Live coverage on this blog has ended, please click here for the latest coverage
- As Hurricane Ida barreled toward the Gulf Coast, some residents chose to 'stay and pray'
- Six hours changed Hurricane Ida's speed and power — and New Orleans' preparation
- How Ida compares to Hurricane Katrina as storm makes landfall on the anniversary
- 'Very, very bad': Images show damage, flooding from Hurricane Ida
911 knocked out in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish
The 911 systems in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish were not working properly Monday morning, officials said.
Orleans Parish Communication District-OPCD announced at about 3 a.m. that 911 was "experiencing technical difficulties." Residents were told to "go to your nearest fire station or approach your nearest officer" in the event of an emergency.
In Jefferson Parish, which was also "currently having difficulties routing calls to 911," residents were told to stay put since 'unnecessary travel is dangerous given the current roadway conditions," according to the sheriff's office. People who need police were told to call 504-227-1400.
Jefferson Parish president: 'We have almost 200-250 requests for rescue'
President of Louisiana's Jefferson Parish, which was battered by Hurricane Ida, says rescue teams are out attending to as many as 250 rescue calls.
"They have been really all night anxious to get out when there is first light," Cynthia Lee Sheng told the "TODAY" show.
“I know it's been a very, very long night for those people," she said.
Watch the rest of the interview here:
Parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Florida under tornado watches
The National Weather Service warned Monday that people in southeast Mississippi, southwest Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle could expect tornados.
Ida, which had weakened to a tropical storm, was moving over southeastern Louisiana Monday. The storm was forecast to turn toward southwestern Mississippi later in the morning, and then predicted to move through central and northeastern Mississippi later in the day, before hitting the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday.
Flash flood emergency warning continues for Hammond, Ponchatoula and Natalbany
The National Weather Service has continued a flash flood emergency for Hammond, Ponchatoula and Natalbany communities, north of New Orleans, in Louisiana until at least 10 a.m. E.T.
The service warned of a "life-threatening situation" and urged residents to move to higher ground immediately.
Lafitte-area levees overtopped, not damaged, local official says
The levees in the area of Lafitte, 20 miles south of New Orleans, did not breach as Hurricane Ida hit overnight despite earlier reports, the Jefferson Parish president said.
Cynthia Lee Sheng told the "TODAY" show Monday the levees were overtopped, but did not fail. It was earlier reported by the National Weather Service that the levees in the area may have breached, putting over 200 people in "imminent danger.”
"There was no structural failure of the levees, it's just that the water was higher than the levee that was built," Sheng said.
Levee failure in Alliance, Louisiana prompts evacuations
Residents have been urged to evacuate after a levee failure in Alliance, about 20 miles southeast of New Orleans.
Plaquemines Parish government urged people to evacuate the area immediately in a Facebook post late Sunday. Residents were told to go to a local auditorium if they need shelter.
Around the same time, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency warning for the area, warning of a "life-threatening flash flooding from a levee failure."
Ida downgraded to tropical storm
The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Ida to a tropical storm.
The center said maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 60 mph, with the storm now over southwestern Mississippi.
Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday with winds of near 150 mph.
It is expected to continue rapidly weakening during the next day or so, the center added. It's expected to become a tropical depression by Monday evening.
Despite the downgrade, the center warned that dangerous storm surge, damaging winds and flash flooding will continue over portions of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.