LIVE BLOG: Water rescues still underway after Ida in southeast Louisiana

HOUSTON – Hurricane Ida made landfall Sunday afternoon as a Category 4 storm in southeast Louisiana.

Officials said residents should expect to face weeks, if not months, of cleanup.

Wind and water battered small towns, snapping huge trees and sending roofs flying into people’s yards. The floodwaters swamped several streets and many homes.

After the storm passed, KPRC 2 team witnessed people walking in thigh-high water, in and out of the community.

Those walking out were seeking shelter and water. Others were going to check on loved ones that they hadn’t heard from since the storm.

Here is a timeline look at what KPRC 2 reporters saw as they covered Ida, plus updates from local and national officials:

Monday, Aug. 30

9 p.m. - New Orleans remains without electricity

Power is still out in New Orleans.

KPRC 2 crew spotted a caravan of utility trucks driving down Poydras Street.

In the background of the video, you can hear the faint hum of emergency generators keeping a few lights on.

8:15 p.m. - I-10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans only open for emergency responders

Officials announced that Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is only open for emergency responders.

There is debris in the roadway, making this portion of the interstate unsafe for the traveling public.

8 p.m. - “We’ll be back at it soon,” says one Louisiana man

Resiliency in the face of disaster is an amazing thing to see.

KPRC 2 reporter Robert Arnold spent the day in LaPlace and the evening in Norco, two small cities badly impacted by high floodwater and damage amid Ida.

One man told KPRC 2: “We’re from the bayou. A little wind and water don’t matter to us. We’ll be back at it soon.”

7:30 p.m. - KPRC 2 team surveys damage, flooding in Norco, Louisiana

6 p.m. - Rescue efforts underway in Norco, St. Charles Parish

5 p.m. - KPRC 2′s crew talks with residents about damage, flooding in Norco, Louisiana

3 p.m. - KPRC 2′s crew on the ground shows damage, flooding from Ida in Norco, Louisiana

Residents in Norco, Louisiana said Monday afternoon that it has never flooded like this before.

KPRC 2′s team encounter people who were walking in the high-water to get to stranded families members.

Search and rescue crews had to pull people from attics Monday morning.

The water is receding but some are walking in it to find supplies, such as water and food.

The video here shows what KPRC’s news crew was seeing as they traveled through Louisiana Monday afternoon.

2:45 p.m. - Team explores heavy damage in LaPlace, Louisiana

2:30 p.m. - KPRC 2 goes along with the guard for rescues in in St. John the Baptist Parish

KPRC 2 rode with the Army National Guard on rescues in St. John the Baptist Parish.

The local sheriff there said 1,000 people have been rescued as of Monday afternoon.

Trucks are going into high-water neighborhoods to rescue residents and dropping them off at New Wine Church in LaPlace, Louisiana where they are boarding buses.

12:40 p.m. - Animals brought to Houston from Louisiana before Ida hit go up for adoption Monday

Animals that were brought to Houston to escape Hurricane Ida in Louisiana are to go up for adoption today.

12:34 p.m. - Heavy rain and storm surge cause flooding in Biloxi, Mississippi

10:30 p.m. - KPRC 2 reporter Robert Arnold shows damage outside of New Orleans, while headed to LaPlace

9 a.m. - KPRC 2 reporter Brandon Walker follows a rescue mission underway in Lafitti, Jefferson Parish

7 a.m. New Orleans officials ask residents to remain indoors

According to a text message from NOLAReady, New Orleans officials said 911 is inactive and power remains out.

Roads are also covered in debris, trees and power lines.

“Although weather passed, continue to stay indoors and off road,” according to the message.

6 a.m. - KPRC 2 reporter Brandon Walker reports live from New Orleans

5 a.m. - NBC News Special Report

Ida has now weakened to a tropical storm.

Hurricane Ida made landfall Sunday as a Category 4 storm.

Sunday’s full video coverage of Hurricane Ida including live news coverage, news briefings and live images

Your resource guide

Latest forecast updates from KPRC 2 Meteorologists

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Here is KPRC2′s 2021 Hurricane & Flood Survival Guide

KPRC 2′s team is reporting from New Orleans and will meet with officials and residents throughout the severe weather event. This will serve as a running blog of the latest information and photos and videos from Hurricane Ida.

Sunday, Aug. 29

10 p.m. - First storm-related death reported

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the first storm-related death was reported.

A 60-year-old man in Ascension Parish died after a tree fell on his home.

“Tragically, we have our first death of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. Please shelter in place and stay safe. We will begin damage assessments and search and rescue missions as soon as it is safe in the morning. Please pray for Louisiana,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

9:50 p.m. - Extreme flooding reported in LaPlace

9:30 p.m. - Entergy says power won’t be restored Sunday night

Entergy said the power in Orleans Parish, including New Orleans, will likely not be restored Sunday night, but they are working on a solution.

Official said due to Hurricane Ida’s intensity, all eight transmissions lines that deliver power into New Orleans are currently out of service.

“When this occurred, it caused a load imbalance in the area and resulted in generation in the area coming offline,” Entergy said.

