• Alex Gerlach

Following The Storm: The Devastation Of Hurricane Ida

Updated: Jun 19

On August 26th, Hurricane Ida slammed the coast of Louisiana, destroying homes and leaving millions without power for weeks. But its path of destruction didn’t end there. Residents of Pennsylvania, New York City, and New Jersey experienced historic flooding and it was the worst natural disaster the Northeast has seen since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

A satellite photo of Hurricane Ida hitting Louisiana
A satellite photo of Hurricane Ida hitting Louisiana

I remember Hurricane Sandy when it hit. I think we were all surprised. Because up until that night when the storm hit its peak, no one expected it to be as disastrous as it was. But then, the next morning, I saw photos of the devastation. Houses floated down rivers and beach homes were nothing more than structural beams.


In the United States, about 160 deaths could be linked to Hurricane Sandy, which was the deadliest we had seen since Hurricane Katrina.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, New Jersey
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Hurricane Katrina is still considered the most damaging hurricane to hit Louisiana, but Ida comes in at a close second. A Category 4 storm, Hurricane Ida had winds up to 150 mph and is the fifth deadliest storm to hit the U.S mainland.


Ida started its path northward from the Caribbean Islands and Cuba before tearing through Louisiana and surrounding areas. The Louisiana coast and New Orleans sustained significant damage even with the help of the city’s new levee system.


High winds and flooding destroyed buildings and caused significant damage to transmission lines.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans
The aftermath of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans

Pedacitos Blog Storyteller Kay was in New Orleans at the time of the storm. She even braved the whipping winds and heavy rains to report on this historic and devastating event. Here’s what she had to say:


“16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Mississippi Coast, Hurricane Ida hit Southeast Louisiana. This storm was very different and caused damage that will take a long time to repair. And the winds that hit Terrebonne Parish, where I was on August 29, were as brutal as any storm I’ve been in over the past 20 years and lasted longer than any I can remember in years past."

Hurricane Ida maintained strength even after landfall
Hurricane Ida maintained strength even after landfall

Widespread power outages are the biggest concern, especially given the intense heat that rolled in in the days post-storm. Several parishes that were the hardest hit will not have power until the end of September.

The governor pointed out that Ida was the fifth hurricane to hit the Louisiana coast in just over a year. Ida will take a long time to recover from so many areas that you wouldn’t travel to unless you knew someone in that area or had a specific reason to go. These are the areas that need the most help.”

The Northeast was also hit hard by Hurricane Ida, specifically New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Subsequent tropical storms forced the National Weather Service to issue the first-ever flash flood warning in NYC. A total of 45 people in NYC and NJ passed due to flooded basement apartments, homes, subways, and roads.

Hurricane Ida leaves behind a dismal reality for many as we are forced to acknowledge the growing threat of the climate crisis to our infrastructure and public health. Every year, natural disasters and storms become more severe across the globe. This means drier droughts, hotter heat waves, and extreme weather events.

Now more than ever, we must come together as a community to provide relief to devastated areas and become more conscientious global citizens. There are several organizations that are working tirelessly to get food, medical aid, and other necessary resources to support affected populations.

Breeze Airways is currently giving away $1M in travel for residents, first responders, nonprofits, and others needing to travel in order to volunteer in the recovery efforts for Hurricane Ida.

The flooded Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park, New York City
The flooded Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park, New York City

From Pedacitos Blog and Travel Community, we send our deepest condolences and thoughts to those affected by Hurricane Ida. We encourage you to explore the resources below to learn how you can get involved.

Resources:

Krewe of Red Beans

SBP

2nd Harvest Food Bank

World Central Kitchen

Bayou Community Foundation

Resources for NYC residents

FEMA

 

Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message and I will get back to you!

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