try to remove pets that were left behind by evacuees. Instead, abandoned pets should be reported to 504-368-5191 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A team from the Louisiana SPCA will be sent to rescue the pet and work to reunite it with its owner.
12:30 p.m. Tuesday update: Applications for FEMA aid now open
Homeowners and renters in 25 Louisiana parishes hit by Hurricane Ida can begin applying for help from FEMA.
Those parishes are Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Point Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
File a claim first for any homeowners or renters insurance policies you have. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance.
The agency also says a social media post stating FEMA will pay for hotels if you call a toll-free number is false. Anyone getting FEMA help first must apply for it.
Apply at disasterassistance.gov. If you can’t get online, call 800-621-3362 (TYY: 800-462-7585) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Be sure to have:
A phone number where you can be reached.
Address at the time of Ida and where you’re now staying
Social Security number
A general list of damages and losses
The policy number, the agent and/or the company name for any insurance policies you have.
10 a.m. Tuesday update: Lafourche residents can return at noon Tuesday
Lafourche residents will be allowed to return home beginning at noon today, the parish Sheriff’s Office says.
Checkpoints are set up, and you must show proof of residency, such as your driver’s license. A curfew is now in place from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.
“Please know there is no clean water access from Raceland to the south Lafourche area,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “There is no power in the parish, and it will not be restored for some time. Nearly all communication is down, including cellphone service parish-wide.
“Your home may be severely damaged and uninhabitable. We do not have access to food at this time due to the amount of damage to stores, so please bring all supplies you need to self-sustain while you are here. Parish officials are working on phone services now to ensure emergency services can be contacted and dispatched.”
All alcohol sales are suspended until further notice.
9:45 a.m. Tuesday update: Tulane University evacuating until Sept. 12
Tulane University announced late Monday the school will cancel classes and close the school through Sunday, Sept. 12, blaming lack of power and city services. Starting Sept. 13, classes will be held virtually through Oct. 6.
The school is evacuating all students off-campus starting Tuesday morning and will provide meals and lodging until they are able to get flights home.
“Tulane is currently establishing a hub in Houston to provide food and lodging at Tulane’s expense for students until they can get flights home. Emergency funds are available for students who need additional financial support.”
9:15 a.m. Tuesday update: When might power be restored?
Hurricane Ida shredded power grids in New Orleans, Houma’s bayou country and much of southeastern Louisiana, complicating recovery as temperatures rise and water systems are compromised.
More than 1 million customers remained without power Tuesday and many of those can expect weeks without electricity, the largest electricity provider and the Louisiana Public Service Commission that regulates utilities said.
“Customers, especially those the further south and/or east, you go should expect to be without power for seven to 10 days with those nearer to the coast and New Orleans realistically looking at weeks,” Public Service Commission Chairman Craig Greene said late Monday night in a press release.
Entergy, the largest provider with 1.2 million customers in the region being served through Entergy Louisiana or Energy New Orleans, said 216 substations, 207 transmission lines and more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines were out of service following Ida.
8:45 a.m. Tuesday update: First look at Grand Isle damage
Grand Isle, a community of about 1,400 permanent residents, was one of the first southern Louisiana towns to feel Hurricane Ida’s impact when the Category 4 storm made landfall late Sunday morning.
Advertiser photographer Scott Clause was among the first journalists to return to Grand Isle on Monday, where he made photos documenting the damage.
6:45 a.m. Tuesday update: ‘Ida one of top 5 fastest-intensifying hurricanes on record’
Jeff Masters, a former hurricane hunter meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and founder of the Weather Underground, told USA TODAY that global warming is having an impact on storms.
“Climate change is causing more rapid intensification of Atlantic hurricanes, and Ida was one of the top 5 fastest-intensifying hurricanes on record before a U.S. landfall.”
Ida exploded in intensity before landfall after moving over the exceptionally warm Gulf waters, going from 85 mph to 150 mph in 20 hours, easily exceeding the official threshold for intensification. The storm smashed into the Louisiana coast Sunday with winds of 150 mph, tying it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland on record.
