Dolly Parton Sends Message of ‘Love and Safety’ to Gulf Coast Victims of Hurricane Ida

by Chris Haney

As Hurricane Ida weakens, plenty of damage has already been done over the last few days. This afternoon, country legend Dolly Parton shared a message of “love and safety” for the victims of the tropical storm.

The Category 4 hurricane tore through Louisiana and its surrounding Gulf Coast areas. With winds of 150 mph and torrential rainfall totaling more than a foot in some areas, Ida has devastated the region. Ida knocked out power to the entire city of New Orleans on Monday before turning north on its path of destruction.

As of this afternoon, Hurricane Ida’s death toll is at five victims. Three people are confirmed dead in Louisiana while two more passed away in Mississippi. Torrential rainfall caused a highway collapse that killed two and injured 10 more in Mississippi. Additionally, a driver drowned in New Orleans while trying to drive through floodwater. Another victim died after getting hit by a falling tree outside of Baton Rouge. And an alligator killed a third victim while he waded through floodwater near his home.

According to the Washington Post, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that rescuers have saved at least 671 people from floodwaters as of yesterday afternoon. Further, more than one million homes and businesses remain without power as of Tuesday afternoon.

Dolly Parton posted a hopeful message on Twitter this afternoon for her “resilient neighbors along the Gulf Coast.” The famous Tennessean prayed for everyone impacted by Hurricane Ida and is hoping everyone stays safe.

“Thinking of our resilient neighbors along the Gulf Coast,” Dolly Parton tweeted alongside a heart emoji. “I pray you feel the warmth of love and safety throughout this very difficult time.”

Hurricane Ida Death Toll Likely to Rise

As rescue efforts continue in Louisiana, many locals are sharing footage of the devastation brought on by Hurricane Ida. One Louisiana resident posted a shocking video of an uprooted tree that ripped up its surrounding turf like “peeled up” carpet.

Heath Hoffpauir of Morgan City, Lousiana shared a viral video that the New York Post tweeted. In the clip, the downed tree and surrounding grass looks perfectly pulled up without any separation. It shows just how strong Hurricane Ida has been to uproot a tree and its turf that way. As Hoffpauir films the uprooted turf in his video, he also says, “Check this out. Tree peeled [it] up like a carpet.”

On the TODAY show, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser spoke about Louisiana’s ongoing rescue efforts. He mentioned that the death toll in the state will likely rise as rescue workers continue their search of flooded areas.

“Knowing so many people stayed behind, we expect there will be more people found who have passed,” Nungesser said. “Too many people ride these storms out and take their lives in their own hands.”