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Evacuees told not to return amid 'catastrophic' damage from Hurricane Ida

Ida has caused widespread damage to much of Southeast Louisiana, but the true toll of the storm isn't known yet.

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana Sunday as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane, bringing deadly weather conditions as it crossed over Southern Louisiana.

While the storm has weakened to a tropical depression and passed most of the state, damage assessment is just beginning as residents and parish officials begin recovery efforts. 

10:30 PM

I-10 between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is closed to the public.

10 PM

Tropical Depression Ida continues to move through Mississippi with max winds of 35 mph.

9:45 PM

All flights into and out of MSY Airport in New Orleans have been cancelled for Tuesday, Aug. 31.

8:45 PM

Ochsner Health is offering free urgent care telemedicine visits to Louisiana and Mississippi residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Ida. Click here for details.

8:30 PM

NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson talks about staying safe in New Orleans at night and has a message for would-be looters.

8:15 PM

Investigative reporter David Hammer explains how New Orleans and Jefferson Parish lost power during Hurricane Ida and why it will take so long for it to be restored.

An island without power: Why a massive Entergy transmission tower crumbled and all 8 sources of outside power were lost

8 PM

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office reports that a 71-year-old man in Slidell was most likely killed by an alligator during Hurricane Ida. His body has not been found.

7:45 PM

Trash pickup has been suspended in Jefferson Parish while the city clears roads and restores power after Hurricane Ida.

7:30 PM

Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng said that more than 135 people have been rescued from their homes in Lafitte. Storm surge and heavy rain from Hurricane Ida caused the levee to overtop Saturday, sending flood water into homes.

6:55 PM

Jefferson Parish Cynthia Lee Sheng has called a press conference for 7:30 PM to update the public on Hurricane Ida's impact on Jefferson Parish. WWL-TV will carry the press conference live as part of our continuing coverage of Hurricane Ida.

6:40 PM

 Cleco offers an outage update:

Cleco is working to restore power to critical infrastructures, such as hospitals, water and sewage systems while continuing to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

“Right now, our crews are working to restore power to critical infrastructure and conducting damage assessments. From there, we will move to the circuits with the largest number of customers until power is restored to all affected customers,” said Clint Robichaux, manager of distribution operations support. “We should have more restoration updates tomorrow.

Estimated time of restoration 

St. Tammany Parish

  • Initial damage assessment found a large number of broken poles and downed trees.
  • Crews are working to restore power to critical infrastructure, specifically Lakeview Hospital and St. Tammany Hospital.
  • Crews also are working to restore power to Slidell Memorial Hospital and expect to have power completely restored by end of today.

Iberia Parish

  • Jeanerette – Crews restored power to customers in this area today.

St. Mary Parish

  • Franklin – ETR is tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 30, at noon
  • Patterson/Berwick – ETR is end of day Wednesday, Sept. 1

6:30 PM

Road Closures: 

I-10 is closed in both directions from exit 173 (LA 73 Prairieville) - exit 194 (LA 641 Gramercy) due to multiple down trees. Crews will be mobilized when weather conditions allow. Use US 61 as an alternate route.

6:20 PM

Tulane University is moving its students to Houston out of safety.

6:15 PM

 St. John the Baptist enforces a curfew for residents beginning at 6 p.m. Monday and end at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials are currently moving debris out of the streets.

6:00 PM 

Road closure status: 

LA 45 (Barataria Blvd), from the floodgate south is not passable.

With the threat of severe weather and heavy rainfall that may impact areas of the state, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) reminds motorists to take extra precautions should traveling be necessary.

5:50 PM

Second Storm-related death in New Orleans

5:20 PM

St. Tammany Parish Update 

  • 911 services are back up.
  • Schools are closed indefinitely. Superintendent Frank Jabbia says they will figure out a return date after power is restored across the parish.
  • As a result of power outages, a cautionary boil water advisory for Tammany Utilities customers is in effect. Other private utility providers have followed. 
  • Trees, power lines, and power poles are down all across the parish. Major roadways have been cleared but the parish-wide curfew is still in effect.
  • Cleco says 99% of St. Tammany customers are without power. It will take 2-3 days to assess damage, then they will have a better idea on when it will be restored. Most of the damage is on the west side of the parish. It is significant.
  • Unlike Katrina, transmission systems are up and running. That means they will be able to serve power when repairs are made. Hospitals will be restored before anything else. Timeline is still unknown, but it sounds like it will be a few weeks.
  • Cleco’s Eric Schouest: “For reference, Katrina was a month type event. This does not look to be quite like a Katrina type event, but it will not be days. It will be beyond that.”
  • AT&T is working again. Although still a little spotty.
  • Rivers are a big concern now. The Tchefuncte, Bogue Falaya, Bogue Chitto, and Pearl River will all reach flood stage in coming days, but will crest below the March 2016 floods. Still, if you experienced flooding from these rivers in 2016, prepare for the same thing.

