Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana and Mississippi, death toll rises to 4

Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana and Mississippi, death toll rises to 4
Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana and Mississippi, death toll rises to 4

Two people died and at least 10 were injured when their vehicles fell into a deep hole in a highway collapse following Hurricane Ida that swept through Mississippi.

As a result of the loss of life in Mississippi, the number of Ida victims has reached four. In Louisiana, one person died in a flood and one in a fall from a tree.

In Slidell, Louisiana, brigades were looking for a 71-year-old man whose wife said he was attacked by an alligator during a flood. According to her, she dragged him to the steps of the house and swam for help, but when she returned, he was gone.

On Tuesday, New Orleans went without electricity for a second day after the Ida disaster swept through southeastern Louisiana, causing severe damage and widespread power outages.

As temperatures neared 32C, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a heat warning, stating: "The lack of some basic services in the face of high heat indices could make the situation very dire."

Hundreds of thousands of people suffered from the heat without electricity and running water. People removed rotting food from refrigerators. Neighbors shared generators and used buckets of pool water to wash themselves or flush the toilet. Long lines formed at the few gas stations that had fuel and generators to pump it.

Authorities have not given specific guidance on when electricity will return, but energy supplier Entergy warned that it could take up to three weeks.

"I can't tell you when power will be restored," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told reporters Monday. "I can't tell you when all the rubble will be cleared and the repairs done. But I can tell you that we will work hard every day to provide as much help as possible."

The governor said 25,000 utility workers are on the ground to help restore power supplies, and more are on the way.

General Daniel Hawkanson, chief of the National Guard, said "more than 6,000 multi-state National Guard personnel" are "helping with rescue and relief efforts" in Louisiana, Mississippi and surrounding areas.

In Mississippi, authorities said drivers who died Monday night might not have noticed that the carriageway had disappeared.

"Some of these cars were stacked on top of each other," said Cal Robertson of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Seven vehicles were involved in the accident, including a motorcycle. A crane was used to lift them out of the pit.

WDSU-TV reported that state patrols, rescuers and rescue teams arrived on Highway 26 west of Lusedale, about 60 miles northeast of Biloxi, and found that both the east and west lanes had collapsed. Robertson said the pit was about 50-60 feet long and 20-30 feet deep.

More than 8 inches of rain fell in the area during Ida, according to the National Meteorological Service.

On Sunday, Ida hit the shore as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful to hit the US mainland, cutting off electricity, ripping roofs off buildings and altering the flow of the Mississippi River.

In the southwestern part of Mississippi, entire neighborhoods were surrounded by flood waters, and many roads became impassable. Several tornadoes have been reported, including an alleged tornado in Saraland, Alabama, which ripped off part of the roof from a motel and overturned an 18-wheeled truck, injuring the driver.

On Monday, Joe Biden held a virtual meeting with Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Louisiana Governor Edwards and mayors of cities and parishes hit hardest by Hurricane Ida. The President received an update on the impact of the hurricane and discussed how the federal government could provide assistance.

"We coordinate closely with state and local government officials at every turn," Biden said.

On Tuesday, the remnants of Hurricane Ida rained downpours from the Gulf Coast states to New England.

Weakened to a tropical depression with a maximum sustained wind of 30 miles per hour, Ida was concentrated over the northern Mississippi and Tennessee. The NWS said flash floods are most likely in central Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and western Maryland, which can receive 6 to 10 inches of rainfall.

Forecasters also warned of strong gusts and said the Ida was likely to cause tornadoes in eastern Alabama, western Georgia and Florida.

Meanwhile, forecasters have discovered a new storm system at sea. Forecasters reported that another tropical depression is forming off the coast of Africa, extending across the Atlantic a couple of hundred miles west-southwest of the coast of Guinea.

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