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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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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. 

No flights to, from New Orleans airport Tuesday

Gov. Edwards to evacuated Louisiana residents: Don't come home yet

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards urged evacuees not to try to return home, citing the widespread power outages, road closures and other dangerous conditions.

“There are an awful lot of unknowns right now. There are certainly more questions than answers. I can’t tell you when power is going to be restored. I can’t tell you when all the debris is going to be cleaned up and repairs made and so forth. What I can tell you is we’re going to work hard every single day to deliver as much assistance as we possibly can.”

He noted that cell service is being restored quickly by AT&T and others that suffered outages. He said most of the communication problems experienced in the early hours of the storm and its aftermath have been remedied.

“Right now the overwhelming majority of communications that need to take place are happening.”

More than 800 rescued in St. John Parish

More than 800 people in Louisiana's St. John the Baptist Parish were rescued from floodwaters or moved to safer ground following Hurricane Ida, the parish president said Monday.

Around 18,000 residents in the parish west of New Orleans were without power, Parish President Jaclyn Hotard said.

"We have not received any confirmation of any storm-related deaths, and it's only by the grace of God," she said at a news conference.

Ida was a Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in southeastern Louisiana on Sunday. Over 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana have lost power, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks outages, including most of New Orleans.

There have been two deaths related to the storm. A 60-year-old man was killed after a tree fell on his home in Ascension Parish, and a man drowned while trying to drive through floodwaters in New Orleans, the state health department said.

Mississippi dodges worst of Hurricane Ida, sends help to Louisiana

A man helps a stranded motorist in floodwaters on Beach Blvd. in Biloxi, Miss., on Aug. 30, 2021.Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Relief was felt across Mississippi as daybreak brought a clearer picture of the damage ushered in by battering winds and the drumbeat of heavy rain that blanketed the Mississippi Gulf Coast and surrounding pockets of the state.

Officials and residents agreed that the state was scarred but that it had evaded widespread devastation as Ida moved through Monday as a weakened but still threatening tropical storm.

Gov. Tate Reeves said at a news conference Monday evening that initial damage reports from eight of the state’s 82 counties were “relatively light, considering the magnitude of the storm.”

Reeves said some federal staff members dedicated to Mississippi could be freed up to go to Louisiana, where residents of some of the hardest-hit areas escaped to their roofs to evade rising floodwaters.

Read more here. 

Flood-ravaged Tennessee community braces for Ida remnants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Emergency workers and volunteers in rural Tennessee pushed to clean up as much debris as possible from recent deadly flooding Monday as the remnants of Hurricane Ida threatened to interrupt recovery efforts with another dousing expected overnight through Tuesday.

The Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency noted the possibility of localized flooding in Waverly and other areas hit hard by the deadly Aug. 21 flooding but said it’s “not expected to be the magnitude of last week’s flooding,” citing the National Weather Service.

Authorities are encouraging people to pick up tarps so they can cover their damaged homes and other property. They also said they are watching the forecast and preparing in case the situation becomes dangerous.

The flooding killed 20 people as it took out houses, roads, cellphone towers and telephone lines, with rain totals that more than tripled forecasts and shattered the state record for one-day rainfall. More than 270 homes were destroyed and 160 took major damage, according to the Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency.

Much of that destruction centered on Waverly, a small city about 60 miles west of Nashville. The town of McEwen near Waverly was pummeled with 17 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

Nurses cared for NICU babies overnight in New Orleans as hurricane hit

Students hit by Ida turn to TikTok to share their experiences

@adrianne.bajon

Reply to @daniasaurous the hurricane looks like it’s changed courses to go more west!!! ##lsu ##hurricaneida ##lsucamellia

♬ original sound - Adrianne Bajon

The dorms at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge had mostly emptied by Sunday afternoon as Hurricane Ida roared through the state.

But freshman Adrianne Bajon, 18, and a small group of friends, unable to evacuate because of a lack of gasoline, stayed behind. As they hunkered down, the small group of about seven students played Uno, watched "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and documented everything they could on TikTok.

The videos posted by Bajon, a computer science and software engineering major, racked up millions of views.

Read more here. 

Ida now a tropical depression, moving over Mississippi

Ida on Monday officially became a tropical depression over Mississippi, meaning the storm's winds dropped below 38 miles per hour.

It came ashore Sunday in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane.

The storm's sustained wind speed dropped from a peak of 150 mph on Sunday to 35 mph on Monday afternoon.