5:00 PM

A New Orleans restaurant is feeding First Responders for free on Magazine Street.

4:30 PM

Governor John Bel Edwards press conference:

"Search and rescue efforts are going to continue all-day and for as long as necessary."

As was forecasted Hurricane Ida delivered catastrophic winds, surge and rain across Southeast Louisiana. Almost the entire southeastern part is without.

25000 Lineman in the state engaged in efforts to restore power and several thousand more are in route. Obviously, we need the power stored as soon as possible.  

A silver lining is our levee system all performed really well. A preliminary assessment of levees and we don't believe there were any levees that fail there were a few that overtopped but not failed.

CPRA is working to deploy portable pumps to Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. bernard, Lafitte, Laplace, Grand Isle and St. Charles Parishes to help with dewatering efforts.

More than 5,000 National Guardsmen actively responding to this disaster and more are on the way. 

Search and rescue assets are already engaged and the are is about 29 parishes there are 195 high water vehicles, 79 boats and 34 helicopters conducting search and rescue.

The national Gaurd rescued 191 citizens and 27 pets across Jefferson, St. John the baptist and Orleans parishes and Helicopter hoist and lift operations in Jean Lafitte and Laplace.

The States Fire Marshal office has a task force of 900 individuals from 15 states they have been doing search and rescue efforts. They were responding to overnight 911 calls. They have checked on more than 400 homes and the majority of people were okay but some did need rescuing and life-threatening issues.

3 hospitals have been evacuated due to water and electrical issues and physical damage. Those were Chabier in Houma, St. Ann in Raceland and Our Lady of the Sea in Galliano.Terrebonne Generalis in the process of being evacuated tonight.

DOTD has 177 buses in operation right now and has evacuated more than 400 people from different locations.

18 water system outages impacting more than 312,000 people a 14 booil water advisories impacting more than 329,000 people.

4:00 PM

Gayle Benson to make an initial donation of $1 million to Gulf Coast Renewal Fund, supporting communities affected by Hurricane Ida throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast

3:50 PM

Buildings took extensive damage in Central City during Ida, with power lines down, walls ripped off the sides of structures and uprooted trees dotting the streets. 

Today is an assessment day for New Orleans, as parish officials try to get a sense of where the damage is in the city. Cleanup work will begin in the coming days once crews can determine what areas were the worst hit by the storm. 

3:45 PM

The closure of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, 1st City Court and 2nd City Court will act as a de facto extension of the Biden administration's eviction moratorium — quashed by the Supreme Court in the weeks before Ida hit — as residents begin to look forward to the next few weeks without power in buildings that may have extensive storm damage. 

The courts will remain closed until at least Sept. 7, per a court order. 

3:40 PM

Rivers in St. Tammany Parish are expected to crest at near-record highs in the next 24 hours in the wake of Hurricane Ida inundating them with water. 

Here's the latest on the situation in that area: 

RELATED: ST. TAMMANY PARISH | Latest on power, water, roads & more

3:25 PM

St. Bernard Parish has no shelters open, and has no requests for shelter. Parish President Guy McInnis says this is because residents heeded warnings from officials and evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ida. 

All public schools remain closed until further notice. 

3:15 PM

At least one home on St. Ann Street in Madisonville took on water during Hurricane Ida flooding. 

There is still standing water in the neighborhood, and several homes have damaged roofs. 

3:05 PM

In Plaquemines Parish, on Highway 23 at Phillips 66 (Alliance Refinery), parish officials say the roads are full of hazards. Even as water recedes, livestock such as cattle appear to have taken over the roadways.

Credit: Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office

3 PM

The Central Lafourche High School evacuation center has been closed, and all residents there have been shuttled to Thibodaux High School. 

It's not immediately clear why the evacuation center was shut down. 

2:30 PM 

The Causeway has reopened in both directions. The bridge was completely closed ahead of Hurricane Ida. 

