The Associated Press has reported that the death toll from Hurricane Ida has climbed to 26 in the state of Louisiana. Recently, health officials reported that 11 more people had died due to extreme heat in the greater New Orleans area.
While conditions in the state of Louisana are steadily improving, more than one million people remain without electricity. Moreover, 96% of utility customers across the five parishes in southeastern Louisiana remain without electricity. In addition, the HuffPost reports that downed power poles and snapped power lines can still be seen across U.S. Highway 90.
“All the ceilings fell. You can see daylight through the roof,” Coy Verdin told the HuffPost about the damage that the hurricane did to his home.
“The only thing I have left is my boat and some of my commercial fishing rigging."
In the midst of the recovery efforts, there has been a renewed push to have kids return to school. Ten days after Hurricane Ida hit the U.S., 250,000 students across southeastern Louisiana have not returned to school.
“Now more than ever, our children stand to benefit from the comfort that structured and routine daily schooling can bring,” New Orleans School Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. said.
In the state's largest city, New Orleans, Lewis Jr. has reported that many schools received minimal damage, but remain without power. Elsewhere, Lafourche Parish Schools Superintendent Jarod Martin says the road to reopening schools will be "long and extensive" with no projected return date.
“Until power is restored to our facilities and we’re able to obtain further information regarding damage to the infrastructure of our schools, we’re unable to provide an estimated date for a return to in-person learning,” the St. James Parish public school system told the Associated Press.
Beyond school reopenings, 44,000 people in Louisiana remain without water and GasBuddy reports that 56% of gas stations in Baton Rouge are still facing shortages. As a result, the Associated Press reports that more than 3,000 people remain in shelters and about 25,000 remain in hotels provided by FEMA.