Harrowing photos captured as the sun rose in Louisiana showed the true extent of destruction from Hurricane Ida — as more than 1 million people were still without power and officials warned it could be weeks before the grid is fully restored.
The images showed a trail of damage Monday in New Orleans from the Category 4 storm, which slammed into the region Sunday packing winds of up to 150 mph — making it one of the most powerful in US history.
In the city’s French Quarter, the roof of a building next to Jax Brewery was obstructing traffic after it was blown off by the storm’s powerful winds, one photo shows.
Some brave residents ventured outside to survey the damage — including one man who was captured taking a photo of the post-apocalyptic scene.
The storm also destroyed the city’s Karnofsky Music Shop on South Rampart Street.
Photos showed the hurricane left the store, where Louis Armstrong once played jazz music and briefly worked, in a pile of bricks, shattered windows and other debris.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Deanne Criswell said they were still assessing the damage from the storm and the full impact wouldn’t be known until later in the day.
“We’re hearing about widespread structural damage,” Criswell told CNN. “I don’t think there could have been a worse path for this storm. It’s going to have some significant impacts.”
Ida has claimed the life of at least one person so far — a 60-year-old man who was fatally injured when he was struck by a fallen tree.
Meanwhile, more than a million customers in Louisiana and Mississippi were left without power, according to PowerOutage.US.
All of New Orleans lost power right around sunset Sunday as powerful gusts of wind tore through the region.
The ferocious storm also caused power outages at 39 medical facilities, which were operating on generators, FEMA said.
More than 2,200 evacuees were staying in 41 shelters across Louisiana Monday morning, according to the governor’s office — a number expected to rise as more residents are rescued from flood-ravaged homes.
The Louisiana National Guard said it activated 4,900 Guard personnel and had 195 high-water vehicles, 73 rescue boats and 34 helicopters ready to provide assistance.
Ida tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the mainland when it made landfall around the offshore oil town of Port Fourchon around 11:55 a.m. local time Sunday.
Ida was downgraded Monday to a tropical storm, however, heavy downpours could still bring life-threatening flooding, the National Hurricane Center said.
In addition, Louisiana is bracing for a COVID-19 surge amid the chaos.
“This is a COVID nightmare,” Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for the governor, said.
“We do anticipate that we could see some COVID spikes related to this.”
With Post wires