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Hurricane Ida death toll rises to 6 and could continue to rise: Live updates

Ida is responsible for 6 deaths and the toll is likely to rise. Power is still out for nearly 1 million homes in Louisiana and flooding is complicating rescue efforts.
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Live Blog

New Orleans city websites go down; Ida updates to be communicated via social media, text message

Websites run by the city of New Orleans, including its portal for emergency preparedness, went down Tuesday as Louisiana continues to struggle in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

The city can still communicate with residents via social media and text message alerts.

Power outages are plaguing much of southeast Louisiana, as temperatures are set to reach the high 80s on Tuesday with a heat index pushing the real feel closer to 100.

National Weather Service in New Orleans issues heat advisory amid power outages caused by Ida

Searing heat is compounding misery for areas hit by Hurricane Ida. 

The National Weather Service in New Orleans issued a heat advisory for dozens of communities in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi Tuesday, warning of temperatures that could feel like as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This is of particular concern as more than one million people in Louisiana remain without power and are lacking basic supplies to reduce the effects of the heat. 

"The heat advisory for today does pose a big challenge," the National Weather Service tweeted. "While you need to keep hydrated, know if you're under a boil water advisory." 

NWS recommended finding safe areas of shade to stand in, creating paper fans and covering the outside of the windows with something reflective.

"Minimize any activity outside during the afternoon peak temps or in warm areas and take frequent breaks," the service said. 

Flooding, destruction from Hurricane Ida create difficulties for rescuers trying to reach vulnerable communities

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Communities hardest hit by Hurricane Ida are now facing agonizing waits for rescue, cut off due to roads that've been either been wiped out entirely or rendered useless by uncleared storm debris.

"We've got a large population center that got hit with a very large Category 4 storm,"  Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said. "Everybody's hurting in different ways." 

Ida left a trail of destruction in towns like Grand Isle, Louisiana, but first responders and crews armed with chainsaws are struggling to reach the inhabited — and suddenly isolated — barrier island.

Highways and backroads across the Pelican State are a minefield of downed trees and power lines as the stranded could be stuck for days.

"I had to get them to come rescue me from my house to get out, that's how bad it is," said one Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development worker out cleaning debris from roads.

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. 

Ida bringing flooding, tornado risk from Gulf Coast to New England

Ida has weakened to a tropical depression, but the impacts are far from over. About 71 million people are now under Flash Flood Watches extending from the Gulf Coast to New England. The flood alerts include the metro areas of Atlanta, Nashville, Washington, Philadelphia and New York City.

On Tuesday, Ida will bring heavy rain and strong thunderstorms to portions of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and the Florida Panhandle. Rainfall rates of two to three inches an hour will be the greatest risk, followed by the risk for isolated tornadoes.      

On Wednesday, the heavy rain and risk for tropical tornadoes will move into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Wednesday evening into Thursday, torrential rain could lead to a high risk for flash flooding across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Locations in southern Pennsylvania through much of New Jersey and Long Island may have the greatest risk of dangerous flash flooding.

Rainfall forecast Wednesday-Thursday: 

Philadelphia: 2-4”

New York City: 3-5”

Washington: 1-3”

Harrisburg, Penn.: 5-7”

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. 

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'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.

“We’ve got so much Covid in the Southeastern United States,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “The pandemic will probably will get worse.”

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