Hurricane Ida: more than 1m without power as New Orleans assesses damage

More than 1 million homes and businesses remained without power in and around New Orleans on Monday as residents and authorities began to assess “catastrophic” damage from Hurricane Ida, a 150mph monster storm that was the most powerful ever to hit Louisiana.

At least two people are known to have been killed: a motorist who drowned in New Orleans and a person hit by a falling tree outside Baton Rouge. The state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, and Joe Biden said they expected the death toll to rise.

Crews using airboats and helicopters were conducting search-and-rescue missions in several neighbourhoods, seeking people stranded in the attics or on roofs of flooded homes. Almost 5,000 national guard troops were activated, a number Edwards said would double by Tuesday.

The disaster has left scores of coastal Louisiana residents trapped by floodwaters and pleading to be rescued. Residents living amid the rivers and bayous along the state’s Gulf coast retreated to their attics or roofs and posted their addresses on social media with instructions for search-and-rescue teams on where to find them.

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