After Ida: See conditions on the ground in New Orleans
Hurricane Ida packed a punch, making landfall Sunday on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph.
And now that Ida has passed through Louisiana, weakening to a tropical storm as rain and gusty wind spread inland, we are seeing the catastrophic damage she left behind.
A brick building in New Orleans’ business district crumbled to pieces, collapsing onto a parked car. An awning ripped from a brewery in the French Quarter. The destruction across the city is widespread, and officials warned it could be weeks before power is fully restored.
“You know, it was really bad,” said Emilio Perelta, a resident of the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans. “I mean, I’ve been here for 21 years and this felt different.”
Perelta stayed at a hotel to ride out the storm, but even there, he said he was worried for his safety.
“You felt the building shaking,” he said. “It was really, really strong.”
While flooding was expected, it was the high winds that caused much of the damage seen on the ground.
One person was reported dead in Ascension Parish, about an hour from New Orleans, after a tree fell on a home.
For visitors like Donna Adderly, who came to New Orleans to celebrate her birthday, this was not the weekend she expected. She was staying in a Marriott along Canal Street when the winds picked up and the lights went out.
“The winds got really heavy, started pushing back, and then it just got really dark and then all the power went out,” she said.
Power crews arrived from across the country early Monday to work on an electrical grid left in shambles, and first responders are working on cleanup and rebuilding efforts.
Sunday’s landfall was 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit the region, ultimately becoming the costliest storm in American history.