USA Today reported that Ida has been blamed for at least one death. Late Sunday, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed a storm-related death but released few details, adding that deputies responded to a home in Prairieville, La., on a report of someone injured by a fallen tree.
The person, who was not identified, was pronounced dead. Prairieville is between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and Ida’s eye appeared to have passed close by, according to radar images.
“Tonight, we have confirmed at least one death and sadly, we know there will be others,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement late Sunday. “Thousands of our people are without power and there is untold damage to property across the impacted parishes.”
Edwards said President Joe Biden officially declared Ida a disaster, releasing federal funds to assist with rescue and recovery efforts, which will begin in earnest Monday morning.
Ida’s winds when it came ashore — it’s tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. mainland — also snapped trees and flipped over trucks. Its storm surge submerged cars, flooded streets and temporarily reversed the Mississippi River’s flow near Belle Chase, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
As it was downgraded early Monday to a tropical, its maximum winds dropped to 60 mph 7, and centered 95 miles south-southwest of Jackson, Miss.
Shortly after 7 p.m., the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness confirmed the city had lost power.
“Due to catastrophic transmission damage, all of Orleans Parish is currently without power,” utility company Entergy texted customers. The company said it was providing emergency power to the city’s Sewerage and Water Board but that residents should not expect electricity to be restored overnight.