Speed Reads

wild weather

Weakened to a tropical depression, Ida brings relentless rain to Mississippi, Alabama

Now a tropical depression, Ida is still bringing torrential rain to parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

The storm made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, early Sunday afternoon as a Category 4 storm, and was one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland, The Associated Press reports. Ida pummeled Louisiana with heavy rain and high winds, and at least 1 million homes and businesses in the state and Mississippi are without power — in New Orleans, the lights, refrigerators, and air conditioners are only on in places that have generators. 

The power grid experienced "catastrophic" damage, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said on Monday, and Entergy Louisiana warned it might take three weeks to get power fully restored. There are 25,000 utility workers across Louisiana working to fix flattened utility poles and putting lines back up.

Some Louisiana residents, unable to leave their homes because of high floodwaters, have posted online asking for help, and there are search and rescue teams using boats to try to find people stranded on roofs and in attics, AP reports. Debris is blocking roads across Louisiana, and four hospitals in the state have reported damage, forcing patients to be evacuated and taken to other facilities.

At least two people died in the storm — a person near Baton Rouge was killed when a tree fell on them, and a motorist drowned in New Orleans. Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for the governor, told AP that based on the known damage caused by the storm, "we're going to have many more confirmed fatalities."

Forecasters say Ida is on course to hit the Tennessee and Ohio River valleys on Tuesday, before moving into the Appalachian mountain region on Wednesday and Washington, D.C., on Thursday.