6:15 a.m. Tuesday update: 1 million still without power
According to a map of power outages show that 1,014,973 customers are still without power through Louisiana.
The bulk of the outages are Entergy customers at 788,345, followed by Cleco Power (96,450), Dixie Electric (84,707) and Washington St. Tammany Electric Cooperative (45,447).
By parish, Jefferson has the most customers (198,686) still without power, while Orleans has 181,002 without power.
11:31 p.m. update: Man attacked by alligator in flooded Louisiana waters
Hurricane Ida has destroyed homes, left millions without power and killed at least two people. But perhaps most ominous, it’s brought danger in the water that’s flooding into communities.
Officials say a man was attacked by an alligator in some of those flooded Louisiana waters Monday. The man’s wife witnessed the attack that happened near the city of Slidell, which is just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, Jason Gaubert, a spokesman for the St. Tammany Fire District No. 1, told USA TODAY.
Gaubert said the attack took the man’s arm off and his wife went to call for help. When she returned, he had disappeared in the floodwaters. The man’s body hasn’t been recovered and officials were investigating.
The St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office said the man’s wife heard a commotion outside and saw the alligator attacking her 71-year-old husband, according to NBC affiliate WDSU. She helped pull him on to some steps and out of the floodwaters. But after going to grab some medical supplies and call for help, he was no longer there.
The daunting nature of alligator attacks in flooded communities after the storm is something officials discussed earlier in the day.
Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng noted some swamplands had flooded and dangers were real for first responders and those living in the area.
“This is an area that has a lot of swampland, alligators, very dangerous conditions,” she said Monday on CNN, noting first responders had to wait for daylight to survey the area and rescue anyone needing help.
She added some areas saw flooding that was “beyond chest high. It’s up to the top of the roof.”
Despite the South being home to an estimated 5 million alligators, attacks by the reptiles during or after hurricanes are rare.
And researchers at the University of Florida told the Florida Times-Union, part of the USA TODAY Network, in 2019 that alligators typically hunker down in their natural habitat if a storm is approaching. The reptiles have sensors that allow them to detect changes in pressure before a storm hits.
“They are much smarter than people,” Joe Wasilewski, a UF conservation biologist who has worked with crocodiles and alligators for over 40 years, said in the Times-Union story. “They instantly seek shelter. They have burrows or caves they call home, usually under a mud or canal, and believe me, the first thing they are going to do is go into those burrows and caves.”
11:12 p.m. update: EPA relaxes fuel rules for Louisiana, Mississippi
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, responding to requests from Louisiana and Mississippi, temporarily suspended requirements related to fuel volatility to make sure residents have easy access to fuel.
Reid Vapor Pressure requirements govern fuel volatility, which refineries change according to the seasons to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan issued emergency fuel waivers effective immediately to allow Louisiana and Mississippi resident access to the widest range of fuels. The waivers end Sept. 16.
10:00 p.m. Monday update: Daughter in N.C. sends officers to evacuate mom
Stella Garvois, 74, only made it to the evacuation center at Thibodaux High School because her daughter Melanie Parks called the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office from North Carolina.
Officers found Garvois — who has lived in the same trailer near Houma for 13 years — and brought her to the evacuation center on Sunday. Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes lost power and cell service as Hurricane Ida tore through.
Some residents who sheltered at the high school haven’t been able to leave or reach loved ones, so Parks didn’t learn her mother made it to safety until a reporter contacted her Monday afternoon.
“I’m so relieved to hear that she’s alright!” she texted Monday. “I don’t have cable, so I was in the dark for the most part. I just knew I had to send her to safety.”
9:15 p.m. Monday update: ‘I’ve never seen a hurricane this bad before’
Joey Waguespack and his family decided to ride out Hurricane Ida in their Mathews, Louisiana, home in Lafourche Parish.
Their house had upgrades to help withstand a hurricane – shutters, a new roof – and a natural gas generator that could take care of everything when the power went out.
