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New Orleans Swelters in Hurricane's Aftermath

Residents are under a heat advisory, and there's no power for air-con
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2021 5:02 PM CDT
New Orleans Swelters in Hurricane's Aftermath
Motorists wait in line, some of them for up to four hours, at a station that is sold out of gas, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in New Orleans, La. New Orleans is without power with the exception of those with generators.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – In New Orleans, the levees held during Hurricane Ida—but the entire city was left without power, as were hundreds of thousands of homes elsewhere in Louisiana and Mississippi, and those without generators will now have to swelter in dangerous heat without air-con. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for the region Tuesday, saying it had lowered the criteria for the warning because of the widespread outages, Axios reports. It said the heat index is likely to reach 105 degrees on Tuesday and 106 degrees on Wednesday.

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Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday that those who left the city before the hurricane shouldn't return yet. Many of those who remained are struggling to find gas, ice, food, and cash, the Wall Street Journal reports. "We have a lot of work ahead of us and no one is under the illusion that this is going to be a short process," Edwards said. With water treatment plants out of action, federal authorities say more than 440,000 people in 17 parishes have no water and 319,000 others are under boil-water advisories, reports the AP.

Edwards said Tuesday that more than 20,000 workers are repairing the state's electrical grid, but officials say it could get weeks to get back to normal. Hurricane Ida's winds knocked out all eight transmission lines linking New Orleans to the grid. Entergy New Orleans executives, however, delivered an encouraging update Tuesday, the Times-Picayune reports. The energy company said at least some power could be restored by Wednesday, much sooner than expected, though residents and businesses are likely to have to wait a lot longer than hospitals and water plants. (Read more Hurricane Ida stories.)

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