Officials said they are assessing damage and a plan to restore power.

8 p.m. - Sewerage, water board opening on self-generated power to drain stormwater, pump drinking water

7:30 p.m. - Street flooding near Tulane University in New Orleans

7 p.m. - New Orleans, Orleans Parish without power, according to Entergy

Due to the catastrophic transmission damage, all of Orleans Parish is currently without power, according to Entergy NOLA.

6 p.m. - Damage along West Esplanade Avenue in Kenner

(KPRC)
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(KPRC)

5:30 p.m. KPRC 2 reporter Brandon Walker reporting live from New Orleans

5:30 p.m. KPRC 2 reporter Robert Arnold reporting live from Kenner

4:50 p.m. - NOLA officials say winds have not yet peaked

4:30 p.m. - KPRC 2 news crew sees man to safety after he crashes into pole during Hurricane Ida

As the crew was maneuvering around some debris while driving through Metairie in Jefferson Parish they came across a man who had struck a light pole just moments before. The man told KPRC 2 reporters he had hit head hard in the crash. Thankfully, another area resident driving in the area recognized the man and offered him a ride home. KPRC 2 reporters helped the man to the vehicle and saw him off to safety. The National Weather Service Office in New Orleans warned that Ida’s wind speed remains extreme and urged residents not to venture out. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission also told people to stay off the roads.

KPRC 2′s news crew in Louisiana assisted a man who got into an accident as Hurricane Ida barreled down on the state.

As the crew was maneuvering around some debris while driving through Metairie in Jefferson Parish they came across a man who had struck a pole just moments before.

The man told KPRC 2 reporters he had hit his head hard in the crash. Thankfully, another area resident driving by recognized the man and offered him a ride home. KPRC 2 reporters helped the man to the neighbor’s vehicle and saw him off to safety.

The National Weather Service Office in New Orleans warned that Ida’s wind speed remains extreme and urged residents not to venture out. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission also told people to stay off the roads.

4:20 p.m. - Guidance from President Biden

3:23 p.m. - Conditions in Metairie, Louisiana

House in Metairie, Louisiana with storm damage. The roof was previously under repair, now the wind is peeling back the blue tarp. (KPRC)
Kids playing in the rain. Mom Britney says she’ll call them in, when things start flying around in Metairie, Louisiana. (KPRC)
Older gentleman crashed into the light pole. KPRC2 Robert Arnold found the man sitting outside his car and helped him. (KPRC)

1:15 p.m. - Conditions along south shore of Lake Pontchartrain

10:40 a.m. - Fire Chief Samuel Pena on Ida’s approach

10:30 a.m. - KPRC 2′s news crew is documenting what they see on the ground Sunday

KPRC 2 news crew (KPRC 2)
KPRC 2 news crew (KPRC 2)

10:15 a.m. - Ida starting to crawl across New Orleans

9:15 a.m. - FEMA mobilizes to support response to Hurricane Ida

More than 2,000 FEMA employees deployed to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texa. Seven FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams were dispatched to Louisiana and Mississippi. In addition, 13 Urban Search and Rescue teams have also been deployed.

Through mutual-aid agreements, FEMA activated 100 ambulances and emergency medical service providers for post-storm evacuation support, as needed, according to a FEMA release.

“FEMA headquarters and regional operation centers are activated around the clock,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell in a release. “We’ve pre-positioned equipment and supplies throughout the states to ensure resources are in place. Our federal partners join us on the ground supporting the response to this dangerous hurricane,” she said. “This is the heartbeat of the federal family that has come together to support the people of Louisiana. I urge residents in the storm’s path to prepare now for significant impacts.”

Saturday, Aug. 28

8:10 p.m. KPRC 2′s Robert Arnold reports live as a flood gate is closed on Lake Ponchartrain

6:00 p.m. - Louisiana residents make preparations for Hurricane Ida

5:30 p.m. - Closing federal levee system to prevent storm surge in New Orleans

The Flood Protection Authority closed the flood gates in the federal levee system to prevent storm surge in New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Ida.

That includes the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier, which can be seen from space and is the largest design-build civil works project in the history of the Army Corps.

3:00 p.m. - Behind the scenes: What the KPRC team is eating on the road?

While on the road we need food that’s quick and won’t go bad.

A staple is peanut butter sandwiches. (No jelly.)

KPRC 2 producer Debbie Strauss uses her workspace in the back of the SUV to make the sandwiches. They found squeezable peanut butter in a tube, making the job a little easier.

“We bag them up and we’re ready to go,” she said.

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2:30 p.m. - Monitoring COVID surge amid Ida

At a motel parking lot in Houma, Louisiana, the team encountered a couple of paramedics loading up gear into ambulances. They said they are in town for the COVID surge, now they’ll transition to help with Ida.

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(KPRC)

2:00 p.m. - Louisiana National Guard

Along the way in Boutte, Louisiana, the KPRC team ran into a couple of US Army Guard members in a Humvee. They’ll be stationed at a FEMA site handing out MREs.

Private Specialist Linn’s father was in the military and assisted during Katrina. Specialist Linn remembers that time, he was 5 years old.

