It’s been 16 years since Mother Nature laid its wrath on New Orleans with Category 5 Hurricane Katrina, but Hurricane Ida won’t be swept from memory any time soon.
Hurricane Ida formed in the Gulf of Mexico and slowly set its sights almost directly on New Orleans. Hundreds of thousands are without power today, and hope may not be coming in the short term for many affected individuals.
With the power grid taking such a long dramatic hit, emergency personnel are referring to the grid as “in shambles.” Full power restoration will likely take weeks.
“We have a lot of rebuilding ahead of us,’’ Entergy Louisiana said on Twitter Monday morning. “We’ll be better prepared to give restoration estimates once assessments are done.”
Officials confirmed that all eight transmission lines into the city were out of service — including their 911 service. Many cell phone carriers are reporting similar outages in the region.
In the meantime, local and federal emergency management officials are surveying the damage today — and they’re pulling out some new tools since Katrina to get the job done.
According to a story by the Associated Press, officials are using drones and infrared cameras to better view and analyze the damage. The same technology can also be used to search for trapped residents and also for finding the best way in the harder-to-reach areas of southern Louisiana.
The Weather Channel shared out drone footage shortly after daybreak that showed a massive path of destruction left in Ida’s wake.
Early this morning, President Joe Biden directed the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the use of drones in the area to aid in the search and recovery efforts. As part of the administration’s recovery efforts, Biden also activated a half dozen federal agencies to respond immediately.
We will update this post with more information as it becomes available.