Hurricane Ida made landfall in southern Louisiana on Sunday as a ferocious Category 4 storm, tearing roofs off a hospital and homes, inundating roads and diverting ferries.
At least two people have died. A 60-year-old man has died in Ascension Parish after a tree fell on his home, and a man drowned in New Orleans after trying to cross the flood waters, reports said. responsible. The two are believed to be linked to the storm, the state health department said.
Kenner firefighters struggled to put out more than a dozen fires. Officials said numerous ruptures in the parish’s water system caused low pressure in the fire department.
“In addition, the flooding and downed trees and power lines make it quite dangerous to travel around the city,” city officials told NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans in a statement.
The fire department said it will respond to the fires as soon as a water source is available and when it is safe.
Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng told reporters earlier Sunday that the only road to Grand Isle, a barrier island south of New Orleans that is home to less than 1,000 people, was under 6 feet of water. The local fire station was flooded, she said, and a few dozen people appeared to have ignored a mandatory evacuation order.
“The conditions are very, very bad,” she said. “They are really getting beat up right now.”
Images posted to Facebook by someone who appeared to be weathering the storm in Grand Isle showed roads topped with white-capped waves and a parking lot submerged in water.
“Pray for all of us,” the person wrote.
The National Hurricane Center called Ida’s storm surge “catastrophic” and said it could measure up to 16 feet at Port Fourchon, where it made landfall shortly before noon Sunday.
Elsewhere in southern Louisiana, the rapid rise in sea level is expected to be less, the center said. But video from a security camera from a fire station in St. Bernard Parish, east of New Orleans, showed what was still a dramatic rise in water.
The storm made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, and videos and photos of areas in and around New Orleans showed roofs ripped from buildings and, in one case, thrown over the road in a power line.
Video recorded at Port Fourchon showed strong waves crashing into a quay as Ida arrived.
“All I can say is WOW !!! The two things in life that you NEVER underestimate, God and Mother Nature !!” Jeremy DiBenedetto wrote in a caption alongside two videos. “I don’t know if anyone has had pictures like this before, but the power of this storm is totally AMAZING !!”
In St. Rose, just west of downtown New Orleans, a boat collision was filmed. A barge crashed into a Jefferson Parish bridge, making it structurally unsafe, officials said. It was one of more than a dozen of what a spokesperson for the local Coast Guard office described as “separatist barges” in the region.
Ferries have also been seen adrift in the area, WDSU reported.
In one case, the regional transport authority informed the station that the vessel had become detached from a barge and had run aground.
In St. Bernard Parish, where the Chalmette Ferry could be seen floating upstream, Parish President Guy McInnis told the station, “Nothing we can do right now. “
A photo posted on social media in downtown Thibodaux in the parish of Lafourche showed completely destroyed cars and debris littering the ground.
A video showed the roof torn off from a hospital in Galliano, also in Lafourche.
In the parish of Terrebonne, a resident of Houma recorded a video of a large uprooted tree crashing to the ground, narrowly missing the house.
Houma resident Theophilus Charles, 70, was also pictured in his badly damaged home.