Hundreds of thousands of Americans still without power in Ida’s aftermath

New Jersey, New York and other Northeastern states continued cleaning up in the aftermath of the Ida storm system. At least 50 deaths from Virginia to Massachusetts have been linked with the storms. In Louisiana, at least 13 deaths have been connected to Ida and hundreds of thousands are still without power as new thunderstorms are complicating efforts. Community correspondent Roby Chavez reports.

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  • John Yang:

    New Jersey, New York and other states are still cleaning up from storm system Ida. At least 50 deaths from Virginia to Massachusetts have been linked to the storm. In Louisiana, at least 13 deaths are blamed on Ida.

    Power has been restored to 70 percent of the greater New Orleans area. But hundreds of thousands are still without, and complicating efforts, the threat of more flooding from new rain.

    Our report from Roby Chavez, the "NewsHour"'s New Orleans communities correspondent.

  • Roby Chavez:

    In Lambertville, New Jersey, bulldozers cleaned up once-in-a-lifetime damage wrought by Hurricane Ida.

    Julia Fahl, Mayor of Lambertville, New Jersey: This is a big deal for the city of Lambertville. We have never experienced a natural disaster like this before.

  • Roby Chavez:

    For Governor Phil Murphy, the next storm was already front of mind. Touring Lambertville, he called for rebuilding efforts to emphasize infrastructure that can weather the more frequent storms made stronger by climate change.

  • Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ):

    We can't keep seeing the same movie. We have got to do the stuff that we know we need to do that makes us more resilient and increases our chances that this stuff doesn't continue to happen.

  • Roby Chavez:

    In Manville, New Jersey, Shah Zeb and his mother bought their house eight months ago. They were told it was unlikely they would ever experience any flooding.

    But when Ida came through, it brought 15 feet of water, swamping the cars he keeps outside the house for his limo business.

  • Shah Zeb, New Jersey Resident:

    The town is very amazing. Everybody likes to help each other out. But this just came out of nowhere. Nobody knew. It just came out of nowhere.

  • Roby Chavez:

    President Biden approved disaster declarations for counties in both New Jersey and New York. In Queens, New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said low-income families were hit the hardest, and vowed to get them those federal dollars as soon as possible.

  • Bill de Blasio (D), Mayor of New York:

    People need money, and they need it quick. That's what's going to make a difference. They have just gone through devastation. They need to be back on their feet. They don't have a way to pay for it, unless we get this federal money in their hands. We have to make sure it actually gets to them and gets to them quick.

  • Roby Chavez:

    President Biden is set to visit New York and New Jersey tomorrow.

    Down in Louisiana, more than 500,000 people were still without power this morning. This weekend, members of the Oklahoma National Guard brought in and distributed supplies to hard-hit parishes throughout the state. Some coastal areas may be without power until the end of the month.

    Grand Isle is one of those towns where rebuilding efforts may take months.

    David Camardelle, Mayor of Grand Isle, Louisiana: Looked like a bomb went off. We have no water, we have no electricity, and we have no food.

  • Roby Chavez:

    Property owners this weekend were briefly allowed to return to collect belongings and to inspect damage. Elsewhere, in Jefferson Parish, the National Guard ferried emergency equipment to Barataria, which is inaccessible by road.

    Meanwhile, in the Gulf of Mexico, divers discovered the site of an oil spill. Hurricane Ida ripped a pipe from a trench on the ocean floor. The owner of the pipeline has not been discovered.

    Back in New Orleans, some parts of the city have been without power for more than a week, but officials say they are making progress. With the heat index sweltering, the city has been busing residents out of state to keep them safe. That includes those at senior living facilities.

    Mayor LaToya Cantrell today pledged that the sites would be safe before the seniors are allowed back.

    LaToya Cantrell, Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana: But, right now, we will remain focused on improving the conditions of the facilities that we closed in order to bring our seniors back.

  • Roby Chavez:

    New Orleans authorities estimate power will be restored to most of the city by Wednesday.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Roby Chavez in New Orleans.

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