Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast on Sunday, bringing with it catastrophic levels of flooding and 150 mph winds that tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the U.S. mainland.
Officials described chest-level floodwaters filling homes. The entire city of New Orleans lost power. Levees were overtopped. Winds scattered power lines. Residents were trapped on rooftops and in attics.
At least one death was reported by Monday morning, but much of the damage remained unaccounted for, and rescue efforts remain underway.
The winds also slowed down on Monday, causing Ida to become a tropical storm as it centered over Mississippi. But dangerous winds and flash floods continue to threaten the region, complicating efforts to save trapped residents and repair electricity grids.
Notably, Ida smashed into Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, striking the same coastline and drawing instant comparisons between the two storms. Katrina caused widespread devastation, with a death toll of over 1,800 and damage topping $175 billion.
But Louisiana has worked to improve its levee system to prevent that level of catastrophe from reoccurring.
"There is no doubt that the coming days and weeks are going to be extremely difficult for our state, and many, many people are going to be tested in ways that we can only imagine today," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a Sunday press conference shortly before the storm made landfall. "But I can also tell you, as a state, we have never been more prepared."
View photos of Ida's impact below. This post will be updated throughout the day.
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