“It was an unrelenting hurricane,” Waguespack said. “It was the kind where you want to just sit and pray.”
“I’ve never seen a hurricane this bad before,” the 31-year-old, who had lived in the yellow house his whole life, added.
But during the storm, he and his family noticed the window had blown in on a neighbor’s home. The family in that home had evacuated.
When the eye passed over, Waguespack’s family checked on the house and used plywood to seal the front door that had burst open.
Then they walked around the side of the house. It had fallen off.
His family did the neighborly Louisiana thing: They collected photos and any other valuables they could save.
“We tried to salvage what we could,” Waguespack said.
Waguespack, a graphic designer, said he’ll try and stay in the house as long as he can, but may need to relocate so he can keep working.
It’ll likely be the last storm he rides out at home, he added.
8:50 p.m. Monday update: 20,000 line crews coming to Louisiana
According to a text message sent to Entergy customers, more than 20,000 line crews are being deployed to Louisiana to assist with power restoration efforts.
The text read: “Entergy: More than 20,000 line crews are pouring into southeast Louisiana to assist with power restoration.”
8:30 p.m. Monday update: Houma residents describe riding out the storm
Patrick Martin was in his house near downtown Houma when the wind started to pick up.
He watched as a neighbor’s roof started to peel back. Then the chimney collapsed on the house next door. Bricks flew and hit Martin’s house.
Not long after, the roof over his sunroom peeled away.
“It started raining in the house,” the 53-year-old said.
Water leaked in the kitchen, the bedroom, closet and utility room. It came in from the windows, down the light fixtures and fans. Soon, the paint on the ceiling started to bubble, heavy with the rain. Martin poked holes in the bubbles and put pots underneath them.
Three pine trees fell in his backyard. He watched from the porch as one of them fell, nervous it would collapse on the house.
“We fared pretty good,” Martin said as he ate a pecan that fell from a nearby tree.
Martin said he stayed at the home because the last time he evacuated to Arkansas and the storm followed him, bringing tornadoes and power outages.
“We decided to stick this one out,” he said.
Across the street, Richard Baker checked out a friend’s house from his bicycle. He wasn’t sure if his friend had evacuated and wanted to make sure they were OK.
Barker said he wasn’t worried about anything as the storm passed. He didn’t have money to evacuate and didn’t think he could take the four dogs he looks after to a shelter, even if he did.
“It’s just gonna take some time to clean up,” he said. “But people need to remember it’s gonna be all right.”
8:00 p.m. Monday update: New Orleans residents grateful it wasn’t worse
Derek Cummiskey walked through his street Monday, the water up to his calves. He was thankful the water didn’t seem to reach anyone’s house but said he was “frustrated” by the water in the street and lack of electricity, the latter of which was exacerbated by a tower falling into the river.
“Honestly our house was almost a fishing camp at one point,” Cummiskey said. “We just got a pool a few weeks ago and you couldn’t even see it.”
Down the street, 44-year-old Ted Nass was clearing debris from gutters with a rake and attempting to coax the water to recede.
Nass also cited the power outages as his primary concern, but as a resident of a neighborhood separated from Lake Ponchartrain by levees, he was thankful that the flooding didn’t cause more issues.
“The power outage is crazy and will cause problems later on,” Nass said. “Everything else worked. This is rainwater, not levees breaching, so I’m happy.”
6:01 p.m. Monday update: Riding out Hurricane Ida in Houma: ‘It was like the door was breathing’
Lanor Curole was sitting at the center of the United Houma Nation’s office Sunday afternoon as Hurricane Ida’s eye approached Houma.
“When we were close to the eye, we couldn’t see the trees outside and we saw the door contract and expand,” the tribal administrator said. “It was like the door was breathing.”
Curole said Ida was more devastating than 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, especially for the Native American tribe, whose population is concentrated in Terrebonne and Lafourche.
The two parishes sustained catastrophic damage from Ida, a Category 4 hurricane that left widespread property destruction and power outages.
