Residents of Louisiana are stuck in the dark following destructive Hurricane Ida on Sunday. Officials are still counting losses and have said that it may take weeks before power is restored in some areas. The hurricane hit Louisiana with winds at speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h). Ida is now the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland.
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Officials have confirmed the death of one person. Further, about 1 million residents of Louisiana are in the dark following destroyed power supply systems.
According to CNN, about 25,000 workers from across the country are currently fighting to restore power. The workers are expected to bring back normalcy in phases, but some areas may wait longer than others before power returns.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that although the hurricane was one of the strongest in history, protection measures helped reduce casualties and losses. “The systems we depended on to save lives and protect our city did just that and we are grateful, but there is so much more work to be done,” said Cantrell
Hurricane Ida was initially predicted to be life-threatening, with some scientists even comparing it to Hurricane Katrina of 2005. Ida had a path similar to Katrina but did not cause as much destruction. Katrina claimed over 1,800 lives and properties worth billions. Some of the defense systems put in place after Katrina were effective in mitigating Ida’s effects. Governor John Bel Edwards said the systems “performed magnificently” in reducing the hurricane’s effect.
Hurricane Ida gathered strength over the Gulf of Mexico, stopping up to 90% of the region’s oil production. Ida landed in New Orleans as a category four hurricane. A hurricane of this strength can destroy trees and buildings if there are no protection measures. As Hurricane Ida moved further inland, its winds speed dropped to 95 mph (153km/h), making it a category one hurricane.
Even though the hurricane has downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves further inland, the National Hurricane Center has warned of potential flooding due to heavy rains. Residents of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida have been asked to remain watchful. Mayor Cantrell has urged New Orleans residents who already evacuated to stay away from their homes until power returns.
Lead image via The National Guard