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Hurricane Ida hits US, kills one, leaves 1m households without electricity

Hurricane Ida hits US, kills one, leaves 1m households without electricity
August 30
14:01 2021

Hurricane Ida has rocked the US, leading to the death of one person and causing power outages in more than one million households across the country.

The hurricane which hit the country’s south on Sunday was felt the hardest in the state of Louisiana where about 996,000 households were left without electricity, while another 36,000 customers were affected in the neighbouring Mississippi.

The storm is coming 16 years after the state was battered by Hurricane Katrina, which caused the deaths of more than 1,800 people, alongside catastrophic damage and flooding in and around New Orleans.

The city’s emergency preparedness campaign (NOLA Ready) said all of New Orleans lost power while the first storm-related fatality was reported in Prairieville, south of the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s state capital.


The local sheriff’s office announced the death on Facebook, saying the victim was killed on Sunday evening by a falling tree.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) had warned earlier that a hurricane of such strength usually caused catastrophic destruction on land.

Photos and videos showed massive flooding and damage from the hurricane, while local media reported homes were destroyed, streets flooded and trees and utility poles downed.


John Bel Edwards, Louisiana governor, told CNN that Hurricane Ida will be “the most severe test’’ of New Orleans’ storm defences, but said he was optimistic that the system will hold.

Edwards said he was more concerned about the areas south-west of the city that do not have developed flood protection, where many of the residents had already left their homes and headed for safety.

Several districts imposed a curfew to ensure residents who have not already left will stay in their homes in the face of extreme wind gusts and possible flooding.

In advance of the storm’s landfall, US President Joe Biden authorised emergency measures for Louisiana and neighbouring Mississippi.


“To the people of the Gulf Coast: Please follow the instructions of local officials during this dangerous time,” Biden tweeted.

“As soon as Hurricane Ida passes, we will put this country’s full might behind your rescue and recovery.’’ 

This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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