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Ida live updates: New Orleans evacuees told not to return home until further notice

ABC News logo ABC News 8/30/2021
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Ida is barreling through Louisiana after making landfall in the state as a powerful Category 4 hurricane on Sunday afternoon.

It was one of the strongest hurricanes on record -- by both wind speed and pressure -- to roar ashore in Louisiana.

Ida, now a tropical storm, is hitting on the 16-year anniversary of Katrina, a Category 3 hurricane that ravaged the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina unleashed a series of events, taking the lives of more than 1,800 people and leaving more than $100 billion worth of damage in its wake.

 

Latest Developments

August 30, 2021

AT&T wireless at 60% in Louisiana

AT&T said its Louisiana wireless network is operating at 60%.

a stop sign is covered with snow: A truck drives through high water near Highway 61 in Destrehan, La., Aug. 30, 2021 after Hurricane Ida made landfall. © Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images A truck drives through high water near Highway 61 in Destrehan, La., Aug. 30, 2021 after Hurricane Ida made landfall.

"We had key network facilities go offline overnight, and while some have already been restored, some facilities remain down and are inaccessible due to flooding and storm damage," AT&T said in a statement.

-ABC News' Alexandra Faul

 
August 30, 2021

New Orleans to evacuees: Do not return until further notice

 

New Orleans residents who evacuated their homes should not return until further notice, the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said.

  a group of police officers riding on the back of a truck: A man looks down the street as members of the Louisiana National Guard line up vehicles on North Rampart Street in New Orleans, Aug. 30, 2021. © Dan Anderson/EPA via Shutterstock A man looks down the street as members of the Louisiana National Guard line up vehicles on North Rampart Street in New Orleans, Aug. 30, 2021.  

"There is widespread debris, power remains out, and emergency services are working to respond to those still in the city," city officials said. "We will let you know when it is safe to come home."

 
 
August 30, 2021

New Orleans airport expects all flights to be canceled

 

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is conducting damage assessments and said it expects all flights to be canceled Monday.

The airport added that passengers should check directly with their airlines for more information.

 

So far New Orleans' airport has 118 canceled flights. Some flights have also been canceled in Houston, Dallas, Pensacola and Atlanta.

 

-ABC News' Alexandra Faul, Amanda Maile

 
August 30, 2021

Power could be out for weeks in hardest-hit areas: Energy company

Power could be out for weeks in the areas hit hardest by Ida, Entergy said Monday.

 

"Where weather permitted, our crews were out at first light today assessing damage where it was safe to do so," the energy company said in a statement. "This will help us get a better idea of what we’re dealing with. It would be premature to speculate at this time when power will be restored given the extent of the damage."

The ability to reach some areas is hindered by road closures and flooding, the company said.

"In harder to reach areas, we use advanced technology, such as infrared cameras, drones and satellite imagery to assess damage by foot, vehicles, airboats, highwater vehicles and helicopters. Even so, lack of access in areas like waterways and marshes could delay our damage assessment," Entergy said.          

-ABC News' Josh Hoyos

 
August 30, 2021

Ida's latest forecast from South to Northeast

 

Tropical Storm Ida, now about 40 miles southwest of Jackson, Mississippi, is still bringing flash flood warnings to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Monday.

a train traveling down tracks next to a river: Flooded streets are pictured after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, in Kenner, La., Aug. 30, 2021. © Marco Bello/Reuters Flooded streets are pictured after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, in Kenner, La., Aug. 30, 2021.  

Up to 18 inches of rain has pummeled Louisiana. Up to 9 inches fell in Mississippi.

  a car parked next to a body of water: A man helps a stranded motorist in floodwaters on Beach Blvd., Aug. 30, 2021 in Biloxi, Miss. © Sean Rayford/Getty Images A man helps a stranded motorist in floodwaters on Beach Blvd., Aug. 30, 2021 in Biloxi, Miss.  

A tornado watch remains in effect in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

 

By Tuesday, Ida will move northeast into the Tennessee River Valley.

 

By Wednesday night into Thursday, Ida will track into the Northeast, dropping up to 6 inches of rain. Major flooding is possible along the Interstate 95 corridor from New York City to Philadelphia.

-ABC News' Max Golembo

 
August 30, 2021

Historic landmark tied to Louis Armstrong collapses

The Karnofsky Tailor Shop, a historic national landmark in New Orleans, is one of the multiple buildings that collapsed when Ida walloped the city.

