New Orleans Loses Power as Hurricane Ida Inundates Louisiana

A group of people cross an intersection during Hurricane Ida on August 29, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A bunch of individuals cross an intersection throughout Hurricane Ida on August 29, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo: Brandon Bell (Getty Images)

All of New Orleans misplaced energy Sunday evening after Hurricane Ida introduced down eight transmission traces that ship electrical energy to the town, in line with a brand new report from Nola.com. Everyone in Orleans parish, house to New Orleans, misplaced energy round 7:15 p.m. native time, 8:15 p.m. ET, and it’s not clear when energy may be restored.

Local utility Entergy mentioned it was coping with “catastrophic transmission damage.” WWLW investigative reporter David Hammer tweeted that the corporate had eight transmission traces go down, resulting in the large blackout. The predominant transmission tower has collapsed into the Mississippi River.

About 993,000 individuals in Louisiana and about 32,000 individuals in Mississippi are at present with out energy, in line with PowerOutage.US, which tracks energy outages throughout the nation. Local information station WWL-TV in Louisiana experiences that whereas cellphone calls are going straight to voicemail within the area, some textual content messages are getting via. New Orleans’ 96 pumps that assist the town address stormwater have additionally misplaced energy from Entergy, forcing the town’s Sewerage & Water Board that operates the system to rely on electricity generated in-house. Their continued operation is significant as the town is anticipated to obtain as much as 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain from Ida.

Hurricane Ida, a slow-moving Category 4 storm, first made landfall round midday native time at Port Fourchon, roughly 100 miles (161 kilometers) south of New Orleans, after which once more at Galliano, about 70 miles (113 kilometer) south of New Orleans, round 2 p.m. native time. At the time of landfall, Ida had winds of 150 mph (241 kph). The storm maintained exceptional depth as it crawled inland and has solely just lately begun to weaken wind-wise, although it’s nonetheless packing a punch and heavy rain and surf are wreaking havoc.

Incredibly, the Mississippi River even reversed course earlier this night, quickly flowing south to north in a transfer that’s more likely to improve the anticipated flood injury within the state.

The devastation of this hurricane is just starting to be felt, with experiences of individuals in Louisiana additionally shedding water of their properties. Jefferson Parish is reportedly shedding 250,000 gallons of water per hour, in line with WWL-TV, brought on by fallen bushes which have broken the water system.

To make issues even worse, Louisiana has struggled just lately with an infinite surge in covid-19 instances, pushing the native well being system to the max. The state reported 3,428 new covid-19 instances on Friday alone, with roughly 84% of Louisiana’s ICU beds at present occupied. NOLA.com reported {that a} backup generator failed at Thibodaux Regional Health System in Lafourche Parish, forcing medical workers to handbook pump air out and in of sufferers’ lungs whereas they transported them to part of the hospital that also had energy. State Rep. Jerome Zeringue described the scene as “Katrinaesque.” (Hospitals notoriously misplaced energy throughout Katrina and mills failed, contributing to mass deaths.)

Watching Ida, it’s as soon as once more clear that varied components of the U.S. power grid are just too antiquated to face as much as the situations the local weather disaster has wrough. The most infamous instance of a grid failing is Puerto Rico within the wake of Hurricane Maria. But hurricanes are removed from the one local weather disasters that threaten the facility provide. This 12 months alone, the Texas power grid failed catastrophically after excessive chilly hit the state, leaving a whole lot useless throughout the state. (It’s virtually failed twice once more this summer time.) And California’s grid has been pressured this summer time amid wildfires, simply as it has in different current years. Declining water ranges on the state’s reservoirs and hydropower dams have added additional stress. All these disasters have proven why we want a modernized grid, one which directly connects broader swaths of the nation and has built-in resilience measures to cope with more and more, scorching, fiery, stormy, and dry situations. (Obviously it could additionally kick fossil fuels to the curb.) That’s a long-term undertaking, although.

If you’re staring on the information from outdoors the area and questioning what you are able to do to assist Ida survivors proper now, we’ve created a information on other ways which you could assist victims of the hurricane proper now.