It was another night in the dark Monday in New Orleans as power remains out for most of southeast Louisiana following Hurricane Ida.
Spotty internet and cell phone service has complicated the response. Emergency teams can't make rescues and can barely make phone calls to get word out on local radio.
Ida ravaged the region's power grid, leaving all of New Orleans and hundreds of thousands of other Louisiana residents in the dark with no clear timeline on when the electricity would come back on. Some areas outside New Orleans also suffered major flooding and structure damage.
“I can’t tell you when the power is going to be restored. I can’t tell you when all the debris is going to be cleaned up and repairs made,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday. “But what I can tell you is we are going to work hard every day to deliver as much assistance as we can.”
In New Orleans, a 100-year-old building that made it through countless storms, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, could not withstand Ida.
The storm was blamed for at least four deaths in Louisiana and Mississippi, including two people killed Monday night when seven vehicles plunged into a 20-foot-deep (6-meter-deep) hole near Lucedale, Mississippi, where a highway had collapsed after torrential rains.
More than 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi were left without power as Ida pushed through on Sunday with winds that reached 150 mph (240 kph). The wind speed tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the mainland.
Things are growing desperate for some, with looting happening in and around downtown.
Tourists have been left stranded as some hotels are kicking people out because they have no power or generators.
Pamela Mitchell said she was thinking about leaving while she waited for the power to come back on, but her 14-year-old daughter, Michelle, was determined to stay and decided to clean out the refrigerator and put perishables in an ice chest.
Mitchell had already spent a hot and frightening night at home while Ida’s winds shrieked, and she thought the family could tough it out.
“We went a week before, with Zeta,” she said, recalling an outage during the hurricane that hit the city last fall.
Hank Fanberg said both of his neighbors had offered him access to their generators. He also had a plan for food: “I have a gas grill and charcoal grill."
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