WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for Louisiana, where powerful Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday afternoon, the White House said.
“Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the state of Louisiana and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Ida beginning on August 26, 2021, and continuing”, the White House said on Sunday.
The aid, which includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, is being made available to affected individuals in 25 parishes, including Ascension and Orleans, the White House specified.
On 29 August, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) released the first official report of a death related to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. APSO said the death was likely caused by a fallen tree at a residence off of Highway 621 in Prairieville, a suburb near Baton Rouge.
According to the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC), Ida weakened to a Category 2 storm on Sunday, but still poses a danger. More than 1 million households in Louisiana were left without power on Sunday, according to the latest data from poweroutage.us. In Mississippi, over 40,000 customers were left without electricity. The Mississippi River in New Orleans partially reversed its flow on Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Earlier on 29 August, emergency authorities in New Orleans announced that the city, which has a population of about 384,000, was left without power because of damage to energy facilities caused by Hurricane Ida. Entergy Nola specified that the only power in the city was coming from generators.
Biden approved emergency disaster declarations for Louisiana and Mississippi on Friday and Saturday, respectively, authorising direct federal assistance, including power generation.