Death Toll From Ida Increases To 68 As Many Remain Without Power


Monday, September 6th 2021, 10:10 am
By: CBS News


The death toll from Hurricane Ida on Sunday climbed to at least 68. Many are sill without power, and in Louisiana, recovery is a question of, "where do you begin?"

Adding to the devastation: a significant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 100 miles south of New Orleans.

A week after Ida slammed the Gulf Coast, much of New Orleans is still in the dark and drying out after deadly flooding and high winds. Barrier Island Grand Isle is uninhabitable.

"Hopefully we get started getting this cleaned. We're gonna take one day at a time," one resident told CBS News.

Supplies aren't the only thing for residents to worry about. There's more bad weather on the horizon.

"Even if it's a tropical storm, we're in no state to receive that much rainfall at this time," said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards at a press conference.

Louisiana is ordering the closure of seven nursing homes following the discovery that some residents of these facilities were evacuated to a makeshift shelter at a warehouse. At least seven have died.

State health officials said conditions in the warehouse were unhealthy and unsafe.

"To think that they would just put these people in a warehouse and leave them like that. I mean, like they're not even human," one family member, Carol Stovall, told CBS News.

The owner of those nursing homes, Bob Dean Jr., spoke with CBS affiliate WAFB-TV last week.

"We only had five deaths within the six days, and normally, with 850 people, you'll have a couple a day," he said. "So we did really good on taking care of people."

Hundreds of thousands remain without power. People in this Bridge City neighborhood outside of New Orleans are being told it will be several more weeks until power poles will be repaired.

Meanwhile, recovery efforts are still underway in the Northeast, where at least 51 people died, as well. Donations have been non-stop in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Volunteers, many of them neighbors, are banding together. Kamuela Tillman helped organize one drop-off,

"To come today and be able to drop food off and get texts from these families saying they got vouchers, that's relief," Tillman said. "We are an amazing community that is extremely diverse and we celebrate that."

Theresa Sidnauth and Renald Louisville were rescued by boat with their 2-year-old son. For them, the supplies couldn't have come at a better time. 

"Cleaning supplies mean so much to us. We don't know where to start or end. Gives us a means to an end," Sidnauth said.

On Sunday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy told CBS News' "Face the Nation" that his state needs upgraded infrastructure and is counting on federal aid.

"We had rain in many communities in two or three hours that were equivalent to what they normally get in a month or two," he said. "And this, sadly, we think is part of what we're going to be facing. More frequency and more intensity."

At least 27 people died in New Jersey as a result of the remnants of Ida. At least six are still missing, according to Murphy.

In New York, where at least 17 people died, police released footage of an attempted water rescue during the storm inside a flooded basement in Queens. Three people, one a toddler, drowned. 

President Biden is scheduled on Tuesday to come to New Jersey to survey the damage. Residents hope that means more help is on the way.

First published on September 5, 2021 / 7:42 PM

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