A member of a rescue team helps evacuate a woman after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, in Laplace, Louisiana, August 30, 2021.
Marco Bello | Reuters
Southeastern communities are reeling from Hurricane Ida after the storm system wreaked havoc on power grids and water systems amid the blazing heat.
More than a million customers were left without power in Louisiana, according to PowerOutage.us. About 52,000 lost power in Mississippi.
Since Ida made landfall Sunday, utility crews have moved in to assess the damage to the city’s power grid, a process that will likely take days, according to power supplier Entergy. Restoring electrical transmission will take “far longer,” the company said in a tweet Monday.
Meantime, 18 water systems have gone out, affecting more than 312,000 people, and an additional 14 systems serving 329,000 people were under boil-water advisories, the Associated Press reported. Residents are rushing to find fresh drinking water and ice, as well as non-perishable foods.
Gasoline is also becoming hard to find, as people seek to fill cars or generators. That means regional prices are expected to rise temporarily, the American Automobile Association said.
“It makes no sense to stay,” one resident told CNBC’s Frank Holland while filling up gas. “Our water is garbage. It’s just too difficult to stay here.”
Highway 51 is flooded after Hurricane Ida struck LaPlace, Louisiana, August 30, 2021.
Mickey Welsh | Montgomery Advertiser | USA TODAY Network via Reuters
This all comes amid sweltering, late-summer heat. Heat advisories were in effect for some parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, where heat index values could reach up to 106 degrees.
Ida made landfall over Port Fourchon, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 miles per hour, one of the strongest storms to hit the region since Hurricane Katrina, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The storm has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is moving across the Tennessee Valley. It is expected to spawn heavy rainfall in the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and in the mid-Atlantic region through Wednesday.