Early Monday morning, August 30, Hurricane Ida was downgraded to a tropical storm as wind speeds dropped from 105 mph late Sunday to a sustained 60 mph. As of roughly 4 a.m. local time, the storm was located in Jackson, Mississippi; the storm warning persists through Louisiana.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), there continue to be strong winds and flash flooding over southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. New Orleans is in full blackout as power remains down for more than one million people. Over 40,000 residents in Mississippi are also without power.
Residents in the affected areas have been urged not to use unnecessary water such as running dishwashers and washing machines as the sewer systems are facing heavy pressure. The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans sent out a message saying, “In order to prevent sewage backups, we have asked residents to limit water usage at home, thus decreasing the amount of wastewater we must remove.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) confirmed that at least one person had died as a result of the storm. He wrote in a statement that, “Thousands of our people are without power and there is untold damage to property across the impacted parishes.” On Sunday, Edwards requested that President Biden declare a “major disaster” for his state, to which the president acceded.
The mayor of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana, Tim Kerner Jr., announced that tidal surge levees have been overtopped and that residents should prepare themselves. Speaking to WGNO-TV, Mayor Kerner said:
“We have a small group trying to take out the people in the most imminent danger. This is a very dangerous situation. I’ve never seen so much water in my life. We’ve lost our school and everything, but now with people’s lives, it has turned into a total rescue mission.
“People’s lives are I believe at stake now … We are trying to get them out as soon as fast as we can and as soon as this weather [breaks] we are going to send an army to them.”
President Biden delivered remarks from the FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, stressing that federal resources will be available to help. “This will be a devastating, devastating hurricane — this will be a life-threatening storm,” he warned. The president briefly outlined that the country had never before been so equipped to deal with the situation, pointing out that “I’ve been around for a lot of hurricanes, and I don’t think we’ve ever had as much preparation.”
Liberty Nation will keep you updated as the situation develops.