Curole said the tribe had not been able to make contact with its members from Larose and Grand Isle. The office, where she remained Monday, has also seen damage, but Curole is grateful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. She said the tribe is working to get aid and recovery efforts under way for its citizens.
5:05 p.m. Monday update: Second Hurricane Ida death confirmed in New Orleans
The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed the death of man who drowned after his vehicle was driven through floodwater near I-10 and West End Blvd. in New Orleans.
“The coroner does consider this death to be storm related. This bring the current number of storm-related deaths due to #HurricaneIda to 2 at this time,” the department stated in a tweet.
“We did have a tragedy and one is too many,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell alluding to the death during her post-storm press conference earlier Monday,
“We do know that it was a tragedy where we believe an individual was driving a car and therefore drowned,” Cantrell said, adding that information will become official through the coroner’s office.
The man’s age is unknown at this time pending ID of the victim.
The other storm victim was hit by a falling tree outside Baton Rouge.
3:32 p.m. Monday update: Help is on the way
More than 500 Arkansas Army National Guardsmen from the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and 142nd Field Artillery Brigade will deploy to Louisiana to assist the state’s emergency response operations after Hurricane Ida.
The 142nd will rally at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center in Fort Smith, Ark and depart Tuesday afternoon. The 39th will rally at multiple armories on Wednesday and depart that afternoon.
The units will provide two multi-functional battalion headquarters with subordinate companies/batteries to the Louisiana National Guard in order to assist local authorities with Hurricane Ida local emergency response operations.
The 39th will provide Guardsmen equipped and trained in route clearance operations. The 142nd will provide Guardsmen equipped and trained to conduct high-water rescue and recovery operations, as well as local unarmed security and traffic control. Both units will each have a forward support company to provide maintenance support and to conduct other tasks, as assigned.
3:08 p.m. Monday update: Lafourche Parish closes evacuation center, shelter moved to Thibodaux High School.
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Lafourche Parish closed the evacuation center in Central Lafourche High School in Raceland Monday, after the building’s water stopped working.
Lafourche Parish was without power and phone service for much of Monday, after Ida’s high winds knocked down trees, power lines and phone service throughout the region.
Local residents who took shelter at the Raceland evacuation center were shuttled to parish’s other evacuation center at Thibodaux High School, according to a Lafourche Parish press release Monday. It’s unclear how many people were moved to the Thibodaux shelter as residents were attempting to check on homes and family despite the curfew still in effect, but Thibodaux shelter coordinator Amanda Metis said 200 stayed at Central Lafourche High School during the storm.
Nearly 150 people sought shelter at Thibodaux High School as well, arriving from Houma, Bayou Boeuf and Kraemer starting Saturday through early Monday morning as the storm raged.
Both evacuation centers spent the night with limited food, water and almost no bedding or sleeping supplies beyond what people brought with them. Many residents, including families with young children, sprawled on blankets or jackets on the hard linoleum floor, or tried to relax in metal chairs. Families claimed different hallways and corners of the high school, separated by groups in an attempt to maintain social distancing measures.
2:51 p.m. Monday update: Quest for gas draws long lines in Prairieville
About 24 hours after Hurricane Ida made landfall in southeast Louisiana, lines of people waited Monday to fill cans with gas at a station and store called Veillon’s in Prairieville.
The building had sustained damage, with metal roofing peeled and lying twisted on the ground, and its doors and windows remained boarded. But the pumps were still working and accepting credit cards, and the word had gotten around Facebook, hence Monday’s lines.
People came with multiple cans to get enough fuel to power their generators at home. The whole town seemed to be without electricity after the Category 4 storm hit the state. Prairieville seemed to miss the water but not the strong winds.
Linemen working the area said they were “attacking” outages at hospitals, police stations and other emergency locations before they head into the community to restore power.
Refuge from the storm at Frank’s Restaurant Grill & Bar
Jazmine Milburn showed up to Frank’s Restaurant Grill & Bar for a late lunch Monday. It’s one of the only places in Prairieville with electricity thanks to generators, and Milburn noticed all the cars and the lighted sign flashing “buffet” while driving around town. She wanted something to eat and a chance to get out of the house, where she had no power or cell service.
