Louisiana: No Quick Relief after Ida Hurricane

Many Louisiana residents are still suffering even after Hurricane Ida. Two million Louisianans remained without power for a fourth day Wednesday amid the oppressive heat.

Residents scrambled for food, gas, water, and relief from the intense heat while thousands of line workers are working their hardest to restore electricity.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us and no one is under the illusion that this is going to be a short process,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said as the cleanup and rebuilding began across the soggy region in the oppressive late-summer heat.

Authorities warned that full recovery after the storm could take months. Edwards said state officials are also working to set up distribution locations in other areas affected by Ida.

New Orleans officials announced that seven places outside the city where people could get food and cool off were set up.

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There are also 70 transit busses as cooling sites with drive-thru food, water, and ice distribution set up on Wednesday.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell also issued an order for a nighttime curfew on Tuesday to prevent crime after Ida destroyed the power system and left the city in darkness. 

Cantrell said that she expects the main power company Entergy to be able to provide electricity to the city by Wednesday evening.

The power company said that they are looking at two options to “begin powering critical infrastructure in the areas such as hospitals, nursing homes, and first responders.” An estimated 25,000 utility workers toiled to restore electricity, but officials said that it could take weeks. 

“We know it’s hot. We know we do not have any power, and that continues to be a priority,” she told a news conference.

More than 1 million homes and business establishments in Louisiana and Mississippi – including all of New Orleans – had no power when Ida made landfall and slammed the electric grid Sunday with its 150 mph (240 kph) winds, destroying a major transmission tower and knocking out thousands of miles of lines and substations.

The number of deaths climbed to at least four in Louisiana and Mississippi, including two people killed Monday night when seven vehicles plunged into a 20-foot-deep (6-meter-deep) hole near Lucedale, Mississippi, where a highway had collapsed after torrential rains.

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