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Hurricane Ida

President of Louisiana's Jefferson Parish on Hurricane Ida: 'The worst-case scenario seems to have happened'

Now downgraded to a tropical storm, Hurricane Ida nonetheless continued to pummel Louisiana and its residents overnight, with at least one individual now dead and "nearly half the state" without power, CNN reports.

Cynthia Lee Sheng, president of Louisiana's Jefferson Parish — a county included in the Greater New Orleans area — told CNN's New Day Monday morning that search-and-rescue efforts in the area are underway, with first responder teams attempting to locate those who were "stranded in the water in darkness last night."

"Unfortunately the worst-case scenario seems to have happened," said Sheng. "I'm getting, I believe, very credible reports of people who have ... it's beyond chest-high, it's up to the top of the roof," she added, referencing rising water levels in homes. Sheng also cited system failures in upper Jefferson, and flagged that the area has a lot of swamp land, alligators, and "very dangerous conditions" that would have been difficult for first responders to navigate at night. "Our first responders are ready to go, they just needed the daylight to do their best work."

"A very, very terrible situation that we're dealing with," Sheng said, "and I don't know where we are with that yet." 

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