Hurricane Ida roared ashore in Louisiana Sunday as the fifth-strongest storm ever to hit the United States, bringing a seven-foot storm surge, 150-mile-per-hour winds and up to two feet of rain to parts of the Gulf Coast. Over 1 million electricity customers — including the entire city of New Orleans — lost power. Officials warned it could be weeks before it is fully restored. President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in Louisiana, where at least one person was killed. That toll is expected to rise. Hundreds of thousands of residents were forced to evacuate over the weekend, in the midst of Louisiana’s deadliest COVID-19 surge of the pandemic. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards spoke Sunday as Ida approached.
Gov. John Bel Edwards: “There is no doubt that the coming days and weeks are going to be extremely difficult for our state. And many, many people are going to be tested in ways that we can only imagine today.”
Ida struck 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana on a similar path, with similar ferocity, leaving much of New Orleans underwater. This time officials said the region’s complex network of levees and pumps was holding.
Ida made landfall at Port Fourchon, a major hub of Louisiana’s offshore oil and gas industry. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports nearly 600 industrial sites with toxic chemicals were in the storm’s path.
Meanwhile, at least one person was killed and seven went missing on Mexico’s Pacific Coast after Hurricane Nora made landfall Sunday as a Category 1 storm.