• Ed Gaines

New Orleans is Facing Weeks of Darkness, Days Without Water, 911 Issues

New Orleans may be without power and air conditioning for more than three weeks in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Almost 750,000 homes and businesses were without power as of Sunday night.

Power company Entergy shut down its nuclear plant about 25 miles west of the city and will keep it offline until local grid issues are assessed after the storm.

There’s a boil-water advisory in effect due to water main breaks from downed trees. Those broken water mains will take at least 5 days to repair. Water pressure is nearly zero.

Hurricane Ida has caused issues with the city's 911 service. Orleans Parish announced that anyone who needs emergency assistance should go to their nearest fire or police station, or approach the nearest officer.

All residents are advised to stay off the roads as damages are assessed and rescue operations continue.

Rescuers Help Stranded Residents, Some in Attics

A large search and rescue mission was underway yesterday to help get trapped residents to safety after Hurricane Ida's storm surge topped levees in the Lafitte area.

More than 30 boats were deployed, with more arriving to help. Most residents had lost mobile phone service to call for help.

Some of the communities outside of New Orleans have only a partial ring levee about 7½ feet high to shield them from floodwaters. The storm surge from Ida flooded over that levee, leaving four to ten feet of water inside the ring. That forced some residents into their attics.

Elderly women and families with pets were among the first residents rescued by boat.

The Coast Guard was searching for residents by helicopter. At the staging area, the National Guard, Sheriff's Office, the Fire Department and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were on the scene, as well as members of the volunteer Cajun Navy.

Man Attacked by Alligator in Flooded Louisiana Waters

Officials say a man was attacked by an alligator in flooded Louisiana waters yesterday.

The man's wife witnessed the attack that happened near the city of Slidell, which is just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans.

The Sheriff's Office said the man's wife heard a commotion outside and saw the alligator attacking her 71-year-old husband. After losing his arm in the attack, the man’s wife helped pull him onto some steps and out of the floodwaters.

After going to grab some medical supplies and to call for help, she came back and her husband had disappeared into the floodwaters.

The man's body hasn't been recovered.

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