The brick two-story shop, a former tailor business in the Central Business District of the city, dates back to 1913 and is where Louis Armstrong worked before embarking on his legendary jazz career.

a group of people walking down a street holding an umbrella in the rain: A group of people walk through the French District during Hurricane Ida, Aug. 29, 2021 in New Orleans. © Brandon Bell/Getty Images A group of people walk through the French District during Hurricane Ida, Aug. 29, 2021 in New Orleans.

The family that owned the shop provided a second home for Armstrong and loaned him money to purchase his first cornet, according to the National Park Service.

-ABC News' Ginger Zee

 
August 30, 2021

Governor expects death toll to go up 'considerably'

 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told MSNBC Monday that search and rescue efforts are ongoing and he expects Ida's death toll to "go up considerably throughout the day."

 

Helicopters are surveying damage because it will take “many days” to reach Louisiana's southern coastal areas by ground, he said.

 

Nearly all of southeast Louisiana is without power, the governor said. All eight major lines that feed electricity to the New Orleans area have failed.

  a group of clouds in the dark: Downtown buildings relying on generator power are seen as the entire city of New Orleans is without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Aug. 30, 2021. © Gerald Herbert/AP Downtown buildings relying on generator power are seen as the entire city of New Orleans is without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Aug. 30, 2021.

-ABC News' Josh Hoyos

 
August 30, 2021

FEMA administrator says Ida caused 'major damage'

FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell called Ida "one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to make landfall" in the Gulf Coast region and said the storm left multiple collapsed buildings in its wake, particularly in the area of Baton Rouge.

"Some of the initial reports that we're hearing are some building collapses across the area, significant structural damage to many buildings," Creswell said Monday on "Good Morning America." "We're seeing some barges and some vessels that may have been broken loose and we're also experiencing over a million power outages right at the moment."

a man standing next to a pile of rocks: New Orleans Police detective Alexander Reiter, looks over debris from a building that collapsed during Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Aug. 30, 2021. © Gerald Herbert/AP New Orleans Police detective Alexander Reiter, looks over debris from a building that collapsed during Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Aug. 30, 2021.

Criswell said emergency teams were heading out on search-and-rescue missions after receiving reports of people trapped in their homes by flooding.

"This is significant. There is major damage," Criswell said. "We've got a lot of resources in place to support the state."

Criswell added that "my biggest concern is still the fragility of our health care system."

"It has been stressed from COVID-19 and the occupancy has been full," said Criswell.

a person standing in front of a house: Bourg fire chief TJ Pellegrin asks a couple if they are okay after Hurricane Ida passed in Bourg, La., Aug. 29, 2021. © Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images Bourg fire chief TJ Pellegrin asks a couple if they are okay after Hurricane Ida passed in Bourg, La., Aug. 29, 2021.

She said some hospitals in the hardest-hit areas of Louisiana were operating on backup generators.

Criswell said the good news is that it appears levees in southeast Louisiana, particularly those around New Orleans, held up through the storm.

"We knew there could be some in the southern parts of Louisiana that would overtop and those are areas that did have a mandatory evacuation order in place," Criswell said. "But we brought in search and rescue assets, power restoration teams, food and water to support the shelter operations."

  
August 30, 2021

'We're a broken community right now'

The president of hard-hit Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, told ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday that all communication lines with Grand Isle were down.

Cynthia Lee Sheng said about 40 people are believed to have stayed on the barrier island, located about 100 miles south of New Orleans.

"We have lost contact with them since yesterday afternoon," Sheng said. "We have first responder teams out there planning their strategy for today, ready to go out."

Sheng also said there were concerns about Lafitte, Louisiana, saying officials had received reports of people trapped in their attics by high water.

"This is an area if you want to think of it like swampland, there's alligators out there," Sheng said.

She said rescue workers have not been able to reach the area due to darkness and downed power lines.

In addition to thousands in the area losing power, Sheng said the parish was losing pressure in its water system.

"We've had a lot of water main breaks," she said. "Our water system is losing pressure and so in order to be able to fight fires, that is a very critical element. So, we're trying to clear roads to do those water repairs."

Sheng added, "We're a broken community right now."

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a person standing on a sidewalk next to a truck © Dan Anderson/EPA via Shutterstock
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