Sep 7, 2021 - Health

New Orleans probes conditions at senior homes where 5 bodies found

A building was destroyed after Hurricane Ida passed through on August 30, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The scene in New Orleans on Aug. 30, a day after Hurricane Ida swept the state. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

New Orleans officials are investigating what Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Monday called "unacceptable" conditions in several senior apartments, after five people were found dead in the complexes in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Driving the news: New Orleans Health Department teams discovered the bodies during wellness checks at senior apartment complexes, which found eight facilities unfit for occupancy, per a City of New Orleans statement Sunday.

  • The health department is investigating the facilities, while the coroner's office is looking into whether the deaths should be attributed to Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 29.
  • The storm prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people from the privately run complexes.
  • Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry's office is reviewing evacuation policies after 843 residents from seven nursing homes were sent to a Tangipahoa Parish warehouse — which he described as "apparently unsafe and potentially inappropriate," per WDSU.

What they're saying: "What we found was unacceptable and accountability will be across the board," Cantrell said at a news conference Monday.

  • "But right now we will remain focused on improving the conditions in the facilities that we closed. We will not see this happen again."
  • New Orleans City Council member Kristin Palmer said of the facilities during the news conference: "It's not independent living if there’s no power and you’re in a wheelchair on the fourth floor."

Of note: 13 deaths have been directly linked to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.

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