Aug 30, 2021 - Science

Louisiana governor says damage from Hurricane Ida is "catastrophic"

A person looking over damage caused by Hurricane Ida in Kenner, Louisiana, on Aug. 30.
A person looking over damage caused by Hurricane Ida in Kenner, La., on Aug. 30. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday the damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the state on record, "is really catastrophic."

The latest: New Orleans' emergency services are back online and working to respond with power still out. The city has warned residents to beware of downed power lines, flood waters and storm debris.

  • The city also requested residents who evacuated not to return until notified.
  • New Orleans Public Schools are closed until further notice. Several other districts across southern Louisiana have also announced closures.
  • Tulane University closed its campus. It also cancelled classes through Sept. 12. Students who remained in New Orleans will be evacuated to Houston, and classes will be online through Oct. 6. In-person classes will restart on Oct. 11, following fall break.

Edwards, speaking on NBC's "Today" show, did not confirm if there were additional deaths beyond the first death that had been confirmed on Sunday night but said, "I fully expect the confirmed death total to go up considerably."

  • Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that deputies responding to reports of a tree falling on a person in Prairieville on Sunday night "confirmed that the victim" had died.

What he's saying: The damage from Hurricane Ida, while severe, would have been far more extensive if Louisiana's levee system did not hold throughout the storm, Edwards said.

By the numbers: More than 1 million customers in the state, particularly in the southeast, were still without power on Monday.

  • Entergy Louisiana, one of the energy providers in the state, said in a statement Sunday that people could be without power for weeks after the storm passes.

The big picture: Though Ida has weakened to a tropical depression, it is still projected to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to the South into parts of the East as it moves inland, according to the National Weather Service.

Go deeper: Climate change lurks behind Hurricane Ida's unnerving intensification rate

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