Hurricane Ida live updates: aftermath, path, landfall, death toll...

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Hurricane Ida live updates: aftermath, path, landfall, death toll...

Hurricane Ida: live updates

Headlines:

- Hurricane Ida weakens to tropical storm

- Man in 70s presumed dead after being attacked by an alligator in floods outside his Louisiana home

- Over a million people without power, all 8 transmission lines into New Orleans down

Main points:

- Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana shortly before noon 29 August 

- It was a Cat. 4 Hurricane, with sustained winds of 150mph

- President Biden declared a major disaster in Louisiana

- Ida came ashore on the 16th anniversary of Katrina

- Potential for tornadoes from Florida panhandle to Mid-Atlantic through today

- Death toll: the storm has claimed the lives of at least four people so far

- Bridge collapse in southern Mississippi kills two

Drones capture Ida footage

As we've been reporting, Louisiana residents were assessing the damage and more than a million homes and businesses were without power a day after Ida rolled ashore as a powerful hurricane.

The storm, which packed some of the most powerful winds ever to hit the area, drove a wall of water inland when it made landfall Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane about 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of New Orleans. As it lumbers north, Ida is unleashing a catastrophic amount of rain that could total two feet when all is said and done.

Man attacked and killed by alligator in floods

A man in his 70s is presumed dead after he was attacked by an alligator outside his Louisiana home while wading through floodwaters caused by Hurricane Ida.

According to sheriff’s officials, the man’s wife said her husband went downstairs, where there was about four feet of floodwaters, to check on the shed when he was attacked.

Full story.

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Rising water

Still images of security camera footage outside Fire Station #12 before and after hurricane Ida struck within an hour time period, in Delacroix, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.

Ida: flooding and threat of tornado moving north

Ida is weakening as it tracks further inland, but its threats of flooding rain and isolated tornadoes will continue to spread from the South into parts of the East through midweek.

Ida inflicted widespread wind and flood damage in southeast Louisiana on Sunday, including in the New Orleans metro area. See this link for the latest details on those impacts and the recovery ahead.

Ida: US' fifth largest hurricane

Some more footage as CNBC's Shepard Smith reported on the path of Hurricane Ida's destruction after making landfall in Louisiana.

No power as summer heat bears down

A new danger is faced by Louisiana communities battered by Hurricane Ida, as weeks of summer heat lie ahead and they are without power. The enormous task of clearing debris and repairing damage from the storm is, of course, the current priority. 

Ida ravaged the region's power grid, leaving the entire city of New Orleans and hundreds of thousands of other Louisiana residents in the dark with no clear timeline on when power would return. Some areas outside New Orleans also suffered major flooding and structure damage. 

“There are certainly more questions than answers. I can’t tell you when the power is going to be restored. I can’t tell you when all the debris is going to be cleaned up and repairs made,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told a news conference Monday.

“But what I can tell you is we are going to work hard every day to deliver as much assistance as we can.”

Rebecca Santana And Jay Reeves bring you the latest on the power outage impact.

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Hurricane Ida update

For all the official news, the National Hurricane Center have their eye on every movement of the storm. We're watching them closely and will bring you all the latest.

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US EPA approves emergency fuel waivers for Louisiana, Mississippi

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued emergency fuel waivers for Louisiana and Mississippi, effective immediately, due to Hurricane Ida.

"EPA issued a waiver of the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements in Louisiana and Mississippi to help improve the fuel supply circumstances caused by Hurricane Ida. The waiver begins 30 August 2021, and ends 16 September 2021", the agency said on Monday.

Drew Brees sends message to Louisiana

"Hey everybody back in New Orleans and Louisiana. This is Drew Brees. I'm here in Atlanta with the Sunday Night Football crew, but my heart is with you. Please everyone stay safe and secure during the hurricane, and God bless everyone. Stay safe."

That was the message from former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Sunday dedicated to the people of Louisiana as Hurricane Ida continued its route of destruction.

Brees works for NBC Sports and was in Atlanta for the Falcons’ preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. The video was shared on the official account of the Falcons.

Mississippi overflowing

More images shared of the impact of Hurricane Ida on the Mississippi river, as the water rises.

Hospitals escaped major damage, but staffing and covid challenges prevail

Louisiana hospitals largely escaped catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ida, but the storm created the "perfect petri dish" for spread of the coronavirus, officials said on Monday via Reuters.

The weather disaster hit a state where hospitals are crowded with covid patients, cases of the Delta variant were surging and nurses were in short supply.

A handful of smaller hospitals have been forced to evacuate patients, while all major regional hospitals were doing fine for now, Dr. Joseph Kanter, the top medical official in Louisiana, told Reuters by phone.

