Speed Reads

after the storm

Louisiana police chief says Ida hit his town harder than Katrina: 'All hell broke loose'

When Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 storm, with a wind gust clocking in at 172 mph, it hit just west of the tiny town of Grand Isle. There, Police Chief Scooter Resweber and several officers were holed up inside the police station, waiting to see what would happen.

Resweber recounted the events on Tuesday to an Associated Press reporter, who had to travel to Grand Isle by helicopter because the roads are covered with sand. Grand Isle, home to about 1,400 people, is on a barrier island, and Resweber said as soon as the storm made landfall, "all hell broke loose. Roofs started to come apart. We could see buildings flying to pieces across the street from us. It's something that you just don't want to ever see again."

The strong winds started to rip the roof off the police station, and when "the building trembled, we all got scared," Resweber said. "We're grown men but you do have fear in your, no matter what job you're in, and we felt it." Ida caused massive destruction across town — every power line is either down or leaning over, AP reports, and half of all properties sustained severe damage or were completely destroyed. Resweber is one of the residents whose home no longer exists. 

About 100 Grand Isle residents decided not to evacuate before the storm, and Resweber said while no one was badly hurt, many wished they had left. "I've ridden out other hurricanes — Hurricanes Issac, Katrina, Gustav, Ike — and this is no comparison whatsoever," he told AP. "This is the worst. ... It's just amazing that no one [here] was killed or even seriously injured."