Hurricane Ida: New Orleans Residents and Jazz Fans Mourn the Destruction of Karnofsky’s Tailor Shop

by Samantha Whidden
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Following Hurricane Ida making landfall and beginning its trail of destruction, New Orleans residents, as well as jazz fans, mourned the complete loss of the well-known Karnofsky’s Tailor Shop.

The photos of the completely destroyed shop first surfaced on Sunday evening after Hurricane Ida began to really hit New Orleans with winds up to 150mph and downpours. CBS 42 reporter Jack Royer shared a video of Hurricane Ida’s devastation on the historical shop.

“This is the Karnofsky Shop – a historic place. Louis Armstrong worked here and bought his first trumpet here. Collapsed during #HurricaneIda.”

According to the National Park Service, the Karnofsky store notably provided a second home to the young well-known musician, Louis Armstrong. The jazz icon worked with the Karnoskys on their coat and junk wagons. The Karnofsky family also loaned Armstrong money for his first-ever cornet. 

One of the Karnofsky family members and Armstrong’s boyhood friend, Morris, went on to open the first jazz record store in the City of New Orleans, Morris Music. 

New Orleans Residents & Jazz Enthusiasts React to the Karnofsky Shop Destruction

Just after Karnofsky was officially identified as the destroyed shop, New Orleans residents and jazz enthusiasts took to Twitter to share their reaction. They also revealed more details about the iconic shop’s history. “Karnofsky Music Shop, a historic landmark in New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Ida,” One Twitter user writes. “Louis Armstrong worked here.”

Another Twitter user adds the Karnofsky Tailor Shop/Residence was placed to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. “It is considered a nationally significant site of Black and commercial heritage.”

New Orleans City Councilman Warns Residents to Prepare to Not Have Power For Weeks After Hurricane Ida

During an interview with CNN, Joe Giarrusso, a New Orleans City Council member, advised residents to not expect to have power for weeks after Hurricane Ida as a worst-case scenario. He did say power companies have told city officials the power could be back on in a matter of days. But he believes that estimate is a bit optimistic. 

“I think we need to be realistic at the same time and prepare people for the worst-case scenario. Just like Hurricane Laura and Lake Charles where it took weeks,” Giarrusso told the media outlet about Hurricane Ida’s damage. More than one million customers in Louisiana are now without power.

Giarrusso also stated that long-term power outages are not just inconvenient but also dangerous. Especially during major storms like Hurricane Ida. “One of the things that we’re going to have to think here, is for people who may not have the means. How could we get them to where they need to be so they are safe.”

Luckily for the City of New Orleans, tropic storm and surge warnings have been discontinued for the Louisiana coast west of the Pearl River. CNN revealed that Hurricane Ida has now dropped down to Tropical Storm Ida now. It was recently located 40 miles southwest of Jackson Mississippi. 

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