Hurricane Ida batters Louisiana, leaving New Orleans without power
Ida arrived at Port Fourchon, 60 miles south of New Orleans, at midday. It was a Category 4 hurricane, the second-highest storm classification. It brought pounding rain, sustained winds of 150 miles an hour and dangerous sea surges.
All of New Orleans had lost power by Sunday night, an Entergy spokesman confirmed. Nearly a million customers statewide were without power, according to data from poweroutage.us. Earlier in the day, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans advised people not to run dishwashers or washing machines to minimize wastewater because sewage pump stations had been knocked out by power outages.
The first death from the storm was reported by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, which said deputies responded Sunday night to reports of a person injured from a fallen tree and arrived to find the victim deceased.
Storm trackers said that even after several hours, the hurricane remained as strong as when it made landfall, though by Sunday evening it was downgraded to a Category 3.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said there were roughly 1,500 people in 23 shelters, and those numbers were expected to increase as people discovered that their homes were no longer habitable. He advised residents to abide by curfews set by parishes and to stay off roads. He said this would be one of the strongest storms the state has experienced since at least the 1850s.
Here’s the introduction to our section on hurricanes in our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?:
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey dropped a year’s worth of rain on the Houston area in just a few days. Texas Governor Greg Abbott called it “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced.” The National Weather Service said, “This event is unprecedented, and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced.”
Days later, Hurricane Irma crushed the Caribbean islands and the East Coast of the United States. It was the largest-ever hurricane to strike from the Atlantic Ocean.
Soon after that, Hurricane Maria obliterated Puerto Rico.
More than 100 people died in these hurricanes, and the U.S. sustained hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.
On and on the list goes. “Unprecedented” and “record-breaking” disasters are happening at a quickening pace. “History making” events are becoming commonplace!
We need to be concerned!
What is wrong with the weather? You have to have blinders on not to at least be asking the question. Why are these once-in-a-lifetime, where-did-this-come-from, never-before-witnessed calamities piling up on top of one another?
Such catastrophes should in fact challenge our thinking. They force us to contemplate the fragility of man. They demand that we consider some of the deeper questions we can all too easily ignore in more prosperous and peaceful times.