The bridge reopening means a major connection between the northshore and New Orleans will allow supplies and evacuees to travel quickly across the lake. 

2:15 PM

We're getting our first look at Grand Isle after Hurricane Ida passed just west of the island, hitting it with the brunt of heavy rainfall and deadly winds.

The US Coast Guard did their first flyover of the island Monday after Ida passed, showing widespread damage, but less than some expected after losing contact with the island in the middle of the storm.  

About 40 people stayed on the island despite a mandatory evacuation order for the area. 

2 PM

9-1-1 services have been fully restored to the city of New Orleans. For emergencies, call 9-1-1 and call 3-1-1 or 504-658-2299 for non-emergency matters.

1:50 PM

Damage on the northshore is still being assessed, but much of it appears to mirror conditions just south of the lake, with downed trees and power lines posing the biggest danger to residents. 

1:45 PM

AT&T is massing repair efforts on the northshore. In Slidell, a large staging area appears to be acting as a hub for cell service repair efforts. 

It's unclear when cell service will return to the metro New Orleans area. 

1:15 PM

Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng says she has not been in contact with Grand Isle since yesterday and is extremely concerned. These comments were on a call with President Biden and state leaders. 

In a separate interview with WWL Radio, JP Sheriff Joe Lopinto said his deputies have made visual contact with people on the island, who gave them a thumbs up. He said the people on the ground were trying to clear the roadway onto the island. 

1:05 PM

All Orleans and St. Bernard parish schools are closed until further notice, according to each parish's school district. Most if not all public school districts in Southeast Louisiana have announced closures because of power outages caused by Hurricane Ida. 

It's unclear when any power will be restored, but some parishes could be out for weeks. 

1 PM

Mayor LaToya Cantrell says about 200,000 people stayed in the city for Hurricane Ida. The city's total estimated population is about 390,000, meaning just over half the city stayed through the storm. 

12:45 PM 

All flights out of MSY have been canceled headed into Tuesday morning. Future cancelations are likely because the airport lacks power and electricity, and is currently running on generator power. 

12:30 PM

The entirety of the Jefferson Parish westbank is now under a boil water advisory. Residents should not use untreated water for drinking, bathing or brushing teeth.

12:15 PM 

Remote cellphone charging locations will be set up in New Orleans, Mayor Cantrell says. No specifics on the plan were released immediately. 

The city is continuing to assess the damage from Hurricane Ida, but city crews have so far found no widespread structural destruction.

Cantrell said the city's current infrastructure was in a fragile state. She urged people and businesses with generators to share electricity with others needing to charge phones and other devices. 

"We are dependant on generators," she said. 

12:10 PM 

Mayor LaToya Cantrell says at least one casualty from Hurricane Ida was from New Orleans. This is the second confirmed death related to the storm, but officials say they expect that number to rise. 

12:05 PM

Terrebonne General and Chabert Medical Center are either without water or barley have any. The parish is working to get the Houma water plant up and running to be used as a priority for the hospitals.


The New Orleans Fire Department is now operating four oxygen exchange points in the city at various fire stations. 

2920 Magazine St.  504-658-4601

4500 Old Gentilly Rd.  504-658-4606

5403 Read Blvd.  504-658-4636

2500 General de Gaulle Dr. 504-658-4640

11:30 AM

Crews are inspecting the Causeway Bridge now, and officials hope to open it to traffic sometime this afternoon. 

11:25 AM

The entirety of Terrebonne Parish is without water because of a broken line in the main processing plant that pushes it out to residents. 

The main water plant in Schriever has a broken chlorine line, so the entire parish is without water. There are millions of gallons of water available but there’s no way to get that water to people.

11:20 AM 

All Catholic schools under the Archdiocese of New Orleans will close until at least Monday, Sept. 6. 

They join the growing number of schools and districts who have announced long-term closures. At least five parishes have announced indefinite closures. 

11:15 AM 

New Orleans residents who evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ida are being asked not to return to the city "until further notice" as emergency crews begin grappling with the extent of the damage from the storm. 

Residents in the city are expecting power outages that could last for weeks, along with melting heat and other hazards. 

11 AM 

AT&T outages continue to plague Louisiana as recovery efforts begin. The outages are causing widespread communication issues. 

10:30 AM

More than 5,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard have been deployed across the state. Officials say they've been able to rescue several people already, but will be continuing their efforts throughout the day and in the coming days. 

