Tropical storm Ida — which made landfall on Louisiana Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane — continued to batter the Gulf Coast on Monday, after killing at least one person and leaving more than a million others without power.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office confirmed on Monday that a 60-year-old male was killed after a tree uprooted by the storm fell on his house. It was the first reported death related to the devastating storm, but officials fear that more deaths could soon follow.
Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, predicted Monday that given the level of destruction wrought by Ida, "We're going to have many more confirmed fatalities."
The governor's office added that the damage to the power grid appeared "catastrophic" and warned it could be weeks before power is restored.
According to NBC's "Today," several trapped Louisiana residents have turned to social media for help, desperately posting their locations in hopes that emergency responders can get to them.
Louisiana Residents Trapped By Ida Floods Turn To Social Media For Help www.youtube.com
Ida slammed Louisiana's coast on Sunday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., immediately blowing the roofs off buildings with winds up to 150mph and flooding several towns in its path. According to the Associated Press, the storm even reversed the flow of the Mississippi River.
New Orleans, Louisiana's most populous city, has been completely shut down and remains without electricity. In a Monday morning Twitter update, Democratic New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell informed residents that power is still out and access to 911 remains unavailable.
Morning #Ida updates in #NOLA: 🚨911 remains out 🔌Power remains out ⚠️Downed trees & power lines in roads 🦺Emergenc… https://t.co/s0HbnRMIax— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@Mayor LaToya Cantrell)1630324648.0
New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson on Monday warned criminals against taking advantage of the shutdown to loot and ransack.
"Without power, that creates opportunity for some, and we will not tolerate that," Ferguson said. "We will implement our anti-looting deployment to ensure the safety of our citizens and ensure the safety of our citizens' property."
"Now is not the time to leave your home," the New Orleans Police Department tweeted. "There is no power. Trees, limbs, and lines are down everywhere. It is not safe to leave your home right now. Please remain sheltered in place."
Other small towns nearby, including Houma, experienced raging winds and torrential downpours, as well.
Footage taken from a backyard in Houma, Louisiana, shows raging winds and rain from Hurricane Ida. https://t.co/B8F7MwJRLA— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY)1630297153.0
"This is not the kind of storm that we normally get," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday. "This is going to be much stronger than we usually see and, quite frankly, if you had to draw up the worst possible path for a hurricane in Louisiana, it would be something very, very close to what we're seeing."
I have never heard anything like this! Stay safe from Hurricane Ida everyone #Hurricane #HurricaneIda #ida… https://t.co/HuQU62Uiwc— EvieAviation (@EvieAviation)1630270234.0
The Louisiana National Guard activated 4,900 Guard personnel and readied 195 high-water vehicles, 73 rescue boats, and 34 helicopters in preparation for the storm's landfall. Local agencies have reportedly added hundreds more. Those teams are now performing search and rescue operations.
Footage in #GrandIsle, Louisiana from #HurricaneIda. #Ida #idahurricane #Hurricane_Ida #Louisiana https://t.co/7uCFxfsr5y— M.H. Fahad (@M.H. Fahad)1630265436.0
While most of the destruction is likely to occur in Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center on Monday reported that Ida, now a tropical storm, was moving northward into Mississippi.
The weather center warned that tornadoes could put residents in danger through Monday night, "mainly across southeast Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle."