Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards reported that a drawing of the storm’s worst possible path is not a far cry from Hurricane Ida’s actual movement. As the storm continues to devastate crucial areas and neighborhoods of the state, Edwards has kept residents updated with rescue efforts and developments as they become available.
Currently, more than 500,000 Lousiana residents are without power, and one person died due to a fallen tree. While this may not seem like nearly as much destruction and tragedy as past storms have caused for the area, Ida still makes the list of the top five strongest hurricanes to reach the U.S.’s mainland.
Upon hitting land on Sunday, August 28th, the current storm reached Category 4 conditions with 150 mph winds. Thankfully, though, as its path progressed through Louisiana, the hurricane weakened to a Category 2 and then a tropical storm.
Still, its brief time as a higher-category storm made it one of the most powerful in the nation’s history. Hurricane Ida’s most dramatic claim-to-fame is the fact that the storm reversed the flow of the Mississippi River near Belle Chase.
According to Edwards, President Joe Biden has already deemed the storm a disaster and has started to supply federal funds as well as rescue and recovery efforts.
“We are praying for the best and preparing for the worst,” Biden reported.
Louisiana Residents Say Hurricane Ida’s Damage is Similar to Past Storm
Of course, for Louisiana residents, hurricane season is always a stressful time. Along with Florida, the two states seem to be the hotspot for landfall in the summertime. Because strong storms are so common to the area, some residents feel that Hurricane Ida isn’t as damaging as experts claim it is.
Josh Pedigo is a 50-year-old bartender from Mid City. According to the Louisiana native, he spent Sunday morning gathering supplies and then watched the storm’s entrance from his porch. To him, Hurricane Ida “ain’t that bad.”
Pedigo’s neighbor, 31-year-old Michael Nuwer agreed. Though he had to use candles in lieu of electricity, Nuwer said he’s seen worse.
“It’s about the same as Hurricane Zeta,” Nuwer told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s just lasting a bit longer. I feel completely safe.”
However, Nuwer admitted that he was worried for neighborhoods further south than his own.
“I really feel for those people in Houma and Thibodeaux,” the Hurricane Ida survivor said. “It’s awful over there and it’s going to be a long time before things get back to normal.”
Unfortunately, not all citizens in at-risk areas were able to leave before the storm hit the state. Officials advised residents that chose to stay in these more affected neighborhoods to remain calm and avoid evacuating as rescue crews continue to help those in need.