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1:00 p.m. - KPRC 2 team gathers final supplies before the long haul

12:30 p.m. - Spotted at Walmart: Impeccably dressed princess may just be the most adorable Hurricane prepper

(KPRC 2)

All hail Her Majesty! This impeccably dressed princess may just be the most adorable Hurricane prepper. KPRC 2′s news crew met this cute lil’ queen while at a Louisiana Walmart. Residents across Louisiana’s coast are preparing for the approach of intensifying Hurricane Ida.

Little Tiana is wearing an Elsa gown. She was spotted shopping with her mom, grabbing last minute supplies. We asked Tiana, “Why are you wearing this lovely dress?”

Tiana’s mom replied, “She woke up this morning and asked to wear it, so why not!”

12:15 p.m. - New Orleans mayor holds news conference on Hurricane Ida

The New Orleans news conference is viewable in the video player below.

12:08 p.m. - KPRC 2 crew stocking up on gasoline ahead of Hurricane Ida

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(KPRC 2)
(KPRC 2)
(KPRC 2)

Now is the time to rush your storm preparations to completion. The same goes for your KPRC2 crews in NOLA. We’re stocking up on gasoline whenever we can find it. Where will we safely store it? Robert Arnold and Wlad Moquete are building a hitch cargo carrier.

10 a.m. - KPRC 2′s Robert Arnold on traffic building as residents evacuate ahead of Hurricane Ida

9:10 a.m. - Here’s what KPRC 2′s Brandon Walker is observing Saturday morning Lake Pontchartrain in southeastern Louisiana

8:30 a.m. - The social media accounts we’re following for accurate, up-to-the-minute info on Hurricane Ida

(KPRC 2)

From weather advisories and forecast models to photos and videos from the field, these social media accounts are providing accurate, up-to-the-minute information on the storm. Click here to view the list.

Friday, Aug. 27

10:30 p.m. - A look at Bourbon Street on Friday night before Ida

10 p.m. - New Orleans Mayor says no time for mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Ida

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Friday that there was no time to order a mandatory evacuation of the city.

Cantrell says Ida intensified so quickly there was not enough time to turn the freeways into evacuation routes.

”Time is not on our side,” said Cantrell. “Our time for even implementing contra-flow, we don’t have the time to do so.”

9:30 p.m. - A view of New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Ida’s landfall

9:30 p.m. - KPRC 2 photojournalist Wlad Moquete editing package before 10 p.m. newscast

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9:30 p.m. Metairie nurse prepares for five-day shift at hospital

Vonschella Gibson and her 10-year-old son prepare for Hurricane Ida in Metairie, Louisiana Friday night. (KPRC)

As the sun began dipping below the horizon thousands headed north. While others hit the stores for supplies.

”We’re stocking up on sleepwear, water, like if the lights go out, food, snacks,” said Vonschella Gibson, a nurse in Metairie whose preparing for a five-day shift at the hospital.

KPRC 2 caught up with her outside a big box store and she loaded the supplies into her car.

Her 10-year-old son is keeping a brave face.

“I’m a little bit scared because it’s getting high, the hurricane,” said Wellington Gibson.

8:45 p.m. - Reporter Robert Arnold preps package for 10 p.m. newscast from New Orleans

(KPRC)

7:30 p.m. - Bottled water and plywood available in Metairie, Louisiana

The KPRC 2 team checked out Walmart and Home Depot on Friday night. Store shelves are beginning to thin, as residents stocked up on everything from food to plywood and water. But the store was actively restocking.

The team also visited several gas stations on the way into New Orleans. Some gas stations have started running out of gas.

Bottled water and plywood are available in Metairie, Louisiana. But people are stocking up. (KPRC)
(KPRC)

7:20 p.m. - Calm inside big-box stores in Metairie. Some empty shelves

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7 p.m. - Traffic building outside of Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans

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6: 15 p.m. - No gas sign stopped in Gonzales, southeast of Baton Rouge

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6 p.m. - Brandon Walker gives an update from east New Orleans

5:15 p.m. - Team spots power truck while heading to New Orleans

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5 p.m. - Louisiana residents prepare for hurricane

4:30 p.m. - Reporters past Lake Charles on the way to New Orleans

On our way to cover Hurricane Ida in New Orleans on the anniversary of Hurricane Laura’s landfall in Lake Charles. A brutal storm from which many are still recovering.

1 p.m. Friday - City of New Orleans issues mandatory evacuation

The City of New Orleans issues an mandatory evacuation for areas outside levees and a voluntary evacuation for the rest of the city.

11 a.m. Friday - KPRC 2 Team heads to New Orleans

KPRC 2 reporter Brandon Walker shared a video while the team traveled along LA-46 in St. Bernard Parish.

“You’ll see the parade of boats parked alongside the highway. That’s because low-lying parts of the area are without much protection. See that protective wall through which we drove? That’s the barrier. For now, boaters are getting their vessels to the right side of the wall. These are shrimpers, other fishermen, and crabbers, too. Millions of dollars of Louisiana’s seafood industry is bracing for Ida.”


About the Authors:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.