Milburn teaches chemistry at a local high school, and she doesn’t know when schools will reopen other than the two-day closure announced before Ida hit.
“I know we’re out til Tuesday, but there’s no service to know anything,” Milburn said.
Frank’s has a long history of serving others after storms like this, a member of the restaurant’s founding family said.
“Come rain, shine, hurricane, whatever the weather — we are always, always here to serve the community,” Deborah Dedman said. “We have done that since 1964.”
Dedman’s father, Frank Sr., opened the restaurant, which also has a branch in Baton Rouge. Today Frank Jr. and his wife own the business and Frank III manages the Prairieville location, where Deborah was answering phones and questions about how late they would be open Monday (6 p.m.) and what they were serving (spaghetti or seafood stew with a giant biscuit). Several workers were on hand Monday to serve plate lunches and bus tables for a steady stream of people. They would be splitting tips at the end of the very busy day.
“We have just instilled in all our workers that we are such a team,” Deborah Dedman said. “We just come together and make it happen.”
2:30 p.m. Monday update: Ambulance service relocates patients from hospitals in Houma and Raceland
Acadian Ambulance Service said this afternoon that is relocating patients from damaged hospitals in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes to facilities elsewhere.
Before Hurricane Ida’s landfall Sunday, Acadian coordinated the evacuation of approximately 700 patients, the ambulance service said.
Today, Acadian was taking patients from Ochsner St. Anne Hospital in Raceland and Ochsner Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma to other Ochsner facilities.
“We are also coordinating the evacuation of approximately 100 patients from Terrebonne General to Ochsner facilities in New Orleans and Baton Rouge with the assistance of additional ambulances provided by FEMA and other EMS agencies,” Acadian said.
In addition its normal 225 units in Louisiana and Mississippi, the service has added 32 ambulances from other operational areas, two ambulance buses and five vans to facilitate evacuations and patient transfers. It also has 12 helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft available for evacuations.
2:22 p.m. Monday update: Ida prompts water rescues in Mississippi
Jackson County first-responders are in the process of rescuing more than a dozen people in Moss Point, Mississippi, from rising flood waters. At least one person being rescued is in need of medical treatment and will be taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital, according to Anthony Johnson, Jackson County Office of Emergency Services’ district chief.
The last band of rain that came through dumped a lot of water, flooding many parts of the town, he said. Three high-water trucks are going around various neighborhoods in the town, picking up people who are stranded. Click here to follow along for more updates from Mississippi.
2:10 p.m. Monday update: Residents ‘work up the courage’ to return to damaged homes
Eileen Lirette strode through the foot of water pooling in her front yard in Schriever in Terrebonne Parish, dodging downed tree branches and worrying what she might find inside her home.
“I’ll look in a minute,” she said Monday morning. “When I work up the courage.”
After a cautious peek inside, Eileen hurried through the house in relief. Few items in disarray, no water damage, no broken windows. Just a single branch that had punctured the ceiling in the bedroom, the sharp end pointed straight down toward her and her husband’s bed.
“We’re fortunate to just have that,” her husband Randy Lirette said.
Randy drove further down the road to survey the damage at his daughter’s house, who had evacuated to Texas. They took photos of as much as they could before they began attempting to clear debris.
“I stay through all the storms,” Randy said. “I don’t run. I like my kids to run, but I don’t run.”
The Lirettes had stayed with family just 10 minutes away in Thibodaux for the night. Officials issued mandatory evacuation orders for Terrabonne and Lafourche parishes, and a curfew was still in place Monday morning. But the roads slowly filled with residents returning to check on their homes or help friends who needed them.
That’s what people do, the Lirettes said, after a storm like this.
“I love Louisiana,” Randy said. “I’ll stay here the rest of my life. A hurricane ain’t gonna drive me away.”
1:50 p.m. Monday update: Terrebonne Parish leaders say there’s work to do before residents can return
After Hurricane has made its way through Sunday, Terrebonne Parish officials said Monday afternoon the damage was still too extensive for residents to return.
