Two people were killed, and ten were injured in a Mississippi highway crash that was caused by Hurricane Ida, according to US officials. Among the wounded, three are in critical condition, according to the state highway police.
Two people also died in the state of Louisiana, which was left without electricity because of the passing of the Ida.
Hurricane Ida wreaks havoc in Louisiana, USA
On Monday night, the Ida lost strength and was considered a tropical storm.
The Ida hit the US coast on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.
After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, when more than 1,800 people died, the US built a $14.5 billion system of dams, locks and bombs. That system worked during the Ida, officials said, and New Orleans was spared the catastrophic flooding that ravaged the area 16 years ago.
Widespread flooding from Hurricane Ida and blackouts hamper energy companies’ efforts to assess damage to oil production facilities, ports and refineries.
Nearly the entire state of Louisiana was without electricity on Monday after the hurricane hit the region, knocked out power lines and flooded communities. Coastal areas were flooded by a storm surge so great that it reversed the flow of the Mississippi River.
Analysts said it could take two to three weeks to resume production on the platforms and fully reactivate Louisiana refineries. Reconnecting power, which is essential for refineries, could also take weeks, utility officials said.
“This restoration is probably not going to be a quick resumption,” said Rod West, head of operations at service provider Entergy Corp. “This was a considerable and catastrophic wind event, while Katrina was a water event in comparison.”
Disturbances in oil infrastructure are testing the country’s fuel distribution systems. Operators shut down oceanic oil and gas pipelines that supply processing plants, and the biggest fuel-dependent East Coast connection line was shut down for days.
Phillips 66 has yet to assess damage to the Mississippi River refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, which produces 255,600 barrels a day, a spokesman said. The plant, which went on sale last week, was flooded after an Alliance dike breached.
“It’s the most water I’ve seen in my 31 years coming to Alliance,” Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Gerald Turlich said on Monday.
Floods have also been reported at other Louisiana facilities. Nine refineries have cut production or feedlot operations, including Exxon’s in Baton Rouge, which produces 520,000 barrels a day, reducing 2.3 million barrels a day of capacity, or 13% of the country’s total, the Department of Energy.
On the coast, 95% of the Gulf’s oil production and 94% of gas production remained shut down on Monday, the Office of Safety and Environment Compliance said. A total of 288 production platforms and 11 oil platforms remain inoperative.
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