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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.

Go deeper

Nursing homes could be forced to close if staff shortages worsen

Expand chart
Data: AHCA/NCAL; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

We've all heard dire reports about the dearth of workers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but the situation continues to deteriorate — and the growing number of mask mandates, which are vital, could exacerbate the crisis.

Why it matters: Stalwarts of the care community could be forced to close if they can't find enough people to fill open positions or if current workers are forced into such onerous shifts that they can't take it anymore.

Everyone wants to be an influencer

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The number of people looking to become online influencers has exploded during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Almost anyone can find themselves in a position to become an influencer, and brands are throwing billions of dollars at online content creators.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per authorities and a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.