10:10 AM 

S&WB says they are currently maintaining water pressure in the city of New Orleans, meaning no precautionary boil water advisories. 

Despite losing Entergy power, the S&WB turbines continue to churn out power for the city's 96 operational drainage pumps. 

While sewer pumps throughout the city are experiencing power loss, meaning some residents could see sewage backup. The utility is trying to get backup generators online for some of them. 

Currently, the backup generator on the westbank is down, meaning there is no pumping happening for Algiers neighborhoods. Standing water continues to sit there, although it does not appear that any has gotten into homes. 

10 AM

The St. Bernard Sheriff's Office's 911 and non-emergency phone lines are both down due to cell service outages in Hurricane Ida's wake. 

Residents who need emergency services can call one of these three numbers: 

(504) 579-4888

(504) 442-5739

(504) 784-3087

9:55 AM 

All Plaquemines Parish public schools are closed until further notice. More school closures across Southeast Louisiana are expected soon. 

9:50 AM 

Sen. Bill Cassidy says tarp and resource distribution sites operated by FEMA will be set up soon for residents of Southeast Louisiana. 

9:45 AM 

In Lakeview, water is slowly draining from the roads, but there is still a solid cover of standing water throughout much of the New Orleans neighborhood. 

One resident told WWL-TV that it didn't appear water had gotten into any of the houses, which are mostly built high to avoid some flooding. 

9:30 AM 

Water rescues continue in LaPlace, where street flooding is making some roads impassable. 

9:10 AM 

Jefferson Parish's 9-1-1 services have been restored. Emergency calls should be directed there. 

Unfortunately, the parish's administrative line, which was what they used to route emergency calls while 9-1-1 was down, has itself experienced an outage. It's unclear when that outage will clear up. 

9:05 AM 

Jefferson Parish officials say a three-week estimate for power restoration is a generous one. For many, it will be much longer before the lights flicker back on. 

And in the meantime, Louisiana continues to swelter in summer heat, with temperatures in the 90s and a heat index above 100 degrees. 

9 AM

Two or three boats full of people rescued from the Lafitte area have returned to solid land in recent minutes. 

Parish officials now say about 500 people are still in the town, up from the 100-200 initially believed to be in the flood area. 

8:35 AM

Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn says there is extensive damage to Kenner city hall, but that he is more concerned with the people in danger than any building. 

8:30 AM 

FEMA officials said they were largely concerned with life-saving and life-sustaining operations Monday as they begin to assess the damage from Hurricane Ida. 

They are particularly concerned with the state of health and medical systems, particularly hospitals that may need to be evacuated. 

8:25 AM

Deanna Rodriguez, the president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, confirmed a transmission tower fell into the Mississippi River last night, one part of the chain reaction of infrastructure failures that have led to more than a million customers in the dark. 

"We don’t know what the wind and rain has caused, we know the storm was terrible and something was done to our power lines," she told WWL-TV. 

That transmission tower survived Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but apparently was not able to withstand Ida. 

8:20 AM 

All of the Louisiana National Guard has been activated to assist with rescue and recovery efforts after Hurricane Ida. 

A spokesperson for Gov. John Bel Edwards' office says national guard units from other states will be arriving soon. 

8:15 AM 

St. James Parish residents are being advised to avoid the area near Highway 20 and St. Patrick Street due to downed live power lines.  

The parish said they are waiting for Entergy crews to arrive and depower the lines. 

8 AM 

Boats are being deployed into the flooded road near Lafitte to rescue anybody trapped by flooding in that area. 

"We know we have people we need to rescue, we've been getting calls all night," said Deano Bonano, a Jefferson Parish councilman. "This is all fire, police and national guard boats and we're going to methodically go up and down every street transporting individuals out to buses and putting them in shelters."

Bonano said the parish's next job after rescue efforts are complete is to clear routes for emergency crews and eventually residents to get back into the area. 

"We have a big job ahead of us today. We have our Sheriff's Department crews out there with bulldozers and backhoes," he said. "Our primary goal is to clear the main routes so we can move and we can't have people getting in the way by driving around sightseeing. They hinder our efforts."

7:50 AM

Some early damage from across New Orleans is coming in. In the Lower Garden District, downed lamps and tree limbs are making navigation difficult.

7:25 AM 

Jefferson Parish officials are asking residents to limit their water use because of extremely low water pressure across the parish. 

Boil water advisories remain in place for much of Southeast Louisiana. 

