By WHY VERDANDI
Hathian city crews started the arduous task of cleaning up debris and flood waters after Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, hit the city with winds reaching up to 100 mph at the height of the storm. The low-lying areas of the city were also flooded when a 12 storm surge swept in. Currently, most residents are without power, and phone service is out for many. Emergencies services have had to rescue many people due to the hurricane, including one man whose house collapsed on top of him.
Hathian Parish officials are asking residents who have evacuated from their homes ahead of Hurricane Ida to stay away from their homes for a few more days as streets remain lined with debris, trees, and downed power lines Monday night. While residents are asked to stay away from their homes, when they do return, they should be prepared to stay there for some time. In addition, they will need to bring everything they need for at least a week including food, ice, water, and fuel.
A boil water advisory remains in effect for the entire parish, and officials say they have “limited to no communications abilities.” In addition, some parts of the parish will be without power for up to a month. This could prove life-threatening as intense heat moves into the region. In fact, The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for southern Louisiana from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. More than 2 million people in the area are under the advisory, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
That means some residents who stayed and rode out the storm will be forced to deal with heat indices up to 105 degrees, without air conditioning. Heat is the No. 1 weather-related cause of fatalities in the US, the NWS said. The vast majority of Louisiana’s outages are among customers of Entergy, which said Monday the storm damaged eight high-voltage lines serving New Orleans and other parishes. Restoring power could take more than three weeks based on historical restoration times, Entergy said.
Other challenges for Hathians include interruptions to gas supplies, disruptions to communication networks, lack of clean water, and more. The streets of Hathian are littered with debris, making driving difficult. Several businesses reported that trees have crashed through windows, and the local theater has a cow on the roof.
Distribution centers with food, water, and charging stations are set up at Hathian Civil Services and the Hathian Fire Department. Debris placed on the curbs of homes will be picked up starting Tuesday, while limited trash pick up will begin Thursday.