The death toll of Category 4 Hurricane Ida has increased to two casualties after making landfall early Sunday morning on the Gulf Coast. The storm hit Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with winds up to 150 miles per hour and five to 10 inches of rain.
The aftermath of Ida has left thousands without power, roads blocked, limited resources and caused thousands of Louisianans to evacuate their homes.
According to Entergy, an energy company that powers Louisiana, the intensity of Ida destroyed eight power lines in several parts of Louisiana and could leave customers without power for at least 21 days.
“Damage to eight high-voltage lines took out power for New Orleans and Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, as well as parts of St. Charles and Terrebonne parishes. One transmission tower that withstood Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, fell Sunday night. The tower’s conductor landed in the Mississippi River,” Entergy wrote in a statement.
Right now, only 9 percent of the 865,000 power outages in Louisiana and Mississippi have been restored according to Entergy.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said the damage from the storm is catastrophic and is advising evacuees to not return to the state.
“Now is really the most dangerous time, and over the next couple of weeks, so we’re asking people to be patient and we’re asking people to be careful,” Edwards said.
According to the governor, St. John the Baptist Parish, located in La Place, Louisiana, had the most rainfall from the storm, and experienced heavy winds and surge.
“80 percent of all the rescues done in the state of Louisiana were in St. John the Baptist Parish yesterday,” Edwards said. “Very resilient and hardy people, many of who had decided not to leave and I expect that is going to change over the coming days because they are going to find out that their homes are not going to be repowered any time soon.”
Relief efforts in cities across Texas are asking for donations to help evacuees and residents in Louisiana.
For Houston residents, Gallery Furniture is accepting donations of toiletries, diapers, books, games, puzzles, pet food, and bottled water for evacuees.
Gallery Furniture owner Jim McIngvale, also known as Mattress Mack, opened his business doors to evacuees from Louisiana on Sunday.
Austin non-profit organization TankProof is also delivering essential hygiene items, blankets, non perishable food, water, batteries, first aid kits, and cleaning supplies to Louisiana.
TankProof told the Signal citizens can drop off donations at Arbor Food Park in Austin or donate to @tankproof on Venmo or Cash App.
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