A weakened but still powerful Hurricane Ida was slowly making its way north into south-central Louisiana early Monday, pummeling the region with heavy winds and rain, a dangerous storm surge and flash flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
More than a million homes and businesses had power outages statewide, including the entire city of New Orleans.
There were reports of people being trapped in homes. Some levees were breached. Emergency communications lines went out in some spots. Boil water advisories were issued for some communities.
Tornados were possible in areas north and east of Ida, forecasters warned.
One death has been blamed on the storm so far but hospitals already stretched to near breaking points by the COVID-19 pandemic were bracing for an onslaught of new patients.
President Biden approved a disaster declaration for Louisiana.
Idaas an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. By 1 a.m. local time Monday, Ida was barely still a hurricane with 75 mph maximum sustained winds but was still packing a strong punch.
Ida hit on the 16th anniversary of. The city’s levees system, which failed during Katrina, has been fortified since then.