Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana on Aug. 29.
The category four storm knocked out electricity across New Orleans, ripped roofs from buildings, and reversed the Mississippi River’s flow-direction.
“This is going to be a devastating, devastating hurricane,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.
Previous Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on Louisiana and Mississippi back in 2005. It crashed 45 miles east of where Ida made landfall.
Ida attracted winds of up to 150 mph, making it the fifth-strongest hurricane to reach the U.S. mainland. As it crept ashore, the storm was downgraded to category three with maximum winds of 115 mph. The eye of the hurricane was 30 miles west of the Big Easy.
“This is going to be much stronger than we usually see and, quite frankly, if you had to draw up the worst possible path for a hurricane in Louisiana, it would be something very, very close to what we are seeing,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said according to the Associated Press.
City officials declared New Orleans was without electricity on Aug. 29. The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness confirmed Entergy-operated generators are the city’s only power source. The outage has been categorized as a “catastrophic transmission damage.”
Awnings and entire boats were ripped from moorings. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Gabriel Wisdom reported more than 12 complaints about runaway barges. Jefferson Parish officials revealed one loose barge damaged a bridge near Lafitte, some 35 miles south of New Orleans.
“The storm surge is just tremendous,” the governor said. “We can see the roofs have been blown off of the port buildings in many places.”
Ida rapidly expanded from a few thunderstorms to a major hurricane within three days. This left little time to plan a mandatory evacuation of some 390,000 people. Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) ordered every resident within the danger zone to “hunker down.”
Hurricane survivor Marco Apostolico revealed his property in the Lower 9th Ward withstood hurricane-force winds, even though he lives in one of the hardest-hit areas.
“It is obviously a lot of heavy feelings,” he said according to the newswire agency. “Yeah, potentially scary and dangerous.”