Speed Reads

Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida destroyed New Orleans jazz landmark, '2nd home to the young Louis Armstrong'

Hurricane Ida, which made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Sunday had weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning but was still dumping dangerous quantities of rain as it moved across Mississippi at about 8 mph, with top sustained wins of 60 mph. Ida is blamed for a least one death in Prairieville, outside Baton Rouge, and it left more than a million people in Louisiana without electricity, including the entire city of New Orleans. President Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Louisiana on Sunday.

Ida hit New Orleans exactly 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina started battering the city, leaving much of it underwater and 1,800 residents dead. Officials say the levees have been greatly improved since 2005, but Ida left its mark. Orleans Parish said early Monday that its 911 system was down and New Orleans residents in need of emergency assistance should go to the nearest fire station or find a police officer. 

The storm also felled the Karnofsky Store on South Rampart Street, one of the last remaining landmarks from early New Orleans jazz history. 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, "the Karnofsky Store was, beginning in 1913, the shop, with residence above, of the Jewish family that provided a second home to the young Louis Armstrong," the National Park Service says. "He worked for the Karnofskies on their coal and junk wagons, tooting "a small tin horn," and ate meals with the family, either in their earlier home on Girod Street or here, or maybe both. The Karnofskys loaned Armstrong money for his first cornet. ... Morris Karnofsky, the son of the family and Armstrong's boyhood friend, opened the first jazz record store in town, Morris Music."