Hurricane Ida has been downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, but will continue to pose a risk of flash flooding as it makes its way across the Eastern half of the U.S. this week.
More than 940,000 homes in the Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi coastal areas faced potential storm surge damage, according to an analysis by CoreLogic ahead of the storm.
Ida, which hits just as new risk ratings for the National Flood Insurance Program are scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1, could also put uninsured property owners at risk. A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office noted that floodplain maps maintained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), may not reflect current flood hazards or the potential for flooding from heavy rainfall.
“Ida will continue to produce heavy rainfall tonight through Tuesday morning across portions of southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Alabama, resulting in considerable flash and urban flooding and significant river flooding impacts,” the National Weather Service warned in a bulletin Monday morning. “Rivers in the Lower Mississippi Valley will remain elevated into next week. As Ida moves inland, additional considerable flooding impacts are likely across portions of the Tennessee Valley, the Ohio Valley, and particularly in the Central and Southern Appalachians into the Mid-Atlantic through Wednesday.”
Risk of flash floods from Tropical Storm Ida
Source: National Weather Service.
Although levees reportedly held in the New Orleans area, the community of Braithwaite was underwater after a levee was overtopped, Brandon Clement of WXChasing reported.
— WXChasing (Brandon Clement) (@bclemms) August 30, 2021
More than 1 million people in Louisiana are without power, including all of New Orleans, the Weather Channel reported. Entergy New Orleans posted pictures of downed transmission lines that deliver power to the city.
As a result of #Ida’s catastrophic intensity, major transmission lines that deliver power to NOLA are currently out of service. We know of one downed transmission line that spans the MS River. The destroyed tower withstood #Katrina. Stay informed ➡️ https://t.co/wt1ZVlZSer. pic.twitter.com/D2F4FKdVfN
— Entergy New Orleans (@EntergyNOLA) August 30, 2021
Inman has reached out to Louisiana Realtors and the New Orleans Metropolitan of Realtors for insights into the extent of the damage and the storm’s potential impacts.