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A truck drives through high water near Highway 61 in Destrehan, Louisiana. Photo: Patrick Fallon/AFP via Getty images

The deadly former Hurricane Ida was bringing heavy rains, "dangerous" flash flooding, storm surge and extreme winds as the tropical depression moved northeast across Mississippi overnight.

Threat level: "Ida will continue to produce heavy rainfall tonight through Tuesday morning across portions of southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Alabama, resulting in considerable flash and urban flooding and significant river flooding impacts," the National Hurricane Center warned.

  • The agency added that as Ida moves inland, "additional considerable flooding impacts" are likely across portions of the Tennessee Valley, the Ohio Valley, and particularly in the Central and Southern Appalachians, into the Mid-Atlantic through Wednesday.
  • As of 10 p.m. ET, Ida was some 80 miles north-northeast of Jackson, Miss., with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, according to the NHC. It continued to crawl northeast at 10 mph.

State of play: More than 1 million people, including most of New Orleans, remained without power as of early Tuesday, per poweroutage.us. In Mississippi, nearly 60,000 customers had lost power.

  • "It will likely take days to determine the extent of damage to our power grid and far longer to restore electrical transmission to the region," Energy provider Entergy Louisiana tweeted Monday.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: "We're working with companies to get the power back on. That could take weeks. We don't know."
  • New Orleans officials urged those who evacuated to not return "until further notice," saying "there is widespread debris, power remains out, and emergency services are working to respond to those still in the city."
Category 4 Hurricane Ida after making its second landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2021. (CIRA/RAMMB)

The big picture: Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm on Sunday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Preliminary reports suggest it's the fifth-strongest storm "ever to make landfall in the continental U.S.," according to NASA Earth.

  • A ship in Port Fourchon reported a sustained wind of 149 mph and a gust to 172 mph when the storm made landfall.
  • Ida weakened Sunday evening to a Category 3 hurricane before weakening again, but it still caused devastation across southern Louisiana.
  • Wind gusts of up to 90 mph were reported in New Orleans on Sunday.

What to watch: Numerous oil and gas facilities and chemical plants were in the path of some of the strongest winds and storm surge, including the strategic Port Fourchon, which is integral to the Gulf of Mexico's oil and gas production.

  • Damage to infrastructure there and upriver, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, could lead to environmental hazards and delays in resuming oil and gas production in the Gulf.

Context: The rapid intensification, which exceeded forecasts, was due to extremely warm ocean waters and ideal conditions in the atmosphere as well. The Gulf of Mexico served as gasoline thrown onto the fire of the storm.

  • Human-caused climate change, by warming air and ocean temperatures, is leading to both stronger and wetter hurricanes, and also more storms that rapidly intensify.
  • The Gulf of Mexico has seen a recent trend of storms like Ida, which strengthen right up through landfall, whereas this used to be extremely uncommon (even Hurricane Katrina weakened as it neared land).

Go deeper: Meteorologists ahead of Hurricane Ida arrival: "We can't bear to see this on satellite"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Oct 12, 2021 - Science

Weather and climate disasters have cost the U.S. over $100 billion in 2021

Piles of debris is all that's left of a restaurant after heavy rain from remnants of Hurricane Ida came through in Manville, New Jersey, on Sept. 7. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Weather and climate disasters in 2021 have killed 538 people in the U.S. and cost over $100 billion, according to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Why it matters: The first nine months of 2021 saw the largest number of billion-dollar disasters in a calendar year so far, with 2021 on pace for second behind 2020, per the report.

Biden administration outlines "ambitious" plans for coastal wind farms

The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Block Island, R.I. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to identify and lease federal waters along seven coastal areas to offshore wind power developers over the next few years, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The new plan constitutes an aggressive push by the federal government to reach its goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind-generating capacity in U.S. waters by 2030.

Updated 10 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

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