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New Orleans Restores 911 Emergency Service: Ida Update

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·6 min read
New Orleans Restores 911 Emergency Service: Ida Update
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(Bloomberg) -- Louisiana residents were assessing the damage and more than a million homes and businesses were without power a day after Ida rolled ashore as a powerful hurricane.

The storm, which packed some of the most powerful winds ever to hit the area, drove a wall of water inland when it made landfall Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane about 60 miles (97 kilometers) south of New Orleans. As it lumbers north, Ida is unleashing a catastrophic amount of rain that could total 2 feet when all is said and done.

Ida struck Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which was the costliest cyclone in U.S. history and left much of New Orleans in ruins. Though the area’s levees, pumps and other infrastructure rebuilt after that 2005 storm have held up well so far, the threat isn’t over yet as rainfall north of New Orleans flows back down the Mississippi River.

Reports of major structural damage are emerging, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and analysts estimate that the storm could cost insurers at least $15 billion. Ida was downgraded to a tropical depression Monday afternoon as it moved inland.

All time stamps are Eastern Standard Time.

Key Developments:

Two deaths have been attributed to the storm so farBiden vowed to provide federal support to Louisiana and MississippiEntergy said it’s premature to speculate when it can restore powerNew Orleans has restored its 911 emergency service

PBF Chalmette Refinery Without Power Since Sunday (4:35 p.m.)

PBF Energy’s Chalmette refinery and its product truck racks east of New Orleans along the Mississippi River have been without power since Sunday, the company said in statement.

The power loss occurred when the regional electric grid shut down during Hurricane Ida.

911 Emergency Service Restored in New Orleans (3:18 p.m)

Emergency phone services have been “fully restored” in New Orleans, according to Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

In a tweet Monday afternoon, Cantrell urged people to use 911 to call for emergency assistance and 311 for non-emergency aid.

The city’s emergency communications system was knocked out by Ida, prompting officials to tell people to seek aid at fire stations or by trying to flag down police officers.

Phillips 66 Says Alliance Refinery Took on Water (2:26 p.m.)

Phillips 66’s Alliance refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, has standing water following Sunday’s arrival of Hurricane Ida, the company said in a statement.

The refinery shut down Saturday ahead of the storm. During the onslaught of the Category 4 hurricane, there was a breach of a temporary levee constructed by local government north of the refinery.

Another Death Attributed to Ida (2:10 p.m. NY)

Another death has been attributed to the hurricane after a motorist drove into floodwaters and drowned, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said during a media briefing. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards previously said that one person had died due to the storm, but the death toll was expected to rise.

So far, city crews haven’t found any “widespread structural damage” in their block-by-block inspections of the city, Cantrell said. Police made several arrests amid scattered reports of looting. National Guard troops will assist law enforcement officers in patrolling neighborhoods tonight, she added.

Residents who evacuated ahead of the storm shouldn’t return until the all-clear is given, Cantrell said: “Now is not the time for re-entry.”

Cargill Grain Facility Has ‘Significant Damage’ (2:01 p.m.)

The agriculture terminal in Reserve, Louisiana, has no time frame for resuming operations, Cargill spokesman Daniel Sullivan said Monday in an emailed statement.

After Hurricane Ida blew through the state, the area “is still facing significant personal safety concerns and power outages, so we are just able to start assessing the storm’s impact on the river system,” he said.

Biden Vows to Support Louisiana, Mississippi (1:55 p.m.)

President Joe Biden vowed Monday to continue providing federal support in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall south of New Orleans and has left more than a million homes and businesses without power.

“We’re providing any help that you’re going to need,” Biden said at the White House. “We’re going to stand with you and the people of the gulf as long as it takes you to recover.”

Biden met virtually with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves. The White House has said that the president is being regularly updated about the storm’s course and impact, and he visited FEMA headquarters in Washington for a briefing on Sunday as Ida made landfall.

‘Premature to Speculate’ When Entergy Can Restore Power (1:45 p.m.)

More people will lose power today as Ida plows through Louisiana and Mississippi and it’s unclear how long they’ll be in the dark. Outages in the hardest-hit areas may last for for weeks, according to Entergy Corp.

More than 945,000 Entergy customers in Louisiana and Mississippi were without power as of 7 a.m. local time, according to a statement Monday. The company said that 216 substations and more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines are out of service, including one line that spans the Mississippi River that withstood Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“It would be premature for me to speculate about when power will be restored” until the damage is assessed, said Deanna Rodriguez, CEO of Entergy New Orleans.

Ida’s Wrath Revealed in New Orleans (12:36 p.m.)

Downtown New Orleans was a tangle of busted bricks, tree limbs and wrecked vehicles after Hurricane Ida’s winds collapsed at least one building and blew the walls out of others.

At the Little Gem Saloon -- where Louis Armstrong once played -- the rear wall was destroyed, taking with it an iconic outdoor mural of jazz musicians. The remnants lay scattered across a parking lot on Monday morning.

Other structural casualties included The Original Italian Pie restaurant on Rampart Street: a nearby building collapse pushed a parked car into its facade. A large oak tree across from City Hall had its roots completely ripped from the ground.

Chemicals Poised for Price Increases (12:26 p.m.)

Prices for petrochemicals used to make plastics and other consumer products are poised to move higher after Ida slammed into a key production area around Baton Rouge in Louisiana.

Prices for some chemicals were “firmer” in Asia today as buyers assess the impact of the storm, according to ICIS, a data provider.

“We are also hearing significantly higher Latin American polymer prices overnight due to supply concerns from the U.S.,” said Muhamad Fadhil, vice president at market price reporting agency Argus Media Ltd.

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