President Joe Biden held a press briefing with officials from Louisiana and Mississippi including FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Governor Tate Reeves
Biden reported there has been at least one confirmed death, but they anticipate that number will likely grow. Currently, he said 1 million people in Louisiana are without power. While the storm has moved north some areas are still dealing with the storm surge and flash flooding.
The American Red Cross has already opened 50 shelters across the Gulf Coast. More than 5,000 members of the National Guard from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas have been activated to assist in recovery efforts. More than 200 generators have been deployed that were moved into the area ahead of time.
Biden said it could take another full day to fully assess the total damage.
Governor John Bell Edwards of Louisiana said Ida came on shore with “everything as advertised” however, the good news is that the levee system worked as intended with no levees overflowing or breaking.
“It would be a different story all-together having any of those levee systems fail,” said Edwards. “However, we’re going to be dealing with this damage for quite a while.”
He estimated it was likely closer to 2 million without power. He said their priority is to get hospitals back up and off generator power. In the meantime they are working to identify additional generators if needed.
Governor Reeves said Mississippi is in a bit of a different position than that of Louisiana. by 12:30 on Monday the eye of the storm was west of Jackson which could mean another 18 to 22 hours of the eye of the storm being in the state. The storm has slowed down to roughly 8 miles per hour which could mean more rainfall for the state than anticipated.
Reeves said due to the large size of the storm the biggest threat for tornadic activity still lies in the coastal areas and just north of there.
However, the good news is because the storm has slowed down wind speeds have significantly slowed down in the central part of the state.
“We know that our greatest threats here in Mississippi are with rising waters and power outages. We’ve got 135,000 plus Mississippi dwellings that do not have power,” said Reeves. He said that number is expected to increase.
Reeves said at this time it is evident that the federal search and rescue partners are not needed and have been released to help Louisiana. Reeves said state teams will be enough considering the relief of potential damage.