By: Lucas Garske and Kyla Mitchell
Hurricane Ida landed ashore this Sunday, with the storm being one of the most powerful to hit the US. The hurricane has blown roofs off of buildings and has caused a blackout for all of New Orleans, leaving thousands of residents without power.
There are still “…hundreds of thousands of people without power,” according to USA Today. Over 590,000 businesses and homes are without power in Louisiana, says PowerOutage.us. The storm destroyed or damaged more than 22,000 power poles. Ida has also destroyed 26,000 spans of wire, and 5,261 transformers. That is more poles destroyed or damaged than Hurricane Delta, Katrina, and Zeta combined.
The category 4 storm touched down the same day that hurricane Katrina hit 16 years prior. The hurricane reached 150 mph winds, making Ida the fifth strongest hurricane in the history of the US. Compared to hurricane Katrina, Ida moved slower and was smaller than Katrina, only moving 100 miles inland in the first 12 hours, while Katrina moved 240 miles.
Cynthia Lee Sheng, the president of the Jefferson Parish said at a conference last Tuesday that 40% of all structures on Grand Isle are, “Either completely destroyed with just the piling showing, or maybe just a wall standing up.”
According to USA Today, President Biden has spoken up about how climate change has been a “code red.” He has stated that the extreme weather is an “existential threat.” Biden has warned the Americans that the “nation and the world are in peril.” He believes that action must be taken now, in order to prevent future weather hazards.
The high winds have resulted in at least 2 fatalities, due to drowning and a fallen tree. Many modern day amenities such as sewage systems and power were disabled during the storm, with no information as to when they will be brought back. When hearing that power outages may last up to a month, Governor John Bel Edwards responded with, “I’m not satisfied with 30 days… nobody who’s out there needing power is satisfied with that.”
After meeting with the governor, Phil Murphy, members and officials of Congress, at the Somerset County Emergency Management Training Center, President Biden was updated about the damages that Ida had caused. Later he toured a neighborhood that was cluttered with debris from the hurricane, to truly get a sense of how this disaster has affected US citizens.