The region of the United States, which was hit last week by Hurricane Ida and the subsequent power outage, faces a new problem on Wednesday: extreme heat. A wind chill of 42 degrees is expected in southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi on Wednesday.
Centres have therefore been opened in and around New Orleans, where people can take shelter in air-conditioned rooms.
New Orleans City Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Police Chief Shaun Ferguson have urged residents who have been evacuated not to return until power is restored. In addition to the heat, there is also a fear of looting in the city. Several arrests have already been made in recent days, and the city has imposed a curfew from 8 pm to 6 am until further notice. “There’s no reason people need to be out on the streets at night,” Police Chief Ferguson said at a news conference.
Some parts of the main grid, which brings power to the city, should be restored during Wednesday. After that, according to Mayor Cantrell, work can be done on repairing the distribution lines that bring power to households.
The death toll from Hurricane Ida rose to six on Tuesday. Two electrical workers in the state of Alabama died while working on repairs to the electrical grid, news channel NBC reports. The storm has previously killed four people, two in Louisiana and two in Mississippi. A seventh man is missing, and he is believed to have died while walking through a flood plain where an alligator attacked him.
Sixteen years ago, more than 1,800 people died in this part of the US from Hurricane Katrina. The levees and other infrastructure that was subsequently built around New Orleans appear to have prevented much suffering. Still, the exact extent of the damage and the number of victims will only be known in the coming days and weeks, authorities warn.