Southeast Louisiana Leaders to Evacuees: Don’t Go Home Yet
As National Guardsmen and volunteer groups begin search and rescue efforts across Southeastern Louisiana, local officials across the region are urging people who evacuated before Hurricane Ida's landfall not to return for at least 72 hours.
Officials in St. James Parish say downed power lines are a major hazard. Those power lines are still live and could kill residents who are out and about on the parish's roads. In addition, St. James authorities say downed trees and floodwaters have made roads in the area impassible.
What's more: The parish has no running water and will be under a boil advisory once water service is restored.
Farther east in Kenner, residents could be without water for nearly one week. Jefferson Parish Councilman Dominick Impastato told the New Orleans Advocate/Times-Picayune that multiple water mains broke during the storm. Impastato also said residents in the area could be without power for three weeks or longer. Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn says the city's water problems could hamper the fire department's rescue efforts.
Also in Jefferson Parish: I-10 West towards Baton Rouge is closed because of storm debris and damage.
Meanwhile in St. Tammany Parish, Slidell Police have already conducted high-water rescues in parts of the city along Bayou Liberty. Officers there say roads are impassible because downed trees and other debris. Furthermore, communications systems are down, and resources are non-existent. The Slidell Police Department's spokesman summed up the situation on the department's Facebook page.
Farther south in Houma, daylight is allowing us to see the storm damage up close for the first time. Ida demolished buildings in the city's downtown area. Clean-up efforts have already begun as residents now look forward to life after Ida.
Residents there describe Houma as looking like a "war zone."
Terrebonne Parish officials say they will not allow anyone to reenter the parish until they have fully assessed the damage. That assessment work began earlier this morning. Officials say they have not set a timeframe within which they will complete that work. Terrebonne Parish remains under a curfew until further notice.
Long story short: If you evacuated, stay where you are.
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