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Edwards: Search, rescue top priority after Hurricane Ida slams Louisiana

Aug 30, 2021 03:28PM ● By By Jason Schaumburg

Traffic diverts around downed power lines Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Metairie, La., after Hurricane Ida made landfall Sunday. Steve Helber / AP

(The Center Square) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday morning search and rescue is the first priority in the wake of Hurricane Ida's landfall Sunday.

Ida slammed into Louisiana's coast as a Category 4 hurricane near Port Fourchon on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. One death has been reported as a result of Hurricane Ida.

More than 1 million residents in Louisiana are without power, including all of New Orleans.

"For the most part, all of our levees performed extremely well, especially our federal levees, but at the end of the day, the rain, the wind, all had devastating impacts across southeast Louisiana,"

Edwards said Monday morning via a video message to residents. "Virtually no one has electricity in this part of our state right now. We have water systems that are out. We have tremendous damage to homes and to businesses."

Edwards said the state, on top of local efforts, has thousands of people out in high-water vehicles and boats doing search and rescue.

"Please understand, we're going to be in lifesaving mode doing search and rescue as a first order of priority," Edwards said.

Lafourche Parish, where Ida made landfall, said Monday reentry into the parish will be delayed for up to a week because roads are impassable.

"First responders will be working around the clock to clear the road for residents to return," the parish said in a news release. "Lafourche is also under a boil water advisory, with most residents south of Raceland being without water services. Local officials are asking all residents to wait for the all-clear before returning. [Tuesday], we will begin assessments across Lafourche and make residents aware of the status as the evaluation progresses."

Ida has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to dump heavy rains over southeast Louisiana, coastal Mississippi and southwest Alabama through Tuesday morning.