Speed Reads

hurricane ida

1st death attributed to Hurricane Ida reported in Louisiana

Hurricane Ida is now a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds, and while it has been "inland over southeastern Louisiana for several hours, it is still a very well organized hurricane," the National Hurricane Center wrote late Sunday night.

As of 11 p.m. ET, Ida was 30 miles east-southeast of Baton Rouge, moving north at 9 mph. The storm hit early Sunday afternoon as a Category 4, and battered New Orleans, causing "catastrophic" damage to a transmission line, which plunged the city into darkness. Almost 1 million people in Louisiana are without power, and officials in New Orleans said the electricity will be out all night. 

Hurricane Ida is hitting Louisiana at the same time the state is dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases and most hospitals filled with patients. In Lafourche Parish, near where the hurricane made landfall, winds ripped the roof off Lady of the Sea General Hospital, and officials said patients would be evacuated when it was safe to do do. Earlier Sunday, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said more than 20 nursing homes and rehabilitation and behavioral facilities had been evacuated ahead of Ida, but "evacuating these large hospitals is not an option because there are not any other hospitals with the capacity to take them."

The first death attributed to Ida was reported Sunday night in Ascension Parish, about 65 miles northwest of New Orleans, where a person died after a tree fell on them. Their identity will not be made public until relatives are notified, and "we haven't been able to do that because we're not sending anybody out due to the high winds right now," Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Allison Hudson told The Washington Post.

Overnight, Ida will continue to bring torrential rain and extreme winds to southeastern Louisiana and parts of southern Mississippi, and residents are being asked to stay indoors. Forecasters expect Ida to become a tropical storm by Monday morning, bringing heavy rain to central and northern Mississippi and western Alabama.