Biden to survey Ida damage in Northeast; Louisiana still without power
At least 67 people were killed by Hurricane Ida and its remnants.
Powerful Hurricane Larry is making big waves in the Atlantic, but a series of smaller, developing storms could create more big problems for Louisiana’s battered Gulf coast.
As of Monday afternoon, Larry was about 1,000 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea.
While the storm probably wouldn’t make it to the U.S. East Coast, the National Weather Service said “significant” swells and waves should reach much of the coast by midweek and will impact the shoreline through the end of the week. The storm is “likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the weather service said.
Meanwhile, Louisiana and Mississippi continue cleanup efforts after Hurricane Ida rolled ashore more than a week ago. Almost 500,000 Louisiana electric customers remained without power Monday. That means over 20% of the state’s population has been in the dark for more than a week.
Some areas may not have power restored until month’s end, authorities have warned. Some homes and businesses will take months to rebuild.
“Today is Labor Day, but for many in our state it will not be the day of rest it usually is,” Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted. “I hope that you will spend the day doing what Louisianans do best – being good neighbors. Our sense of community is one of the greatest assets we have during difficult times.”
Now cleanup efforts could be set back by possibly heavy rains Monday through midweek. Monday’s storms “will be capable of producing 2 to 3 inches of rain in a short period of time,” the weather service said.
Locally higher amounts are possible, and the saturated soil conditions mean heavy rainfall may quickly lead to flash flooding. Then a tropical disturbance could pound parts of the region – where many areas absorbed more than a foot of rain from Ida – with an additional four inches of rain or more.
The weather service put the chance of showers and thunderstorms at 80% for Monday and Tuesday, 70% for Wednesday.
“An inch or so of heavy rain may come down in just a couple of hours in some areas,” AccuWeather warned.
A silver lining for Louisiana and Mississippi could bring a storm cloud to Florida. AccuWeather forecasters said a shift in the track to the west or east could spare the waterlogged areas of the central Gulf Coast from some of the worst rains.
“The batch of heavy rain, along with a center of low pressure, may migrate eastward along the upper Gulf coast at midweek and then perhaps across northern Florida from Thursday to Friday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph. Though the winds quickly eased over land, Ida roared north as a historic rainmaker, its overwhelming downpours swamping rivers, streets and buildings all the way to New England.
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National Guard builds temporary bridge to deliver aid to Louisiana
A floating bridge was constructed in Lafitte, Louisiana, on Saturday, September 4, after the existing bridge was destroyed during Hurricane Ida days before, officials said. Credit: Jefferson Parish via Storyful
The storm was blamed for more than 60 deaths, more than half of them in New York City and New Jersey. President Joe Biden is scheduled to survey storm damage there Tuesday.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy toured parts of the Bergen County city of Lodi on Sunday to survey the extensive damage there.
“This community was devastated by the storm, and we will do everything in our power to help residents recover and rebuild,” Murphy tweeted.