Advertisement

A look at Hurricane Ida’s path and destruction left in Louisiana, Cuba

Click to play video: 'Hurricane Ida: Louisiana begins assessing damage as a million people left without power'
Hurricane Ida: Louisiana begins assessing damage as a million people left without power
WATCH: Ida was downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday, but not before the powerful Category 4 storm roared ashore on the southeastern cost of Louisiana over the weekend – Aug 30, 2021

Hurricane Ida tore its way through Louisiana on Sunday, drowning homes and peeling roofs from businesses as it ripped its way along the coast.

It was one of the most powerful hurricanes that’s ever struck the U.S. mainland, with winds of 150 mph (230kph) at its peak. However, it weakened into a tropical storm late Sunday night as it set its sights on Mississippi.

Read more: U.S. evacuates thousands from Gulf Coast amid ‘extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Ida

Read next: This gibbon became pregnant while living in isolation. How is that possible?

Ida’s strength plunged parts of Louisiana, including New Orleans, into darkness as it strangled the electrical grid. It also knocked out cellphone service, and it killed at least one person outside Baton Rouge, who was hit by a falling tree.

Here’s a look at some of the destruction the powerful storm wrought on the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Story continues below advertisement

The first landfall

Children run in a flooded street caused by rains brought on by Hurricane Ida, in Guanimar, Artemisa province, Cuba, Saturday Aug. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa).

Soon after being upgraded from tropical storm to hurricane status on Friday, Ida smashed into Cuba’s small Isle of Youth, off the southwestern end of the Caribbean island nation, toppling trees and tearing roofs from dwellings.

The streets of Havana, the capital, were empty as residents shuttered themselves at home ahead of Ida’s arrival, which government forecasters warned could bring storm surges to Cuba’s western coastline.

Story continues below advertisement
People try to start a stalled vehicle to transport people through a street flooded by rain brought on by Hurricane Ida, in Guanimar, Artemisa province, Cuba, Saturday Aug. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa).

Jamaica was flooded by heavy rains, and there were landslides after the passage of the storm. Many roads were impassable, forcing some residents to abandon their homes.

U.S President Joe Biden issued a warning on Saturday when it became clear Ida was carving a path directly towards Louisiana.

Click to play video: 'Major clean ups underway after Hurricane Ida carves destruction path'
Major clean ups underway after Hurricane Ida carves destruction path

“Ida’s turning into a very, very dangerous storm. I need not tell you,” Biden said.

Story continues below advertisement

“Just got another briefing from the Hurricane Centre and as you know, it’s now heading straight for — right towards — Louisiana. This weekend is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and it’s a stark reminder that we have to do everything we can to prepare the people in the region and make sure we’re ready to respond.”

A young girl blocks her face from the wind and rain produced by Hurricane Ida, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in New Orleans, La. (AP Photo/Eric Gay).

Hurricane hits U.S.

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday, knocking out the power for all of New Orleans right around sunset. The remaining residents — those who hadn’t evacuated — battened down the hatches and braced for a rough night.

Story continues below advertisement
In preparation of Hurricane Ida, a worker attaches protective plywood to windows and doors of a business in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay).

“I had a long, miserable night,” Chris Atkins told the Associated Press.

He was in his New Orleans home when he heard a “kaboom” and all the sheetrock in the living room fell into the house. A short time later, the whole side of the living room fell onto his neighbor’s driveway.

“Lucky the whole thing didn’t fall inward. It would have killed us,” he said.

New Orleans Police detectives Adam Buckner, left, and Alexander Reiter, look over debris from a building that collapsed during Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).

By morning, the streets of New Orleans were crowded with debris and some roads had become fully blocked. Interstate 10 between New Orleans and Baton Rouge — the main east-west route along the Gulf Coast — was also closed due to flooding, with the water reported to be 4 feet deep at one spot, officials said.

Story continues below advertisement

One area, just west of New Orleans, got about 17 inches (43 cm) of rain in 20 hours, Greg Carbin of NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center tweeted.