"Outside of a few, small outlying hospitals, it doesn't appear to be anything catastrophic," said Kanter, who worked through the harrowing days of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when some two dozen hospitals in New Orleans had to be evacuated.

Warner Thomas, the CEO of Ochsner Health, the largest healthcare provider in the state, said Monday night that two of its smaller hospitals southwest of New Orleans had been evacuated because of damage to roofs and flooding. That affected 65 patients at St. Anne Hospital and Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center, where temporary roofing was being installed.

Thomas said Ochsner helped move about 100 patients from Terrebone General Medical Center in Houma, southwest of New Orleans, which is a partner hospital with Ochsner.

So far there were no reports of any injuries to patients or staff members because of Hurricane Ida, Thomas said.

All Ochsner hospitals in New Orleans suffered roof damage and are working on generator power as electricity remains out, Thomas said, including powering operating rooms where surgeries are still being carried out. The facilities have a 10-day supply of fuel on site, with more on the way already. Nearly all of Louisiana was without power Monday.

Many hospitals were using their own water wells while they awaited the restoration of city water services, he said.

Staffing shortages

"The biggest challenge in the coming days is around our people," Thomas said.

Doctors, nurses and other staff members have damage to their homes or no power. Ochsner is working on housing them in hotels and elsewhere. Louisiana was already facing a shortage of more than 6,000 nurses before the storm hit, so having more personnel out dealing with damage to their homes would put even more stress on the system, Thomas said.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, who until last year was the health secretary for Louisiana and now leads Louisiana State University's healthcare services division, worried about where evacuated patients would go when wards are filled with covid patients and how the spread of covid would beimpacted.

"This is a perfect petri dish condition for covid to grow," she said. "People are in close quarters, they aren't going outside, and a lot of congregate sheltering is going to be starting."

A devastated Louisiana from above

Shattered homes, debris-strewn streets and flooded communities along the Louisiana Gulf Coast were left in the wake of Hurricane Idaas rescuers worked to save the stranded Monday.

NBC have provided these aerial video and images showed some of the destruction from the Category 4 hurricane, which made landfall Sunday, including in LaPlace, west of New Orleans.

Two fatalities after bridge collapses 

Hurricane Ida was a factor in a bridge collapse in southern Mississippi that resulted in two deaths and 10 injured. A portion around 50 feet in length sent seven cars plunging up to 20 feet deep. Of the 10 injured, three have life-threatening injuries.

Over a million without power, perhaps for weeks 

Hurricane Ida packed quite a punch with its 150mph sustained winds when it came ashore. The winds tore the roofs off of houses and down powerlines, even those accustomed to riding out storms were taken aback by the force of the gusts. The resulting power outage is affecting over a million people and some may go weeks without power as crew work to fix the damage. All eight high-voltage transmission lines into New Orleans were brought down.

View from above of the damage 

Drone footage of flooding caused by Hurricane Ida in LaPlace, Louisiana.

Jose Andres on the ground in Houma 

Houma, Louisiana lies just northwest of where Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday. The eye of the hurricane passed just to the east of the city which experienced extensive damage. Chef Jose Andres is on the ground to provide meals for the victims of the storm through his World Central Kitchen organization.

Hurricane Ida the result of climate change 

Hurricanes are formed over warm waters, of at least 80 degrees, and as the waters which developing storms move over heat up it provides more energy to the storm. The Gulf of Mexico is warmer than normal this year and that helped supercharge Hurricane Ida to a Category 4 hurricane by the time it made landfall. As global temperatures rise, the potential for more storms and more powerful storms will increase.

New Orleans’ levees hold 

When Katrina hit Louisiana 16 years ago the cities levees were still in the process of been upgraded. The storm overwhelmed the system and the defenses failed in some 50 places resulting in the flooding of 80 percent of the city and extensive damage. $14-plus billion dollars over a decade, strengthen the levee and flood control system to handle a 100-year event. Those improvements were able to withstand the lashing that Hurricane Ida gave the city.

Dogs and cats rescued for Hurricane Ida 

Over 100 dogs and cats were airlifted from a shelter in Louisiana to another in Delaware where they can be adopted. The operation was made possible through sponsorship from Petco Love and the ASPCA and carried out by Wings of Rescue.

Hurricane Ida live updates: welcome 

Hello and welcome to our live blog on Tuesday 31 August 2021, providing you with the latest updates on Hurricane Ida as it progresses northeast across the United States after making landfall in Louisiana near Port Fourchon on 29 August as a Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles an hour. 

We’ll keep up informed on what the aftermath of the powerful storm as crews access the damage left in its wake. As well as what to expected as it continues on its course with the potential to bring heavy rains and flooding, along with tornadoes.

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