“Water is still high in the southern part of the parish outside of the Morganza levee system and many roads are blocked by trees, power poles and debris blown by the storm, creating unsafe travel conditions,” a post from parish government stated.
A decision on when a return will be possible has not been made.
“In addition to safety concerns and clear roadways, electricity (Entergy, SLECA and City of Houma), and water service must be restored, along with the sewage system and functional communications before reentry will be allowed,” the post stated.
Consolidated Waterworks District No. 1 is working to restore water service in Terrebonne Parish and though the Schriever Water Plant has water to pump, distribution is hampered by broken water lines. At the Houma Water Plant, personnel are working to bring it to full operational status to quickly restore full service to two hospitals.
The boil water notice is still in effect for safety.
“We completely understand the desire of our residents to return to their homes and loved ones. We also want this to happen as soon as possible, but in a safe and orderly manner,” said Parish President Gordon Dove.
1:15 p.m. Monday update: Houma hospital relocates patients after damage
Terrebonne General Health System sustained catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ida and transfer patients immediately to other health care facilities, officials with the Houma hospital said.
“The safety and comfort of our patients is a high priority and it is necessary to follow guidelines as outlined by the Terrebonne General Emergency Preparedness plan, which indicates the transfer of patients. Terrebonne General suffered structural damages and there is no water supply being provided by the parish at this time,” the hospital said in a news release this afternoon.
“Like much of Terrebonne Parish, our facility received damages caused by Hurricane Ida that will force us to send patients to facilities that can provide safe treatment,” said Phyllis Peoples, president and CEO. “Patients will be safely transferred to facilities where we have made arrangements to care for them.”
Terrebonne General will work with patients’ families to ensure a smooth transition, officials said. The hospital is working with parish, state and federal officials to bring services back as soon as possible.
“The recovery may be a long and arduous process but our team is resilient and ready to get back to doing what they love to do: taking care of people,” added Peoples.
Communication is challenging as there are no land lines or cell service, she said. The hospital is communicating via text services. For the latest updates, visit the Terrebonne General Facebook page.
1 p.m. Monday update: Schools announce extended closures and flights are grounded
Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux said all Catholic schools in Terrebonne and Lafourche are closed until further notice.
The diocese asked parents to watch social media and look for school communications for updates.
NOLA Public Schools announced all classes are canceled “until further notice.”
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans will be closed to both in-person and virtual learning through at least Sept. 6, sources say.
New Orleans International Airport announced it was assessing potential damage to its facilities and that “we expect all flights to be cancelled today.” Passengers should check with their individual airlines for the best information, the airport advised.
12:30 p.m. Monday update: Passers-by speechless over crumbled Kenner apartments, plus how to help
Residents in Kenner got to work Monday morning to clear out their yards along West Esplanade Avenue. Toppled trees and foliage littered the roadways as neighbors helped each other rake debris to the edges of the road.
Passers-by stopped and gawked at the burned out husk of a vehicle near the entrance of the Relais Esplanade Apartments, only to look over at what remained of a crumbled, still-smoldering block of apartment units.
A bright sky hung over a Metairie police officer as he stood aside his patrol car, parked in front of the ramp to the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Everyone who stopped had one question for him: “When will it reopen?”
The officer, unsure, continued to tell people “whenever the inspection is done.”
Want to help those affected by the Hurricane Ida? Here’s where to start.
10:35 a.m. Monday update: Terrebonne Parish working urgently to restore water service
In coastal Terrebonne Parish, the timing of reentry is still up in the air for residents who evacuated, but crews are working now to restore water service.
A water boil notice is still in effect, according to the Terrebonne Office of Emergency Preparedness.
“Things are happening, but there is much to do. The reentry decision will be made by parish president and sheriff when it is safe to do so,” spokesman Mart Black said.
The Schriever plant has water but distribution is hampered by broken lines. Crews are working to fix the leaks. At the Houma plant, crews are hurrying to get the facility fully operational in an effort to restore service to two local hospitals.