Four Louisiana hospitals were damaged and 39 medical facilities were operating on generator power, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

An abandoned vehicle is half submerged in a ditch next to a near flooded highway as the outer bands of Hurricane Ida arrive Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in Bay Saint Louis, Miss. (AP Photo/Steve Helber).

Over 2,200 evacuees were holed up in 41 shelters as of Monday, though officials said they’d expect that number to keep going up as people are rescued or manage to escape the homes that did flood.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Hurricane Ida: 1 person dead, a million more without power in Louisiana, Biden confirms'
Hurricane Ida: 1 person dead, a million more without power in Louisiana, Biden confirms

Sadly, officials have also said they expect the death toll — currently sitting at just one person — to increase as the full scope of the hurricane’s impact comes into focus.

“We’re going to have many more confirmed fatalities,” said Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for Gov. John Bel Edwards, citing the level of destruction.

A section of roof that was blown off of a building in the French Quarter by Hurricane Ida winds blocks an intersection, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in New Orleans, La. (AP Photo/Eric Gay).

Rescue efforts continue

Rescue efforts are underway. The Louisiana National Guard said it activated 4,900 Guard personnel and lined up 195 high-water vehicles, 73 rescue boats and 34 helicopters. Local and state agencies were adding hundreds of more.

Story continues below advertisement

Desperate residents have also taken to social media to tweet out their addresses and the addresses of their loved ones, many of whom hid in their attics as the storm slammed down on their homes.

The power outages remain a huge issue for those living in Louisiana and Mississippi. More than a million customers lost power, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages nationwide. That means a million people without access to air conditioning and refrigeration — despite the suffocating summer heat.

New Orleans is projected to see 30 C temperatures all week long.

“We don’t know if the damage is extensive. We don’t know if the damage is something we can get up quickly,” Entergy New Orleans CEO Deanna Rodriguez told WWL-TV.

Story continues below advertisement

The hurricane twisted and collapsed a giant transmission tower in Jefferson Parish along the Mississippi River, and the wires fell into the river, causing widespread outages and halting river traffic, parish Emergency Management Director Joe Valiente said.

A man takes pictures of high waves along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Ida nears, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).

The tower, which survived Katrina in 2005, is one of eight ways power is brought into New Orleans, and the failure of one of them might have led the others to shut down as well, Rodriguez said.

Other areas were also in the dark, with the storm flattening telephone poles and trees bringing down power lines.

Valiente told NPR that the entire power grids collapsed in about 10 parishes and that it could take six weeks to fully restore power.

Edwards said on Sunday that 30,000 utility workers were in the state to help restore electricity.

Story continues below advertisement

AT&T’s phone system was down all across southeastern Louisiana. Many people resorted to using walkie-talkies.

Jesse Perez, center, and Sergio Hijuelo walk through flooded streets near Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Ida nears, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).

Ida was expected to pick up speed Monday night before dumping rain on the Tennessee and Ohio River valleys Tuesday, the Appalachian mountain region Wednesday and the nation’s capital on Thursday.

Forecasters said flash flooding and mudslides are possible along Ida’s path before it blows out to sea over New England on Friday.

— with files from Reuters, the Associated Press

Rene Hebert walks through the family’s destroyed offices as cleans up in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip).
Ambulances pass by a downed power pole after Hurricane Ida moved through Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in LaPlace, La. (AP Photo/Steve Helber).
Customers shop in the dark at a convenience store after the effects the effects of Hurricane Ida knocked out power in the area, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Nhew Orleans, La. (AP Photo/Eric Gay).
Customers stand in line to shop at a convenience store with no electricity after the effects the effects of Hurricane Ida knocked out power in the area, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Nhew Orleans, La. (AP Photo/Eric Gay).
Customers stand in line to enter a convenience store that opened without electricity after the effects the effects of Hurricane Ida knocked out power in the area, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Nhew Orleans, La. (AP Photo/Eric Gay).
Jeremy Hodges removes a light from his family’s destroyed storage unit in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip).

Sponsored content