Hurricane Ida slammed Louisiana on Sunday, making landfall as a high-end Category 4 storm, leaving more than 1 million customers without power, killing at least one person, bringing catastrophic flooding, and even reversing the flow of the Mississippi River.
The monster storm first made landfall Sunday afternoon near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, about 60 miles south of New Orleans, The Weather Channel reported. It was 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the state.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds, which topped 150 miles per hour, tore apart buildings and roofs and downed trees. In fact, the storm surge and winds were so powerful, at least one levee in Jefferson Parish was overtopped. And CNN reported they even caused the flow of the Mississippi river to reverse.
Ida also forced hundreds of flights to be canceled out of New Orleans, forcing more than two dozen passengers to shelter in the terminal, local station WGNO reported. An Aviation Board spokesperson told the station they, “will address any damage throughout the hurricane event so that airlines can resume flights once it is safe to do so.”
The intense storm was also blamed for at least one death after a tree fell on the home of a 60-year-old man, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
By Monday, Ida had weakened to a tropical storm, but not before knocking out power to scores of customers, including the entire city of New Orleans, which suffered “catastrophic transmission damage,” according to WGNO.
In Jefferson Parish, it could take six weeks to fully restore power, the parish’s Director of Emergency Management Joe Valiente told NPR.
“One-hundred percent of the grid is smashed, we have reports of hundreds of telephone poles snapped, hundreds of reports of trees that fell on power lines and just ripped them out,” he said.
Louisiana’s Gov. John Bel Edwards said President Joe Biden declared a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration.
“As the sun comes out this morning, please remain where you are,” Edwards tweeted on Monday. “#Ida has left many hazards across Louisiana including flooded roadways, debris & downed powerlines. Follow the instructions of local officials & continue to be safe.”
By Monday, Ida was weakening rapidly as it moved over southwestern Mississippi and was likely to weaken to a tropical depression by the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center. The storm was expected to move across the Tennessee Valley by Tuesday.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.