Many New Orleans Seniors Were Left Without Power For Days After Hurricane Ida

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Philip Adams rests on his couch in what remains of his living room and kitchen at his destroyed home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

John Locher/AP

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John Locher/AP

These Images Show Just How Bad Hurricane Ida Hit Louisiana’s Coastline

«They’re hiding under the loophole of ‘independent living,'» Palmer said. «It’s not independent living if there’s no power and you’re in a wheelchair on the fourth floor.»

The city is creating teams of workers from the health, safety and permits, code enforcement and other departments. Their first focus is to make sure the senior homes are safe and evacuate people if necessary, Cantrell said.

But after that, management will be held accountable, and the city will likely add requirements that include facilities having emergency agreements in place with contractors who will make sure generator power is available at the sites, the mayor said.

Crews in Louisiana have restored power to nearly 70% of greater New Orleans and nearly all of Baton Rouge after Hurricane Ida, but outside those large cities, getting lights back on is a complex challenge that will last almost all of September, utility executives said Monday.

It’s going to involve air boats to get into the swamps and marshes to string lines and repair the most remote of about 22,000 power poles that Ida blew down when it came ashore on Aug. 29 as one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland, Entergy Louisiana President and CEO Phillip May said.

Hurricanes are causing more severe floods because of the combined effects of higher seas, warmer air and warmer ocean water.

Hurricanes are moving more slowly and dropping more rain as the Earth gets hotter. Once they make landfall, they still pack a big punch and lose their power much more slowly. Fifty years ago, a typical storm would lose 75% of its strength within the first 24 hours after it came on land. Now, it loses only 50% in the same time period.

Hurricanes are more likely to be larger and more powerful when they form over hotter ocean water. Climate change is causing global sea surface temperatures to rise.

More than 530,000 customers still don’t have power in Louisiana, just under half of the peak when Ida struck eight days ago. In five parishes west and south of New Orleans, at least 98% of homes and businesses don’t have power, according to the state Public Service Commission.

«It’s going to be a rebuild, not a repair,» May said.

The struggles in rural Louisiana shouldn’t keep people from forgetting the «near miraculous» speed of the repairs in New Orleans, Entergy New Orleans President and CEO Deanna Rodriguez said.

«I am so proud of the team and I think it’s a fabulous good news story,» she said.

But things aren’t normal in New Orleans. An 8 p.m. curfew remains in effect and numerous roads are impassable. Pickup of large piles of debris residents and businesses have been leaving on curbs will begin Tuesday, officials said.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday that he’s taken steps to help make the people doing the hard work of recovery have places to stay. He signed a proclamation ordering hotels and other places of lodging to give priority to first responders, health care workers and those working on disaster-related infrastructure repairs. The proclamation also suspended various state court legal deadlines until Sept. 24.

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Guthrie Matherne and Blakland Matherne look at what remains of their destroyed business in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

John Locher/AP

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John Locher/AP

Stunned By Ida, The Northeast Begins To Recover And Worry About The Next Storm

The owner of the pipeline hasn’t been discovered. Talos Energy, the Houston-based company currently paying for the cleanup, said it does not belong to them. The company said it is working with the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies to find the owner.

It remains the peak of hurricane season and forecasters are watching a cluster of storms near the Yucatán Peninsula.

It’s not an organized tropical storm at the moment and is expected to move slowly to the north or northeast over the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said in a Monday update.

Forecasts don’t show any significant strengthening over the next several days, but even heavy rain could cause more pain in Louisiana.

«Unfortunately, it could bring a lot of rain to our already saturated region. If we are impacted, this could challenge our restoration.» said John Hawkins, vice president of distribution operations for Entergy Louisiana.

  • hurricane ida
  • natural disasters
  • New Orleans
  • Hurricanes
  • climate change


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