Looking for a pet? Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter Director Valerie Robinson says to call 873-6357 for any animal emergencies.
Volunteers cannot self deploy to Terrebonne parish but should contact the shelter first to get approval.
10:10 a.m. Monday update: More than 50 river gages show flooding
Flooding is occurring at more than 50 river gages the National Weather Service monitors in the region, from Baton Rouge to Biloxi and into central Mississippi.
Up to 18 inches of rain has fallen in parishes immediately around the western half of Lake Ponchartrain, where the worst flash flooding occurred early Monday morning, including in eastern Livingston and southern Tangipahoa parishes.
The heaviest rain fell to the northwest and southwest of Lake Ponchartrain, as Ida began its turn to the north, moving at only 9 mph.
Major flooding is occurring along the Tangipahoa, Tchefuncte and the Bogue Falaya rivers. The waterways are forecast to crest overnight or on Tuesday, without reaching record heights. The Tchefuncte River at Covington is forecast to come within 18 inches of a record set in February of 1998.
Along the Gulf coast, the potential for storm surge remains this morning in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, including 4-6 feet of surge in Lake Ponchartrain and Lake Maurepas, according to the National Hurricane Center forecast.
Tropical storm conditions are possible through early afternoon in eastern Louisiana and Mississippi as Ida continues its slog through the region. While the heaviest rains have ended in the Louisiana parishes, the weather service said flooding will continue to occur.
9:45 a.m. Monday update: Power outage could last six weeks
Joe Valiente, director of emergency management in Jefferson Parish, told NPR this morning that power outages in the parish could last up to six weeks.
“100 percent of the grid is smashed,” Valiente said. “We are estimating six weeks based on numbers that Entergy gave us.”
He said that every person they spoke to reported damaged or destroyed roofs and there was a bridge in Lafitte will likely “have to be scrapped” after being hit by three vessels which all ended up sinking.
“Damage is incredible, Valiente said. “We lost a tremendous amount of water pressure due to trees that were being uprooted on east and west banks so we have no water pressure.”
9:15 a.m. Monday update: Terrebonne food bank adjusting service
The Terrebonne Churches United Food Bank in Houma is functional, but service is being coordinated through the Terrebonne Emergency Operations Center, according to a tweet posted by Monday morning.
There will be no food distributed at the food bank until further notice, but distribution points will be posted through the emergency operations center and parish offices.
9 a.m. Monday update: Highway 90, west of New Orleans video
Drone video posted by Live Storms Media shows power polls down along a stretch of Highway 90 west of New Orleans.
8:40 a.m. Monday update: Video of Houma damage
Video posted to Twitter by Josh Roberson with Fox 8 out of New Orleans shows extensive damage in Houma including downed a traffic light, debris blocking downtown streets and major damage to buildings.
8:30 a.m. Monday update: Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office reports phone issues
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook that they were having connection issues associated with AT&T service.
“We were experiencing phone issues through AT&T at this time. Cell phone to cell phone is working but cell phone to hardline or VOIP system is not working. We are having AT&T look into it from our end but we are getting reports this could be a systemwide problem with other businesses.”
8:10 a.m. Monday update: Orleans Parish 911 still down
The Orleans Parish Communication District 911 service is still down Monday morning, according to the NOLA Ready website.
In addition, all EMS services are still temporarily suspended.
7:55 a.m. Monday update: Louisiana hospitals suffer damage, plan evacuations
The Associated Press reports that Lady of the Sea General Hospital in Lafourche Parish, near where Hurricane Ida made landfall suffered major damage.
“All patients and staff are fine at this time without injury; although, our hospital has sustained significant damage,” hospital CEO Karen Collins said in a message relayed via Facebook.
“Once it is safe to do so they will evacuate their small number of patients,” state health department spokeswoman Aly Neel said in an email.
The hospitals were already inundated with COVID-19 patients prior to the arrival of Ida.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said 22 nursing homes and 18 assisted living facilities have been evacuated, though evacuating the largest hospitals was not an option because there simply aren’t other places to send them.
