Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast on Sunday, bringing with it catastrophic levels of flooding and 150 mph winds that tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland.
Officials described chest-level floodwaters filling homes. The entire city of New Orleans lost power. Levees were overtopped. Winds scattered power lines. Residents were trapped on rooftops and in attics.
At least one death was reported by Monday morning, but much of the damage remained unaccounted for, and rescue efforts remain underway.
The winds also slowed down on Monday, causing Ida to become a tropical storm as it centered over Mississippi. But dangerous winds and flash floods continue to threaten the region, complicating efforts to save trapped residents and repair electricity grids.
Notably, Ida smashed into Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, striking the same coastline and drawing instant comparisons between the two storms. Katrina caused widespread devastation, with a death toll of over 1,800 and damage topping $175 billion.
But Louisiana has worked to improve its levee system to prevent that level of catastrophe from reoccurring.
"There is no doubt that the coming days and weeks are going to be extremely difficult for our state, and many, many people are going to be tested in ways that we can only imagine today," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a Sunday press conference shortly before the storm made landfall. "But I can also tell you, as a state, we have never been more prepared."
View photos of Ida's impact below. This post will be updated throughout the day.
Heavy rain inundated parts of Alabama on Saturday, September 18, as the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of the risk for widespread flooding across the region.William O’Neal captured video of a person swimming past a flooded stop sign on a road in Tuscaloosa Saturday.A flash flood warning was in effect for the greater Birmingham area until 2.45 pm Saturday. The NWS warned that that two to three inches of rain could fall. Credit: William O’Neal via Storyful
Heavy rain inundated parts of Alabama on Saturday, September 18, as the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of the risk for widespread flooding across the region.Carolyn McFarland said she recorded this video as she rode along 15th St in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.A flash flood warning was in effect for the greater Birmingham area until 2:45 on Saturday. The NWS warned of rainfall rates as high as two to three inches. Credit: Carolyn McFarland via Storyful
New photos released by North Port Police on September 18 show crews searching for Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance of 22-year-old Long Island native Gabby Petito.Officials searched the Carlton Reserve on Saturday after reporting Friday night that the department was unable to make contact with Laundrie. Police said Laundrie’s family believed he had entered the Carlton Reserve area “earlier this week.”More than 50 crews were on the ground along with ATVs and drones, a police spokesperson told a press conference Saturday morning.Laundrie and his fiancee Petito were traveling cross-country when he returned home to Florida without her. Petito’s family filed a missing persons report and, in a letter issued through their lawyer, begged the Laundrie family to help find their daughter.“We understand you are going through a difficult time and your instinct to protect your son is strong,” Petito’s family wrote. “We believe you know the location where Brian left Gabby. We beg you to tell us.”North Port Police on Friday said they were speaking to the Laundrie Family “at their request” but were not in contact with Brian Laundrie.A police spokesperson told reporters Saturday that they had tried to speak to Brian Laundrie after he returned home, but that he “wasn’t willing to talk.” He said police then focused their resources on finding Petito, and were expecting to “deal with Brian eventually.” Laundrie’s disappearance, he said, was “certainly a twist.”The spokesman said police could not arrest Laundrie prior to losing contact with him as they didn’t have a crime to charge him with.“We’re looking for somebody. That’s it. We can’t just go pulling people in. He certainly has his Fifth Amendment, not to speak,” the spokesman said. “We get it. We’re frustrated,” he added.Petito was reported missing on September 11. The FBI announced Saturday that they were searching Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the last place she was heard from, while police across the country searched for Laundrie. Credit: North Port Police via Storyful
The Wall Street Journal, citing a review of internal company documents that included research reports, online employee discussions and drafts of presentations to senior management, said that although Facebook researchers have identified "the platform's ill effects," the company failed to fix them. The Wall Street Journal articles say that Facebook exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules, played down the negative effects on young users of its Instagram app, made changes to its algorithm that made the platform "angrier," and had a weak response to alarms raised by employees over how the platform is used in developing countries by human traffickers. Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, writing in a blog post https://about.fb.com/news/2021/09/what-the-wall-street-journal-got-wrong, said the Wall Street Journal's stories "contained deliberate mischaracterizations of what we are trying to do, and conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook's leadership and employees."
Leicester boss Steve Borthwick hailed George Ford after the England fly-half steered Leicester to their first Premiership victory over Exeter in four years during a season-opening 34-19 win at Welford Road on Saturday.
Dozens, even hundreds, of asylum-seeking migrants often wait hours to surrender to U.S. Border Patrol agents, but the thousands of Haitians gathered at a bridge in the small Texas border town of Del Rio may be unprecedented and point to a glaring problem with the federal police agency's staffing. The Border Patrol graduated its first class of “processing coordinators” in January, with the goal of eventually hiring 1,200.
European capitals celebrated a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June, as President Joe Biden's top diplomat cracked jokes in French in Paris, posed for selfies with French youth and spoke at length about revitalizing the transatlantic relationship. It was a breath of fresh air after four years of former President Donald Trump's brash "America First" administration, during which U.S. ties with Europe lurched from one crisis to another amid policy decisions that often blindsided European countries. But less than three months after Blinken's repair tour, Washington finds itself in an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with France over a trilateral deal with Britain to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines that sank a $40 billion contract for French-designed vessels.
U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin revealed Saturday that he was diagnosed last November with early stage chronic myeloid leukemia but said he responded well to treatments and is now in remission. Zeldin, a Long Island Republican who's running for New York governor, said the diagnosis had no impact on his work or Army Reserve duties. “Over the last nine months, I have achieved complete remission, am expected to live a normal life, and my doctor says I currently have no evidence of this disease in my system,” Zeldin said in a statement released through his Congressional office.
France on Saturday accused Australia and the United States of lying over a ruptured Australian contract to buy French submarines, saying a grave crisis was underway between the allies after Paris recalled its ambassadors.
Heavy rain inundated parts of Alabama on Saturday, September 18, as the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of the risk for widespread flooding across the region.Video posted by CJ Seales on Saturday shows vehicles driving through floodwaters on Paul William Bryant Drive in Tuscaloosa.A flash flood warning was in effect for the greater Birmingham area until 2.45 pm Saturday. The NWS warned that that two to three inches of rain could fall. Credit: CJ Seales via Storyful
Oscar-winning French actor Marion Cotillard spoke about the “revolution” led by women to shake up patriarchy since the start of #MeToo at the San Sebastian Film Festival where she received the Donostia Award for career achievement on Friday’s opening night. “For the past several years, the subordination of women has become increasingly unacceptable in the […]
Heavy rain inundated parts of Alabama on Saturday, September 18, as the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of the risk for widespread flooding across the region.This video taken by Madeline Walsh in Tuscaloosa shows vehicles, including a FedEx delivery truck, driving through a flooded roadway on Saturday.A flash flood warning was in effect for the greater Birmingham area until 2:45 on Saturday. The NWS warned of rainfall rates as high as two to three inches. Credit: Madeline Walsh via Storyful
Heavy rain inundated parts of Alabama on Saturday, September 18, as the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of the risk for widespread flooding across the region.Twitter user @JimAmerica4 shared a clip he said he took from home in Kimberly, north of Birmingham, on Saturday morning.“Yeah, a little damp this morning,” he wrote.A flash flood warning was in effect for the greater Birmingham area until 2.45 pm Saturday. The NWS warned that that two to three inches of rain could fall. Credit: @JimAmerica4 via Storyful