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Ida death toll in La. climbs to 15

Hurricane Ida knocked down many trees in Prairieville, La.
Hurricane Ida knocked down many trees in Prairieville, La.(Jordan Domingue)
Published: Aug. 29, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 1:44 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The destructive and deadly Hurricane Ida caused widespread damage across Louisiana due to its historic strength.

The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed two more deaths on Tuesday, Sept. 7, attributed to the storm. The first was a 68-year-old man who fell off a roof while making repairs. The second was a 71-year-old man who died from lack of oxygen during the power outage. Both were in St. Tammany Parish. The death toll now stands at 15 in the state.

An elderly man who died on Sunday, Sept. 5, was the 13th victim. LDH reported the 74-year-old New Orleans man died from heat exhaustion due to the power outage throughout the city.

RELATED: Elderly New Orleans man is 13th life claimed by Ida, state health department says

A total of seven people died after seven nursing homes were evacuated to a warehouse in Independence, according to officials.

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The St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office reported the third death from the storm was in the south Vacherie area. Deputies said a call from family members who were concerned about a relative prompted a welfare check and the man was found dead on Wednesday, Sept. 1. They added the evidence so far shows he died during Ida. More details will be released when they become available.

The second confirmed death was a drowning near I-10 and West End Boulevard in New Orleans. The victim’s name was not released.

RELATED: Officials report second death from Hurricane Ida

A fallen tree was responsible for the first reported fatality. According to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, the tree fell on a residence off LA 621 in Prairieville. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The Louisiana Department of Health reported the victim was a 60-year-old man.

Sheriff Bobby Webre said there were other people in the home at the time the tree fell.

“First of all, this storm was every bit as devastating as advertised from the perspective of the strength at landfall and the continued strength,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards during a phone call shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday evening. “The wind speed, the surge, the rain, it’s all been very devastating.”

Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 at 11:55 a.m. at Port Fourchon. Shortly after landfall, officials in St. Bernard Parish reported that 22 barges broke loose from their mooring and were drifting in the Mississippi River.

The storm hit on the 16th anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans due to a systematic failure in the levee system. New Orleans also suffered major infrastructure damage with Hurricane Ida with the collapse of a major electrical transmission tower. The damage caused a city-wide power outage.

RELATED: Major electrical tower collapse leaves New Orleans completely without power

Gov. Edwards noted that roughly 800,000 electricity outages were reported as of 9 p.m. Sunday.

Curfews are in place across the state as Ida barrels across the state during the overnight hours.

A Livingston Parish fire chief told WAFB’s Austin Kemker he had to tell a stranded family that they were unable to rescue them because the road was blocked by trees. The family called for assistance because they became stuck on the roadway by two downed trees that fell across the roadway.

“The fire chief I was talking to said it was one of the hardest decisions he’s had to make in his career was to tell that family that they are going to have to ride this storm out in their car,” Kemker said.

“We’re going to have tremendous amount of damage from all sources,” Governor Edwards added. “Because of the continued threats of the weather, it really is going to be about first light in the morning before we can get out around southeast Louisiana in a robust way doing search and rescue.”

We will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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