After Ida wiped out power to more than 1 million, Louisiana residents now face gas shortages and dwindling supplies

In the New Orleans neighborhood of Algiers, Yolanda Teague told CNN’s Brian Todd her family is running out of enough to eat and drink.

Teague, along with her boyfriend, eight children and two of her children’s friends are living in a couple rooms of their four-bedroom house, sequestered after the roof collapsed into the living room. One of her children has a heart condition that makes overheating extremely dangerous for him.

Making sure he is safe is of immediate concern for Teague, as the state faces scorching heat and power outages — and the store she has access to only stayed open long enough for her family to get a few drinks.

In Plaquemines Parish, about 65 miles away, officials reminded residents in a Tuesday release that there isn’t a confirmed timeline for the power to be restored.

“Due to this – supplies such as water, groceries, gasoline and medical supplies have been depleted and will not be readily available,” the release said.

More than 990,000 customers in Louisiana and nearly 30,000 in Mississippi were without power early Wednesday morning, according to PowerOutage.US. Some parishes have warned residents that the power outages could last at least a month as the state recovers from now-Tropical Depression Ida, which made landfall Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane and contributed to at least five confirmed deaths.

With the incoming heat, the lack of electricity could prove life-threatening.

“This is not a livable condition,” Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng told CNN’s Don Lemon of the destruction in the area, adding that residents who chose to ride out the storm are now packing the highways to get out.

All of New Orleans was left completely dark by the storm, but Mayor Latoya Cantrell said there should be “some level of transmission” into the city by Wednesday evening. Regional energy provider Entergy announced two possible ways to do that: one restores transmission lines and the other creates a temporary “stand-alone grid” for the area.

But there is still a long way to go before the majority of residents have power restored, and until then, many are relying on gasoline-powered generators.

Unfortunately, a large chunk of gas stations in Louisiana cities don’t have fuel in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, according to outage figures compiled by GasBuddy.

In New Orleans, cars were lined up overnight at the few gas stations in the area that were open.

Governor ‘not satisfied with 30 days’ without power

The damage in Louisiana is extensive and the obstacles to regaining power are difficult, but officials have their sights set on restoring electricity.

“I’m not satisfied with 30 days, the Entergy people aren’t satisfied with 30 days, nobody who’s out there needing power is satisfied with that,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

But Edwards said he is “mindful that we just had the strongest hurricane, at least tied for the strongest, that the state has ever experienced and infrastructure has been damaged.”

Damage assessments took place in the state Monday and Tuesday, and when those are done power companies can start putting together a plan, he said.

On Tuesday, the city of New Orleans said there are several ways power can be restored, but cautioned it’ll take time.

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure for New Orleans Ramsey Green explained that to get power back, the city does not need all eight of the power lines that feed the city to be restored.

Green said Entergy is identifying how many of them it can get working quickly.

“We can get power to this city, but we may not be able to get it to your house immediately,” Green said.

The outlook is brighter for many Mississippi residents impacted by the storm. Entergy Senior Communications Specialist Mara Hartmann told CNN that power would be restored to customers along the I-20 corridor by the end of Tuesday and, while much of the damage was in metro Jackson and “especially” southwest Mississippi, power would be restored by Thursday.

Residents move a cart with gas cans through a flooded neighborhood on Tuesday in Barataria, Louisiana.

Rescues continue in areas ‘inundated with water’

Entering the third day since Ida made landfall, officials are still conducting rescues from the deadly storm.

Ida has contributed to five deaths, including a drowning in Jefferson Parish confirmed Tuesday.

Hundreds of people have been rescued, but search-and-rescue crews haven’t been able to access some of the hardest-hit areas, so it’s not yet clear how many residents might be still be trapped by flooding or debris.
Two dead and 10 injured after Mississippi highway washed away by heavy rain
Water rescues continued Tuesday in St. Tammany Parish, according to posts on the fire department’s Facebook page.

The St. Tammany Parish Fire District said the area of Avery Estates “is still inundated with water.”

Photos show several rescuers loading at least one resident into a high-water vehicle.

In Slidell, which is in St. Tammany Parish, the police department warned residents Tuesday supplies in the area are limited and “there is no relief in sight.”

“We are not trying to be pessimistic, but this is the reality right now,” the Slidell Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Police urged residents who evacuated to stay away.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, people wait in line for gas Tuesday in New Orleans.

What’s next for Ida

As the storm continues to move north, more states are feeling — and preparing for — its impact.

After slamming into the Gulf Coast Sunday, Ida moved into Tennessee, parts of which were still recovering from devastating flooding just over a week ago. Areas west of Nashville received 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain from Ida but were spared from significant flooding.
Hurricane Ida destroyed a historic building that was a second home to jazz great Louis Armstrong

Meanwhile, part of North Carolina and West Virginia declared states of emergency in anticipation of the storm heading their way.

“I have declared a State of Emergency for all 55 West Virginia counties due to the increasing threat of flash flooding and severe storms from now-Tropical Depression Ida,” Gov. Jim Justice tweeted Tuesday.

“All West Virginians need to absolutely be ready for the potential impact Ida may bring to our state,” Justice said. “And please: do not endanger yourselves, your loved ones, or our first responders by trying to drive through flood waters.”

CNN’s Rebekah Riess, Keith Allen, Matt Egan, Amanda Watts, Claudia Dominguez and Taylor Ward contributed to this report.

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