At least one person has died as a result of Hurricane Ida as the storm continued to move inland early Monday morning and local authorities requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration be made.
UPI reports the first death attributed to Ida was announced by the sheriff’s office for Ascension Parish, located just south of Baton Rouge, one of the hardest-hit regions by the storm.
The sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page local deputies received reports of a citizen being possibly injured by a fallen tree near a residence, and arrived to find the occupant deceased,
The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed the death, describing the victim as a 60-year-old man.
“Tragically, we have our first death of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted. “Please shelter in place and stay safe.”
Tragically, we have our first death of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. Please shelter in place and stay safe. We will begin damage assessments and search and rescue missions as soon as it is safe in the morning. Please pray for Louisiana. #lagov #Ida #HurricaneIda #lawx https://t.co/qtqaN9uAH1
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) August 30, 2021
Edwards on Sunday requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration in response to the storm.
“Hurricane Ida is one of the strongest storms to ever hit Louisiana. It is our goal to assist our local agencies and the citizens of the state as quickly as possible and we have pre-positioned search and rescue teams, boats and other assets to begin helping people as soon as it is safe,” he said, according to UPI.
He revealed rescue crews would not be able to immediately help those who were stranded as the storm raged. And he warned his state to brace for potentially weeks of recovery.
“Many, many people are going to be tested in ways that we can only imagine today,” the governor told a news conference Sunday.
The National Weather Service on Sunday evening warned residents in the Braithwaite area to seek higher ground immediately, after the government of the Plaquemines Parish said it had received reports that a levee near the Parish line and Wit Ditch could overtop.
New Orleans Emergency Management Services has suspended all operations until conditions subside.
AP reports Ida’s top sustained wind were 60 mph early Monday, and forecasters said it would rapidly weaken throughout the morning while still dumping torrential rain over a large area.
The storm was centered about 95 miles south-southwest of Jackson, Mississippi, moving north at 8 mph.
UPI and the Associated Press (AP) contributed to this story