Thursday, March 30, 2023

Louisiana Awakens To Power Outages, Continued Rainfall As Hurricane Ida Weakens To Tropical Storm; At Least One Dead In Calamitous Aftermath

Louisiana is waking up today to grim news and, in many parts of the state, no electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which weakened overnight to a still-dangerous tropical storm. At least one person is dead as a result of the weather, though officials fear that toll will rise as search and rescue teams determine the extent of the damage today.

Louisiana energy company Entergy tweeted this morning that it will “likely take days” to determine the extent of damage” to the power grid and “far longer” to restore electricity to the region. Much of New Orleans remains dark, its streets underwater.

Entergy also warned that the “most dangerous part of a storm is often just after it has passed,” noting, “Just because you can’t see any apparent danger doesn’t mean there isn’t any. Downed power lines may still be energized.” The company warned everyone to “keep your distance” from the power lines.

Officials in at least one Louisiana parish are telling evacuees not to return to their homes, even to survey damage and assist others. “Today is not that day,” said Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in a tweet this morning.

What began as a Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall yesterday on the southeastern coast of Louisiana, near Port Fourchon, remains dangerous even after being downgraded to Tropical Storm Ida. Though hurricane-strength winds have lessened, Louisiana authorities warn that heavy rainfall and flooding are expected in Louisiana today (as well as southern parts of Mississippi and coastal areas of Alabama). The weather in southeast Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southwest Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle will be conducive to tornadoes today, weather officials warn.

The first of what officials fear will be a higher death toll was reported Sunday night when the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said a person injured from a fallen tree in Prairieville, Louisiana, was later confirmed dead.



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