Louisiana remained crippled in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on Wednesday, as thousands remained stranded amid widespread flooding and power outages — along with crucial shortages of food, water and gas.
And the storm, which hit the Bayou State with 150-mph winds on Sunday, wasn’t done yet — flooding large swaths of the Southeastern US as it makes a bee-line for New York and the East Coast.
“I’ve ridden out other hurricanes — Hurricane Isaac, Katrina, Gustav, Ike — and this is no comparison whatsoever,” Grand Isle Police Chief Scooter Resweber told the Associated Press.
“This is the worst,” he said. “It’s just amazing hat no one (here) was killed or seriously injured.”
Officials said six people have been confirmed dead in Louisiana, Mississippi and Maryland — with search and rescue efforts continuing.
One private insurance firm said in a preliminary estimate on Wednesday that the damage from Ida could surpass $50 billion.
Despite some progress, Entergy Louisiana said nearly 1 million Louisiana customers remained without power amid sweltering temperatures.
More than 30,000 customers in Mississippi were also in the dark.
The Louisiana National Guard said it had set up nine locations across three parishes to distribute food, water, ice and tarps for storm victims.
The storm also knocked out Gulf Coast oil refineries, making for severe gas shortages that had customers waiting for hours for quickly dwindling supplies of gasoline.
As of about 2 p.m. Wednesday, more than 60 percent of gas stations in New Orleans had run out of fuel, with more than 56 percent in Baton Rouge also running dry, data from the site GasBuddy reported.
Those numbers don’t include gas stations that can’t serve customers because they lost power in the storm.
“It would appear that with power coming back online the next major challenge for refiners is crude oil supply to refine,” GasBuddy owner Patrick De Haan said on Twitter Wednesday.
The impact of the storm on fuel transportation and oil production is expected to send prices higher in some parts of the country.
Gas prices have ticked up slightly since Sunday from $2.81 to $2.84, according to prices tracked by the American Automobile Association.
That’s likely due to panic buying from before the storm, according to AAA, which said that as demand drops amid road closures and power outages, prices will drop.
Meanwhile, Ida has continued to weaken and is now classified as a tropical depression — but it’s still packing a punch.
Heavy flooding across the mid-Atlantic has wreaked havoc, forecasters said, and is expected to merge with another weather front and douse the New York metropolitan area with heavy rains Wednesday into Thursday, the National Weather Service reported.
Additional reporting by Yaron Steinbuch.
With Post wires