UNITED STATES. New Orleans: A citywide curfew has been imposed in New Orleans as large parts of Louisiana and Mississippi remain without power following Hurricane Ida.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the curfew would last from 20:00 to 06:00 and police said there had been “several” incidents of looting in the city.
Federal officials say that some 441,000 people in 17 parishes across the region have no water, and a similar number may be without power for up to a month.
Although energy companies are working to restore power, residents are being warned it could take weeks in some areas. Meanwhile, water services and infrastructure have also been hit.
A search-and-rescue caravan travelling to the Jefferson Parish community was able to arrive by road but 10 to 12 levee breaks on the Gulf of Mexico side of the island left 100% of homes and other structures damaged, with nearly 40% of them almost totally destroyed, parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng told reporters at a news conference.
In addition, the island – located about 111 miles south of New Orleans — was covered with about three feet of sand, Sheng said.
“I had all the police officers move into the building for safety – and then all hell broke loose,” Grand Isle police Chief Scooter Resweber told the AP.
“Roofs started to come apart. We could see buildings flying into pieces across the street from us. It’s something that you just don’t want to ever see again.”
Even the police station was threatened, he said.
“When the roof started to come apart and the building trembled, we all got scared,” he said. “We’re grown men but you do have fear in you, no matter what job you’re in, and we felt it.”
Two people were killed and at least 10 injured after a section of highway collapsed near Lucedale, Mississippi on Monday. In addition, at least two other people have been reported dead during the storm.
In Louisiana, a man died while attempting to drive across a flooded area of New Orleans. Another man died after being struck by a tree near Baton Rouge.
Several cars were reported to have fallen into a hole that was 50 to 60ft (15 to 18m) long and 20 to 30ft deep, according to highway police.
According to the forecast, Ida is expected to move next to the U.S. northeast, with rain and the threat of floods stretching from Tennessee to the mid-Atlantic.