Hurricane Ida Claims One Life As Flights Grounded: New Orleans International At A Standstill As Category Four Rips Through Louisiana

By 3 months ago
Breaking: Dubbed as one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the United States, Hurricane Ida continues to push through Louisiana. One life has so far has reportedly been taken by the storm as Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport cancels all flights on Sunday and Monday.

Hurricane Ida has been described as one of the strongest storms in recent living memory to tragically make landfall in the United States right on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest and costliest on record. Some residents of New Orleans, who are no strangers to intense storms, have described Ida as one of the strongest storms they have ever experienced. So far, one person has tragically lost their life as a result of a fallen tree on a residential property. Over a million people have lost power and will not see power returned overnight as Ida continues to tear through Louisiana.

A heartfelt plea outside a Louisiana home as Hurricane Ida grows stronger. © Twitter/KhudroM

Ida Downgraded To Category One As It Progresses Inland

A trail of destruction, all too vivid in the memory of many residents as Hurricane Ida makes its way through New Orleans with winds as high as 240 KM/H, just shy of category five. Tree’s uprooted, roofs changing ZIP codes and residents trapped by dangerous floodwater, all on the 16th anniversary of one of the deadliest storms ever recorded in the US. Despite tens of millions of dollars being spent on storm defences on the Louisiana seaboard, storm surges of up to 15 feet have proved too much in some areas. Levees were overflowing in Jean Lafitte as residents clambered to their roofs, awaiting rescue boats to collect them.

“We’re going to make sure we get as many boats as possible,” to assist with rescues he said, adding that boats were ready to move in as soon as the weather broke. “It really breaks your heart when you know those people and you can’t get to those people.” – Jean Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner Jr. speaking to CNN.

After making landfall as a category four hurricane, Ida has now slowed down to a crawling pace over Louisiana as it has been officially downgraded to category one. While this is positive news, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy warns that Hurricane Ida still has a lot left in the tank as it heads northwards over Southeastern Louisiana. Winds are still continually blowing at over 150 KM/H, with heavy rainfall expected to bombard the southeastern coast and lower Mississippi Valley into Monday.

Hotel guests looking out the window as Hurricane Ida neared New Orleans. © Edmund D. Fountain/The New York Times

Hurricane Ida is just one of two major issues the state faces. Currently, in the middle of one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the US, hospitals are already at capacity. COVID-19 deaths have risen to their highest level since the start of the pandemic in the state, leaving many hospitals nearly at capacity with patients being treated for coronavirus. This thwarted emergency call-outs come Sunday as Ida took hold of the state.

Debris is seen in an intersection in downtown New Orleans on August 29th. © Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The storm blew parts of the roof off at Lady of the Sea General Hospital, just outside New Orleans. The hospital is looking after numerous COVID-19 patients as the state have an estimated 2400 coronavirus patients in hospital care.

Montegut and Bourg firefighters cut through trees on the road in Bourg, Louisiana. © Mark Felix/AFP/Getty Images

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Suspends All Flights

Hundreds of flights in and out of Louisiana’s largest airport have been suspended or cancelled due to Hurricane Ida as winds surpassing 240 KM/H. Airport officials confirmed that all flights scheduled on Sunday had been cancelled, with experts monitoring conditions as we head into Monday. Officials say flights will resume “once it is safe to do so”.

There were 226 flights cancelled on Sunday and 40 flights cancelled on Saturday. Additionally, there are 173 cancellations already being reported for Monday as Hurricane Ida lingers over the state. While the airport is not equipped as a hurricane shelter, around 30 people remained in the terminal and were moved to the baggage claim area.

People queue to get through the TSA security checkpoint at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on August 28th as Hurricane Ida grew stronger off the coast of Louisiana. © Scott Olson/Getty Images

The scope of the damage will not be fully measurable until daybreak on Monday the 30th. Hurricane Ida continues to forge a path north of the coast of Louisiana, with some parts likely to see between 10 to 24 inches of rainfall which could bring more life-threatening flash flooding. Tornado warnings have been issued for the Gulf Coast through Monday, with the threat extending into central and northern Mississippi and Alabama, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.

Devastating winds of up to 150 miles per hour were captured through the window of this Louisiana resident’s home.

Driving rain and winds can be seen in Houma, Louisiana, around 80 kilometres southwest of New Orleans.

LaPlace, Louisiana, saw winds reach over 125 miles per hour as Highway 51 disappeared under floodwater.

Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport Cancels Outbound Flights

Jackson Airports on Twitter announced that all American Airlines and United Airlines outbound flights from Jackson-Medgar International Airport had been cancelled until at least August 31st. The airport group indicated the cancellations were enforced due to “the expected inclement weather conditions caused by Hurricane Ida”.

Hurricane Ida In Photos

As Hurricane Ida progresses north of the Louisiana coast, damage from blown off roofs and severe flooding has become more visible. Here’s a small selection of photos from Louisiana today.

A group of people cross an intersection during Hurricane Ida on August 29th. © Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A section of the roof blown off of a building in the French Quarter by Hurricane Ida winds up blocks away at an intersection in New Orleans. © AP Photo/Eric Gay

People walking through the French quarter of New Orleans on Sunday 29th. © Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The wind blows Monroe Best’s hair and face mask on Sunday Afternoon. © Dan Anderson/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Our thoughts go out to those in and affected by Hurricane Ida. If you are in trouble and need assistance in Louisiana, call 911 or go to your nearest fire or police department.

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Jonathan Green

Deputy Editor - Jonathan is a creative professional with a strong background in Journalism, Aviation and Photography. Jonathan writes about commercial aviation, aerospace engineering, and sustainability. With extensive writing skills and knowledge of general media, Jonathan has worked closely with tech start-ups and digital marketing agencies around Australia and the world.