7:05 AM

St. Tammany Parish 9-1-1 systems are down, and most cell service is out of commission for the parish, according to the St. Tammany Fire District #13. 

Residents are being told to stay inside until conditions improve. 

Here is our updating list of 9-1-1 outages: 

RELATED: 911 service down in several parishes - Here's what they recommend

7 AM

Jefferson Parish is issuing a mandatory curfew, effective immediately, for the entire parish until Tuesday at 6 a.m. 

Here are all the current curfews in effect: 

RELATED: List: Hurricane Ida Curfews

The city of Covington has been placed under a boil water advisory until further notice due to possible pressure issues caused by Hurricane Ida. 

6:50 AM 

In Kenner, crews have already begun moving downed tree branches out of the road. 

Jefferson Parish residents are still being advised to stay in place until more of the roads can be cleared of hazards. 

6:35 AM

It is officially dawn in Louisiana, as the sun has begun to rise after Hurricane Ida swept through the state. Emergency crews are beginning to head out into the streets to see the damage and assess how long it will be before residents can return. 

Power remains out for at least a million people, including the entire city of New Orleans. 

6:25 AM

Captain Brennan Matherne with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office tells WWL-TV the parish will be without power for weeks. There is no running water south of Raceland, and there is flooding in Bayou Blue because of levee issues. 

In some of the hardest hit areas, such as Golden Meadow and Galliano, officials still don't know the full extent of the damage. 

"We have no idea what the damage is, but we know it will be catastrophic," Matherne said. 

6:20 AM 

St. Charles Parish officials are urging residents to stay inside while emergency crews work to clear roadways and move storm debris. 

There is damage to parish infrastructure including water, gas and sewerage systems. 

6:15 AM 

Cell service outages have been reported across the state. Baton Rouge, the northshore and New Orleans seem to be some of the hardest hit by these outages, but communication infrastructure throughout Southeast Louisiana has taken a beating and will likely have spotty service for at least the next several days. 

6:05 AM

There is still some heavy rainfall in Southeast Louisiana as feeder bands for Ida pass through the area. 

The state will still see some impacts from the storm today, but the worst is over for the state. 

Tropical Storm Ida is continuing north into Mississippi with winds of 60 MPH. 

6 AM

WWL-TV's Meg Farris has been through just about every Louisiana hurricane in memory. She says Ida was one of the most terrifying. Listen to her describe the storm here:

5:40 AM

Algiers does not have access to power generated by the New Orleans turbines, so drainage pumps on the westbank are without power because of the widespread Entergy outages for New Orleans. 

Standing water in Algiers is currently sitting, with no clear timeline for when it will be drained from the streets. 

5:25 AM 

Lafourche Parish residents will likely not be allowed to return home to assess the damage to their houses and property today. 

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office tweeted that parish officials will make an official announcement soon, but told evacuees they would not be allowed back immediately because of the extensive damage across the parish. 

9-1-1 systems in the parish are also down. Anybody who needs emergency services should call (985) 772-4810 or (985) 772-4824.

5:20 AM

Boil Water Advisories are in place for much of Southeast Louisiana. 

Residents in affected areas should not use untreated water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or bathing.

Here's the full list of who is currently under an advisory: 

RELATED: List: Boil Water Advisories

5 AM

St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said Hurricane Ida was the worst storm he had ever seen.

"It was relentless from 7 a.m. until maybe an hour ago, and every now and then we're still getting some gusts," he said. "This was something that I've never seen before." 

4:55 AM 

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is reporting problems with their 9-1-1 system. Anybody who needs help in Jefferson Parish should call 504-227-1400. 

Deputies are on the road now assessing damage from the storm. 

Anybody who can avoid traveling or going outside should remain in place for the time being. 

4:30 AM

The 9-1-1 system in New Orleans is down, officials say. Residents in need of help are being told to go to the nearest fire station or NOPD officer. 

It's unclear what has caused the outage or how long it will last. 

4 AM 

Hurricane Ida is now Tropical Storm Ida. After a painful night passing through Louisiana, the storm's winds have degraded enough that meteorologists now believe it is at tropical storm strength. 

The storm made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest to ever make landfall in the U.S. 

At least one person has died in the storm, and damage assessment is just beginning across the state. 

To see our coverage from Sunday, click here: 

RELATED: Watch Live Coverage: Louisiana residents waiting for rescue; officials say it's still too dangerous

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