US President Joe Biden has declared a disaster in Louisiana and ordered federal aid to complement recovery efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Ida, the White House said Sunday.
“Assistance can include subsidies for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover the loss of uninsured property and other programs to help residents and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” the White House said.
More than a million customers in Louisiana are without electricity, according to the website PowerOutage.us, which monitors outages. In New Orleans, the supply is completely cut off.
Hurricane Ida hits southern coast of United States
Hurricane Ida hit the mainland as a violent Category 4 storm on Sunday afternoon, with winds reaching 240 km/h.
According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), Ida has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane. Ida is now located about 30 miles east-southeast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with maximum winds at 155 km/h, said the NHC.
The forecast is that the Ida will head towards the northeast this Monday (30).
The heavy rains had been affecting the deserted streets of New Orleans since the morning, where residents have boarded up windows and blocked sandbags. Port Fourchon was directly affected by winds of approximately 240 km/h.
Amid urgent warnings of possible catastrophic damage, most residents followed the authorities’ recommendations to leave the region. A record number of people jammed New Orleans’ exit highways on the eve of Ida’s arrival.
In a locality in eastern New Orleans, this Sunday morning some residents were making last-minute preparations. “I’m not sure I’m prepared,” said Charles Fields, 60, who still carried his garden furniture indoors. “But we will have to face him.”
In 2005, Katrina flooded Fildes’ house – the water reached 3.3 meters. “Let’s see how it can handle [desta vez]”he stated.
See, in the video below, the plane rattling while taking images from inside Hurricane Ida:
Airplane Pilot Takes Pictures From Inside Hurricane Ida
See, in the video below, the water invading a house in the city of Grand Isle, Louisiana:
Water invades US home during Hurricane Ida
See, below, photos of the passage of hurricane Ida through the USA:
Photo Aug. 29, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana, shows a man walking past a destroyed structure after Hurricane Ida — Photo: Eric Gay/AP
Aug. 29, 2021 photo taken in the city of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, shows a vehicle partially submerged after Hurricane Ida passed — Photo: Steve Helber/AP
Aug. 29, 2021 photo shows the arrival of Hurricane Ida in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana — Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP
‘Important test’ says governor
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards warned on Sunday that Hurricane Ida will be “an important test” for the state’s flood prevention system, expanded after the devastating passage of Katrina.
And he explained to CNN that hundreds of thousands of residents have left their homes. And he added that the situation “broughts several challenging difficulties for us”, since “the hospitals [estão] so full of Covid patients.”
With a low vaccination rate, Louisiana is among the states hardest hit by the pandemic. With 2,700 admissions this Saturday (28), hospitalizations are close to the highest levels of the pandemic.
This Sunday also coincides with the 16th anniversary of Katrina, the devastating hurricane that flooded 80% of New Orleans, leaving 1,800 dead and billions of dollars in damage.
“It’s very painful to think of another powerful storm with Hurricane Ida hitting the ground this anniversary,” Edwards had previously said.
The White House said Sunday that federal agencies had mobilized more than 2,000 emergency workers in the region (including 13 urban search and rescue teams), along with food and water supplies, as well as electric generators.
Local authorities, the Red Cross and other organizations have prepared dozens of shelters for at least 16,000 people, the White House added.
Plans to face the hurricane and activate the refuges were complicated by Covid-19. President Joe Biden, who declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, on Saturday called for all people in the shelters to wear masks and maintain a safe distance.
Oil terminal has been affected
Hurricane Ida arrives in the United States — Photo: NOAA/Via Reuters
LOOP’s maritime terminal is located in open water, about 29 km off the coast of Louisiana. In Port Fourchon is the land base.
The port of Louisiana is the only deepwater terminal in the US capable of unloading supertankers. According to the Port Fourchon website, it covers:
- about 10% to 15% of US domestic oil;
- 10% to 15% of foreign oil imports;
- is connected to about half of the US refining capacity;
- and it also supplies 90% of deepwater oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Sunday, more than 95% of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico in the US was suspended, which represents about 1.74 million barrels per day of production. The Gulf provides about 17% of the country’s oil.
Hurricane Ida wreaks havoc in Cuba
Hurricane Ida had touched the ground on Friday night (27) in western Cuba with category 1, causing some material damage and power cuts, according to the newspaper “Granma” (see video above).
At the same time, Hurricane Nora left a Spanish minor dead and a woman missing in the Mexican state of Jalisco (west of the country), after having touched the ground on Saturday in this region as a category 1 hurricane.
Nora lost strength and, this Sunday, had the status of a tropical storm, in the state of Sinaloa. But it continued to cause “heavy rain and flooding” in the southeast and west of the country, according to the NHC.
Last weekend, another hurricane, Grace, hit the Mexican region of Veracruz (east) as a category 3 and caused the death of at least 11 people in this state and in neighboring Puebla (center).
Scientists have warned of an increase in the number of strong cyclones as the ocean’s surface warms due to global warming, posing an increasing threat to coastal communities around the world.