6:45 a.m. Monday update: Terrebonne Parish sees catastrophic damage
Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Timothy Soignet said the parish has seen catastrophic damage as a result of Hurricane Ida. Electricity and water utilities are not functioning and all roads are blocked by down trees, utility poles and other debris, making them impassable.
Terrebonne Parish is under a curfew until further notice and Soignet said no one should attempt to sightsee. Once roadways are clear and safe to travel, the public will be notified. Crews are working to clear debris and additional vehicles on the road will hinder progress, the sheriff said.
Soignet said the sheriff’s office and other first responders have not yet been able to reach certain parts of the parish.
“Prayers are with the citizens and business owners of Terrebonne Parish in this difficult time,” Soignet said. “If you have evacuated, please don’t try to return yet and if you are in the parish, Shelter in place.”
6:00 a.m. Monday update: Sheriff’s Office says no reentry today in Lafourche Parish
With phone lines and 911 still down, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office is encouraging evacuees not to return. In a Twitter thread, the sheriff’s office said “deputies have been deployed in full force today responding to emergencies, searching for those who need help, and helping clear roads. Curfew remains in effect and will be STRICTLY enforced.”
The LPSO also said that parish officials will make an announcement about reentry in the near future, but it will not come today.
4:00 a.m. Monday NHC update: Ida downgraded to tropical storm
Storm surge warnings were discontinued in coastal areas early Monday morning but a tropical storm warning remained in place for much of the area as Ida continued to creep inland at 8 mph. The storm was located about 50 miles northeast of Baton Rouge, with tropical storm-force winds extending for 150 miles from the center — mainly to the southeast.
The center of Ida is forecast to move into southwestern Mississippi later Monday morning and across the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday.
1:00 a.m. Monday updates: Flood warnings across region
The weather service warned residents on the north side of Lake Ponchartrain that a rapid rise in storm surge is possible through the night. It urged residents of Madisonville, Mandeville, Ponchatoula or Killian to “stay alert as water quickly rises.”
Ongoing flooding is expected by the weather service in locations across the region tonight, the result of ongoing storm surge and up to 14 inches of rain in some places with as much as another 2-8 inches possible.
Ida was downgraded to a Category 1 after midnight but continues to dump punishing winds and rain on to the region, with sustained winds of 75 mph and a storm surge warning stretching along the Gulf Coast to the Florida border.
12:30 a.m. Monday updates: Conditions too dangerous to attempt most rescues, leaders say
More than 12 hours after landfall, Hurricane Ida’s sustained wind speeds are blocking rescue crews from reaching area residents trapped in their homes.
“There’s not a captain that would agree to go in the water right now,” said Tim Kerner, Jr., mayor of Jean Lafitte, around 11 p.m. on WWLTV.
WWLTV interviewed officials in St. Tammany Parish and St. John Parish who echoed Kerner’s concerns that conditions are currently too dangerous to begin widespread rescues, despite hundreds of calls from residents trapped in homes.
Kerner said Jean Lafitte has a list of more than 150 residents who have called for evacuation assistance, with officials ready to begin evacuations as soon as conditions are safe.
“We have 50 boats that are ready to come here at a moment’s notice as soon as the weather breaks,” Kerner said. “As soon as the weather breaks, we’re going to send an army to get to those people.”
CrowdSource Rescue, a Texas-based disaster nonprofit, reported boats were on the way to Laplace late Sunday evening to attempt rescues, but later said on social media high winds were threatening to flip rescue boats.
Shortly after midnight, the group said teams were making another effort toward Lafitte and Laplace.
Kerner told WLLTV Sunday night he had yet to receive reports of casualties in the area, but he worried what daylight might bring.
“I’m very scared, of when we start rescuing people, what we’re going to find,” Kerner said. “… We got hit hard. We got hit long. I know it created a dangerous situation for a lot of people, that water rose so fast. I pray we don’t find anything. But that danger was there.”
Track Ida’s path: Latest location of tropical storm