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 strains that ship electrical energy to the town, in response to a brand new report from Everyone in Orleans parish, dwelling 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 stated it was coping with “catastrophic transmission damage.” WWLW investigative reporter David Hammer tweeted that the corporate had eight transmission strains go down, resulting in the large blackout. The foremost transmission tower has collapsed into the Mississippi River.

About 993,000 individuals in Louisiana and about 32,000 individuals in Mississippi are presently with out energy, in response to PowerOutage.US, which tracks energy outages throughout the nation. Local information station WWL-TV in Louisiana studies that whereas telephone calls are going straight to voicemail within the area, some textual content messages are getting by way of. 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 important as the town is predicted 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 outstanding depth as it crawled inland and has solely not too long ago 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, briefly flowing south to north in a transfer that’s prone to improve the anticipated flood harm within the state.

The devastation of this hurricane is just starting to be felt, with studies of individuals in Louisiana additionally shedding water of their properties. Jefferson Parish is reportedly shedding 250,000 gallons of water per hour, in response to WWL-TV, attributable to fallen timber which have broken the water system.

To make issues even worse, Louisiana has struggled not too long ago with an unlimited 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 presently occupied. reported {that a} backup generator failed at Thibodaux Regional Health System in Lafourche Parish, forcing medical workers to guide 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 turbines failed, contributing to mass deaths.)

Watching Ida, it’s as soon as once more clear that varied components of the U.S. vitality grid are just too antiquated to face as much as the circumstances 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 vitality grid failed catastrophically after excessive chilly hit the state, leaving a whole lot lifeless throughout the state. (It’s almost failed twice again this summer season.) And California’s grid has been confused this summer amid wildfires, simply as it has in other recent 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 without delay connects broader swaths of the country and has built-in resilience measures to take care of more and more, scorching, fiery, stormy, and dry circumstances. (Obviously it will additionally kick fossil fuels to the curb.) That’s a long-term undertaking, although.

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

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