Update (1856ET): New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson held a press conference Tuesday afternoon at City Hall regarding a citywide curfew to deter mass looting and an update on the power situation.
Cantrell told reporters, effective immediately (8 pm local time), a citywide curfew will be enforced until 6 am Wednesday. New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has deployed an anti-looting task force with National Guard members to protect business districts.
Several accounts on social media show people looting businesses after Hurricane Ida knocked out power to the city and surrounding areas in Southeast Louisiana. PowerOutage.US reports more than a million people are still without power in the state.
looting in new orleans after ida: capture pic.twitter.com/xeMStqszlS— ROBERT (@BLKROCKET) August 31, 2021
BREAKING: More looting in #Nola after #HurricaneIda. @NOPDNews (New Orleans Police Department) at Damin’s in Mid-City.— Travers Mackel (@TraversWDSU) August 31, 2021
A trendy sneaker store with windows smashed out and shoes stolen. More @wdsu pic.twitter.com/vSxwvVsiKG
Tens of thousands of New Orleans residents evacuated the metro area ahead of Ida and are asked not to return to the city until further notice due to widespread power outages.
The mayor also provided an update about the power situation and said crews are fixing transmission lines. She said the next step would be fixing distribution lines that run to businesses and homes.
Watch the entire press conference here:
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Update (1530ET): There's a lot of uncertainty when power for one million folks ravaged by Hurricane Ida in Southeast Louisiana will be restored. What's worse is that a dangerous heat wave has now pushed into the area.
Due to catastrophic damage to utility company Entergy's transmission system, a million people in Southeast, Louisiana are without power nor air condition as temperatures could push near triple-digit levels today.
Temperatures are expected the linger in the 90s through this week.
There's no telling when the power will entirely be restored, but indications so far from the governor suggest weeks. What this may imply is that a humanitarian crisis for the region is imminent.
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Update (1408ET): A million people are without power after Hurricane Ida ravaged Southeast Louisiana on Sunday. The utility company Entergy experienced significant damage to its transmission system that has sent all of Orleans Parish without power.
Entergy is now reporting that it may take "several days" to figure out a timeline of the earliest date when power will be restored.
"The damage from Hurricane Ida has eliminated much of the redundancy built into the transmission system, which makes it difficult to move power around the region to customers," the company said in a statement.
There is still an emergency happening in New Orleans. https://t.co/UYN3K0H9vA— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) August 31, 2021
A grid damage assessment will give officials a better understanding of when the power will be restored in the coming days.
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Update (1302ET): Moments ago, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards spoke with reporters at a press conference. He said following Hurricane Ida, it may take upwards of 30 days to restore power to parts of the state. He said he wasn't "satisfied" with the timeline to restore power, adding that the situation is very dangerous, and requested that those who evacuated don't return home.
Here's part of the governor's press conference where he also went on to say that "many of the life-supporting infrastructure elements are not operating right now."
"If you have already evacuated, do not return here or elsewhere in Southeast Louisiana until the Office of Emergency Preparedness tells you it is ready to receive you," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says. "So let's get you where you can be safe and somewhat comfortable." pic.twitter.com/u095ocpLNU— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 31, 2021
As of 1248 ET, PowerOutage.US reports a little more than one million customers are without power across the state's coastal plain.
We noted earlier that 207 transmission lines spanning more than 2,000 miles were knocked out when Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with 150 mph winds, on Sunday.
How long until looting begins?
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More than a million customers across Lousiana are without power on Tuesday morning. Some reports indicate it could take weeks for the lights to come back on as thousands of miles of transmission lines were damaged after Hurricane Ida rolled through on Sunday.
The Category 4 hurricane raises fresh questions about how well New Orleans and other coastal areas across Lousiana are prepared for natural disasters. As of 0630 ET, PowerOutage.US reports a little more than one million customers are without power across the state's coastal plain.
Energy provider Entergy Corp has been surveying the damage since Monday and has found 207 transmission lines spanning more than 2,000 miles have been knocked out by the storm, according to WSJ.
Rod West, Entergy's group president of utility operations, said drones, helicopters, and land-based vehicles are surveying the damage and estimate it could take at least three weeks to restore power.
The crumpled Entergy transmission tower by River Road in Bridge City. Local volunteer firemen said it collapsed iver a two-hour period Sunday night as #HurricaneIda battered the area. /1 @NOLAnews #nola #energytwitter pic.twitter.com/IqBXVtvjuZ— Anthony McAuley (@AnthonyMcAuley2) August 30, 2021
"The hard part is that the geography is a rather wide swath," West said. "That three weeks is not going to apply to everybody the same way." He added some transmission towers need to be replaced entirely due to "significant wind" damage.
West said the damage to the transmission system is more severe than Hurricane Katrina because Ida made landfall at 150 mph.
Besides transmission lines, some of Entergy's powerplants have sustained damage. West said the damage at some plants would not hinder energy production. One of their nuclear power plants 25 miles west of New Orleans on the Mississippi River was shuttered ahead of the storm.
West said they'd rebuilt their transmission system over the years to withstand speeds of 150 miles an hour. Still, it appears some of those high-voltage cables that carry electricity from power plants to substations that connect to lower-voltage distribution lines, were no match for Ida.
It could take weeks for Entergy and other power companies to restore energy in the state.
Customers have been panic searching Generac generators and generators since the hurricane made landfall.
Searches for "generator"
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There's potential for power to be out for a few weeks. We noted communication systems are offline in New Orleans. What are the chances this could spiral into a humanitarian crisis?