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(New Orleans) Blackouts, streets flooded, roofs demolished … Louisiana residents measured the extent of damage caused by Hurricane Ida on Monday and their governor described them as “catastrophic”.
Posted on Aug 30, 2021 at 6:16 am Updated at 1:28 pm
Daxia ROJAS Agence France-Presse
The first very tangible consequence of Ida’s gusts: According to the PowerOutage specialist page, more than a million households were still without electricity at noon. US. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned that 911 was still unreachable.
With wind speeds of 240 km / h, Ida hit the coast of Louisiana on Sunday.
“The damage is really catastrophic,” lamented Governor John Bel Edwards to NBC. At least one person was killed by falling from a tree in the town of Prairieville. However, the governor said he expected the toll to rise “dramatically” later in the day.
With the support of the National Guard, the US emergency agency has dispatched more than 5,200 people to help the victims, the Pentagon said.
The residents of New Orleans, a city of 390,000 largely dependent on tourism, woke up Monday to intermittent rains and strong gusts of wind.
Some of them defied numerous home stay orders as they faced the risk of flash floods or electric shock.
Craig Anderson, 67, inspects his red car, the windshield of which was damaged by a large falling tile. “I’m lucky, I wasn’t in the vehicle,” he whispered to AFP.
One hurricane chases the other
Branches, broken glass and other small debris scatter the streets of the city center.
On the outskirts of the city, a broom from emergency vehicles hurled itself on the beds of the cities hardest hit. Residents of LaPlace, about fifty kilometers away, called for help on social networks and said they had been caught by the rising water.
Scenes of devastation have unfortunately become redundant in this southern state of the United States, where one hurricane often drives another.
But as the ocean surface warms up, storms get stronger, scientists warn. In particular, they pose an increasing risk to coastal communities.
And everyone still thinks of the painful memory of Katrina, a hurricane that landed in Louisiana on August 29, 2005, sixteen days before Ida’s arrival. More than 1,800 people had died and the damage amounted to billions of dollars.
“I was there for Katrina 16 years ago and the winds seemed worse this time,” Dereck Terry, 53, told AFP. “But the damage is less important, I have the impression,” says the man with the T-shirt with the image of Superman, an umbrella in his hand.
Downgraded to a tropical storm, Ida is now racing over the Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the United States that is threatened by flooding.
President Biden, who declared Louisiana a state of disaster, will meet with the governors and mayors of the affected communities in the early afternoon.