Ida latest: 82 dead in 8 states, power slowly returns after storm


(NEW ORLEANS, La.) — The nation is still grappling with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall Aug. 29 and knocked out power to more than 1 million customers in Louisiana.

At least 82 people have died due to the storm — which hit Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane — as well as the devastation it left across eight states.

In Louisiana, 26 have died due to the storm’s wrath. The Louisiana Health Department confirmed two more storm-related deaths Tuesday in St. Tammany Parish: a 68-year-old man who fell off a roof while making repairs to damage caused by Ida and a 71-year-old man who died due to a lack of oxygen during an extended power outage. On Wednesday, they announced an additional 11 deaths, all in Orleans Parish and nine from heat-related illness due to power outages. The two others died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the Northeast, at least 52 have died. The Harrison Police Department in Westchester County, New York, confirmed on Monday the recovery of a woman’s body who went missing during last week’s flooding.

President Joe Biden surveyed the damage of Ida’s remnants in New York and New Jersey on Tuesday.

Biden said that amid the storm’s destruction, there was also an “opportunity” to open the country’s eyes and get people to heed the urgent warnings from scientists, adding, “I think we’ve all seen –even the climate skeptics are seeing — that this really does matter.”

Biden has touted the extreme weather as a critical reason why Congress should pass his infrastructure package.

Recovery efforts continue in the South, where 70% of the 948,000 Entergy utility customers who lost power finally had it restored, the company said Wednesday.

In Louisiana, 301,000 customers remained with outages Wednesday evening, and in New Orleans, 83% of customers who lost power had it restored and 35,000 customers remain in the dark, Entergy said. On Wednesday evening, Entergy said it hoped to have 90% of customers in New Orleans back on line that night.

A team of 26,000 workers is restoring downed and damaged power lines. However, some hard-hit areas, including Lafourche Parish and Plaquemines Parish aren’t forecast to have power restored until Sept. 29, according to the company’s estimation.

In Louisiana and Mississippi, 30,679 poles, 36,469 spans of wire and 5,959 transformers were damaged or destroyed — that’s more than Katrina, Ike, Delta and Zeta combined.

Access to water remains a major problem in the state, with boil water advisories still in place in the parishes of Jefferson, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. Tammany, St. John the Baptist, Plaquemines and Tangipahoa.

Tuesday marked the last day for locals to evacuate to Ida shelters in northern Louisiana.

About 14,000 people in Lafourche Parish were left homeless after Ida razed through and destroyed 75% of the structures there.

“We are working feverishly, as hard as we can to get all people what they need to keep their lives going and to rebuild our community,” Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson said to CNN on Monday.

Nursing home deaths are also a mounting concern in the state.

Among those who died in Louisiana, seven were nursing home residents who were transferred to a warehouse in Independence in Tangipahoa Parish and later died. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has opened an investigation into the deaths. Only five of the seven deaths were confirmed by the state to be storm-related.

The Louisiana Health Department is investigating nursing homes that transferred patients there and ordered all of them to shut down Saturday.

On Tuesday, officials announced they revoked the licenses for seven nursing homes that evacuated to the facility ahead of Ida. Those nursing homes were: River Palms Nursing and Rehab in Orleans Parish, South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab in Lafourche Parish, Maison Orleans Healthcare Center in Orleans Parish, Park Place Healthcare Nursing Home in Jefferson Parish, West Jefferson Health Care Center in Jefferson Parish, Maison De Ville Nursing Home in Terrebonne Parish, Maison Deville Nursing Home of Harvey in Jefferson Parish.

“Ultimately, lives were lost — these were grandparents, neighbors and friends, and we know families are hurting. We as a Department are taking formal regulatory action,” the LDH said in a statement.

On Saturday, during wellness checks at eight New Orleans facilities, five nursing home residents were found dead, the city said in a news release. None of those have been confirmed to be storm-related. In response, the city determined all eight facilities were “unfit” and evacuated nearly 600 residents to hospitals and shelters.

Also in Louisiana, at least four people have died and 141 were treated in hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning in the wake of Ida, according to the Louisiana Department of Health, prompting officials to urge the public for safe generator use.

Officials advise placing generators at least 20 feet away from a home and assure all air entry points near the unit and home are properly sealed.

ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky and Molly Nagle contributed to this report.

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