Disasters & Accidents

Hurricane Ida leaves 1 dead, plunges New Orleans into darkness

Miami, US, Aug 30 (EFE).- At least one person has died and the entire city of New Orleans was left without power on Sunday after Hurricane Ida’s passage caused serious damage to transmission lines, local authorities reported.

The death of a 60-year old man occurred in Ascension Parish, in southeastern Louisiana, after a tree fell on his house, according to authorities.

Ascension Parish is part of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, a region that is expected to receive the worst of Hurricane Ida until early Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Catastrophic damage was also reported in wide swaths of that area of Louisiana on Sunday night after Hurricane Ida struck the state. The governor said it was “one of the strongest storms to make landfall here in modern times.”

All of New Orleans was without power, the city’s electricity company said, threatening its sewer system.

The incident occurred just as dusk began to fall and Hurricane Ida was passing about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of the city.

New Orleans’ emergency preparedness campaign NOLA Ready said that the only power in the city is coming from generators.

There are more than 780,000 customers without power in the entire state of Louisiana, according to the specialized website poweroutage.us, although other media put the number of affected at over 1 million.

The outages are presumably due to system failures such as the one in New Orleans or the falling of numerous electricity poles.

This number is expected to increase in the coming hours as Ida continues to move north towards the interior of the region.

Hurricane Ida’s landfall at noon accompanied by winds of 150 miles per hour (240 kph) coincided with the anniversary of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in the city in 2005.

The storm surges produced by Katrina, which made landfall on Aug. 29 of that year, caused the levee system built to protect the city from storm surges to fail and led to major flooding that killed more than 1,800 people.

Meanwhile, Ida maintained its Category 4 landfall strength for several hours and is generating maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, according to the latest bulletin from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Although its winds have weakened, storm surge and heavy rainfall pose the greatest danger to the city, especially now that the storm’s speed has slowed to 9 mph. This causes the storm to dump more rain in one place, which increases the chances of water accumulation.

In its latest bulletin, the NHC warned that a “catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding continue in portions of southeastern Louisiana” due to the passage of Ida. EFE


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