A Democrat from Louisiana predicted the number of deaths from Hurricane Ida would jump on Aug. 30.
Gov. John Bel Edwards confirmed one person perished in the category four storm, and would not rule out further fatalities.
“We have one confirmed death but I do not want to mislead anyone,” he said according to MSNBC. “[A] robust search and rescue is happening right now, and I fully expect that death count will go up considerably throughout the day.”
A second hurricane-related death was reported that same evening. The victim drowned while trying to drive his vehicle through floodwaters. The scene of the accident was near the Interstate 10 and West End Boulevard in New Orleans according to CNN.
Hurricane Ida made landfall on Aug. 29. The storm brought strong winds and floods. It also caused power and water outages.
Drone footage shows flooding and wind damage in LaPlace, Louisiana, after Hurricane Ida pounded the community nestled between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. https://t.co/YHyy13o141 pic.twitter.com/JvXcm1FEiI— ABC News (@ABC) August 31, 2021
About 1.1 million residents are affected by blackouts, which could take more than three weeks to fully restore according to the broadcaster. Some parts of St. Charles Parish could have to wait a month for power.
“Electricity is practically non-existent for most people in South East Louisiana,” the governor said according to the broadcaster.
Edwards revealed there were a total of 18 water outages, affecting more than 312,000 people across the Bayou State. There were also 14 boil water advisories impacting over 329,000 residents.
The Democrat promised authorities will “work hard every single day to deliver as much assistance” as possible.
The disaster’s timing could not be worse, since the state is still battling COVID-19’s Delta variant.
“First of all we really need our hospitals, more than anything else, to come back up,” the governor said. “People who are in intensive care unit rooms and on ventilators, and so forth can continue to receive the life saving care that they need–that is important all the time.”
Meanwhile a rescue mission began after houses became submerged in floodwaters. Multiple residents complained about having no phone or electricity service to call for help across the Big Easy.
“We have had some people that … waded out (of neighborhoods) and flagged police officers down, and told us what is going on,” Mayor Greg Cromer (R) said according to CNN.
Louisiana Cajun Navy volunteer rescue group fleet captain Jordy Bloodsworth said, “Hundreds, possibly more, people [are] trapped in their houses, with some extent of water–from a foot deep to people in the attics.”