LAPLACE, La. (AP) — Rescuers set out in hundreds of boats and helicopters to reach people trapped by floodwaters Monday, and utility repair crews rushed in, after a furious Hurricane Ida swamped the Louisiana coast and ravaged the electrical grid in the stifling, late-summer heat.
Residents living amid the maze of rivers and bayous along the state’s Gulf Coast retreated desperately to their attics or roofs and posted their addresses on social media with instructions for search-and-rescue teams on where to find them.
“God blessed us that we all survived. I can rebuild, you know, I can rebuild. I can put a new house up. I’m not sure if I’m going to do it here or if I’m going to just move to Italy,” said Debbie Greco, whose home was inundated with four feet of water that rushed in.
More than 1 million customers in Louisiana and Mississippi — including all of New Orleans — were left without power as Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. mainland, pushed through on Sunday and early Monday before weakening into a tropical storm.
The damage was so extensive that officials warned it could be weeks before the power grid was repaired.