A Louisiana police chief has described the devastation in the town of Grand Isle, Louisiana, as a result of Hurricane Ida, as significantly "worse" than anything he experienced during Hurricane Katrina, which left more than 1,800 people dead in 2005.
"I’ve ridden out other hurricanes — Hurricane Isaac, Katrina, Gustav, Ike — and this is no comparison whatsoever. This is the worst. ... It’s just amazing that no one [here] was killed or even seriously injured," Grand Isle Police Chief Scooter Resweber told the Associated Press on Tuesday, according to The Hill.
Resweber said that the Category 4 storm caused heavy damage in the town with a population of 1,400, lifting roofs from homes and crumbling walls.
He and his fellow officers hid inside the city's police station on Sunday as Ida made landfall.
"I had all the police officers move into the building for safety, and then all hell broke loose," Resweber told the AP. "Roofs started to come apart. We could see buildings flying to pieces across the street from us. It’s something that you just don’t want to ever see again."
Ida struck Louisiana on Aug. 29 as a strong Category 4, with maximum winds of about 150 mph — much higher than the maximum winds of 125 mph from Katrina, a Category 3. But Katrina’s wind field reveals that it contained more than twice the energy of Ida, The Washington Post reported.
Ida knocked out power to more than a million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi, including all of New Orleans. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she expects the city's main power company to provide some electricity by Wednesday evening, reported WDSU 6 News.
Some areas of New Orleans East had power restored late Tuesday night, Entergy confirmed.
New Orleans officials identified seven locations around the city where residents could get a meal and sit in air conditioning, the Associated Press reported. The city was also using 70 transit buses as cooling sites and will have drive-through food, water, and ice distribution locations set up on Wednesday, Cantrell said.
With water treatment plants overwhelmed by floodwaters or crippled by power outages, some areas were also facing shortages of drinking water. About 441,000 people in 17 parishes had no water, and an additional 319,000 were under boil-water advisories, federal officials said, the AP reported.
Democrat Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday that he expected the death toll from Hurricane Ida to rise as search-and-rescue missions continue.
"We have one confirmed death, but I don't want to mislead anyone," Edwards said while appearing on MSNBC. "Robust search-and-rescue is happening right now, and I fully expect that death count will go up considerably throughout the day."
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