Search and rescue operations are underway afterslammed the Louisiana coast, leaving about one million homes and businesses without power, including the entire city of New Orleans. Federal officials said it could be weeks before power is restored.
The storm, now a tropical depression, crashed into the state as a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds on Sunday, ripping the roofs off buildings and snapping power lines. The storm has been blamed for at least two deaths, but Louisiana’s governor said the number will likely increase in the days to come.
“We know that individuals are out there waiting to be rescued because their homes are inhabitable,” Governor John Bel Edwards said Monday. “Please know that we have thousands of people out right now with high water vehicles and boats who are doing search and rescues.
“We’re going to do everything we can to get to all the individuals who need help.”
In New Orleans, rising floodwaters trapped drivers in their cars, and debris was seen flying off Ochsner Medical Center in the city. Hospitals across the area continued treating patients even in hazardous conditions. Brick buildings in downtown New Orleans were completely reduced to rubble.
Despite weakening on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said the tropical depression still carried the threat of heavy rainfall and flash flooding as it moves over central and northeastern Mississippi on Monday afternoon.