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Hurricane Ida, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the United States, has caused at least five deaths, and knocked out power in New Orleans amid extremely hot and humid weather. Power returned in parts of the city on Wednesday, but utility company Entergy said in a statement that restoring power to everyone “will still take time given the significant damage” to the city’s power grid, and that it would focus first on places like hospitals and nursing homes. Gov. John Bel Edwards said Louisiana residents should not return to their homes until it is safe. The death toll is expected to rise as recovery efforts continue.
Gas, food and potable water remain scarce, and local governments are scrambling to recover from flooding and infrastructure damage. As Louisiana struggles with a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the storm has put additional pressure on the state’s medical infrastructure. The Federal Emergency Management Agency noted that four hospitals sustained damage and dozens of medical facilities had to operate on generator power.
After making landfall on Sunday — on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — the Category 4 hurricane was downgraded to a tropical depression, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Here are ideas for how to help.
If you or a loved one are experiencing emotional distress from Hurricane Ida, call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990.
Chloe Jones is the Roy W. Howard fellow for the PBS NewsHour. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @chloeleejones.
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