Residents in Louisiana are still in the dark and organizations are doing what they can to help the devastated communities
Hurricane Ida hit La. on Aug. 29, 2021 — 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina, the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history which ravished through the area killing more than 1,800 people.
The National Hurricane Center reported Ida as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 miles per hour near Port Fourchon. Hurricane-force winds stretched up to 45 miles from its center and moved at about 100 miles inland in the first 12 hours.
While the hurricane leaves trails of destroyed homes, flooded buildings and fallen power lines, at least 66 deaths have been reported as of Sept. 4, according to Fox News.
N.J. reports 27 confirmed storm deaths with four people still missing in the state. La. reported the deaths of two more nursing home patients bringing the total deaths in that state to 12.
Miss., Ala., N.Y., Pa., Md., and Conn. have all reported at least one hurricane-related death.
As of Sept. 6, about 456,120 people are experiencing power outages in the state of La., according to Poweroutage.US, a site that tracks outages. At the start of the storm, close to 1.2 million people were without power.
As a result of the power outages, lines continue to stretch at gas stations and supermarkets where rationing of water, ice, bread, milk and other staples are taking place. One pharmacy chain deployed care packages to devastated communities.
Aid workers are also serving food to darkened neighborhoods at night by the taillights of their trucks to combat food shortages in impacted areas, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Before the landfall of Ida, the Louisiana National Guard staged about 5,000 troops to protect lives and property, maintain communications and ensure operations and government continue during the storm and recovery, according to the state’s guard.
Since then, Guardsmen from 11 states have been assisting first responders with 36 aircraft, 74 boats, 198 high-water vehicles, generators and engineers. As of Thursday, the force swelled up to about 8,000 Guard members, Gen. Daniel R. Jokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reports last Wednesday.
According to the army.mil, search-and-rescue sweeps were conducted across 31 parishes, rescuing more than 393 people, 60 pets and clearing 403 miles of routes covered with debris.
As North Dakotans, hands-on volunteering is, in most cases, not possible. But, other opportunities to help the families and individuals affected by this devastation are available at our fingertips.
The American Red Cross and other organizations are working around the clock to provide help to people struggling with the “heartbreaking damage” left behind by Hurricane Ida.
According to redcross.org, “experts point to climate change as being partially responsible for the rapid strengthening that Ida underwent before making landfall, and for the torrential rains that soaked the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.”
To help people affected by Hurricane Ida, the Red Cross requests people interested in helping to visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word IDA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
“Your gift is a commitment to helping people in need, and every single donation matters. Financial donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.”
People can also donate blood to ensure a sufficient blood supply remains available for patients affected by Ida. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).