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Aug. 30 Ida updates: Ida a tropical depression, New Orleans still without power

Ida is now a tropical depression and storm activity in Louisiana caused New Orleans to lose power. More tropical storms after Hurricane Ida are possible later this week.
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Ida leaves extensive flooding, damage along Louisiana highway

People in hardest-hit areas of Orleans Parish should plan for extended power outages: utility company

Customers in the areas of Orleans Parish hardest hit by Hurricane Ida should plan for the extended power outages, the power company that serves the region said Tuesday. 

Entergy New Orleans said once the assessment of the hurricane's damage to the power grid is complete, it can start providing estimated restoration times. 

But the company warned that full damage assessment could take days, as many areas are still inaccessible. 

More than a day after Hurricane Ida made landfall, a million people remain without power in Louisiana, including most of New Orleans, according to tracking website poweroutage.us. 

Death toll from Ida likely to keep rising, Louisiana's lieutenant governor says

The death toll from Hurricane Ida is likely to keep growing, Louisiana's Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser told the "TODAY" show Tuesday. 

"Knowing that so many people stayed behind in places like Grand Isle and Lafitte where flood waters have devastated those areas, we expect there will be more people found that have passed," Nungesser said. “Too many people always ride these storms out and take their lives into their own hands.”

Nungesser said first responders are going from house to house, checking on people's attics for any survivors.

Around 25,000 crews are also working "day and night" to restore power to more than 1 million people who were still without electricity Tuesday morning, Nungesser said. 

“Some areas will come back on in days, some areas will take weeks," he added. 

Comparing Ida's impact to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, Nungesser said his "heart sinks" thinking about what the state had to go through to recover. 

“It’s going to be a long road and we are going to need a lot of help," he said. 

'All in this together': New Orleanians reflect on their home after Ida's destruction

In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida, New Orleanians spoke with NBC News about the deep and special affection they feel for their Louisiana home. 

Howie Kaplan, owner of The Howlin' Wolf music venue, said he'd been brought to tears early Monday when he and his neighbors wordlessly got to work clearing broken glass from the street, later sharing cold bottles of water.

The moment crystallized his feelings for the city he intends to call home for the rest of his life, Kaplan said.

"When you wake up in New Orleans, you know where you are. You can feel it in your bones. You can feel it in your heart. You feel it in your soul. You hear it," he said. "It's how people interact with you, how people talk to you, how people treat you. We're all in this together."

Read the full story here. 

More than 1M people in Louisiana still without power as crews work to restore grid

Cars pass a mostly dark downtown along Interstate 10 in New Orleans late Monday.Eric Gay / AP

More than a day after Hurricane Ida made landfall, just over 1 million people, including most of New Orleans, are still without power in Louisiana Tuesday morning, according to tracking website poweroutage.us

The city's utility provider, Entergy New Orleans, said Monday it could take days to determine how badly the New Orleans power grid was damaged and even longer to restore power in some areas with thousands of homes and businesses now in the dark. It said some 20,000 crews are working to assess power grid damage across the region.

Officials in Jefferson Parish, one of the worst hit areas in the greater New Orleans area, told NBC News they hoped to have their power restored within 10 days. 

In Ida's wake, experts worry Covid cases will surge

When the sun rose over Louisiana on Monday morning, Hurricane Ida’s destruction was apparent.

What’s happening behind shuttered doors and windows is also concerning to physicians, as many residents are crowded together in shelters or stuck in their homes without immediate access to testing or other medical care. Without a doubt, experts say, Covid-19 is spreading.

Hurricane Ida barreled into Louisiana as the state was battling its biggest surge of Covid-19 to date. The high levels of circulating coronavirus, coupled with the state’s low vaccination rates and the forced close proximity that occurs during a storm, could set the stage for an explosion in cases.

Read the full story here. 

2 people killed in Mississippi highway collapse

Emergency crews at the scene of a road collapse in George County, Miss., on Tuesday. Mississippi Highway Patrol

Two people were killed and 10 others injured after a highway collapsed in George County, southern Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Ida late Monday. 

Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Calvin Robertson told NBC News 7 cars were involved in the collapse of a 50-foot stretch of Highway 26 in Biloxi District, with some cars plunging up to 20 feet deep. 

Robertson said Hurricane Ida was a factor as the area received torrential rains in the past 24 hours.

Three of the people hurt had life-threatening injuries, according to Robertson. The two people who died have not been identified. 

Ida topples New Orleans jazz landmark where Louis Armstrong worked

The collapsed jazz club the Karnofsky Shop after Hurricane Ida ripped through New Orleans, on Aug. 30, 2021.Mickey Welsh / The Daily Advertiser/USA TODAY Network via Reuters

NEW ORLEANS — A storied New Orleans jazz site where a young Louis Armstrong once worked toppled when Ida blew through Louisiana as one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the U.S.

The Karnofsky Tailor Shop, where a Jewish family employed Armstrong, collapsed Sunday during the storm. Armstrong would play a small tin horn as he worked on the coal and junk wagons, according to the National Park Service.

The business opened downtown in 1913 and had a residence above it where the late jazz legend would often eat meals. The family, who provided Armstrong a “second home,” lent him money to buy his first cornet.

“Louis said it was the Karnofskys that instilled the love of singing in his heart,” jazz historian and retired photojournalist John McCusker said, according to WWL-TV.

Morris Karnofsky, the family’s son and Armstrong’s childhood friend, opened the city’s first jazz record shop on that same street, according to the park service. Armstrong would visit Morris Music when he returned to New Orleans after moving away.

A cluster of other sites that were integral to jazz’s early history in the city were also situated on South Rampart Street.

Authorities investigate apparent alligator attack in Ida floodwaters

A Louisiana man was reported to have been attacked by an alligator and apparently killed Monday in an area that flooded during Hurricane Ida, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

A woman in Slidell, a city on the northeast side of Lake Pontchartrain across from New Orleans, said her 71-year-old husband was walking in floodwaters around noon when he was attacked by a large alligator, the sheriff's office said.

She said she pulled him to safety and then went to get help in a boat, but when she returned, he was not on the front steps, the sheriff's office said.

Slidell fire department public information officer Jason Gaubert said the reported attack happened in an area flooded by the hurricane.

The sheriff's office used boats and high-water vehicles to search for the man but have not found him. It said in a statement that wildlife could have been forced closer to neighborhoods by the storm, and urged people to be cautious.