Days after Storm Ida made landfall twice in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, 2,000 volunteers from across the country have gone to the Gulf Coast to help the American Red Cross with recovery operations at "ground zero," according to AccuWeather Prime presenter Adam Del Rosso.
"While no two catastrophes are similar," Joy Squier of the American Red Cross told Del Rosso, "Ida undoubtedly left its imprint on Louisiana and up the coast."
Squier described Ida as a "major tragedy," adding that the Red Cross is still trying to figure out where everyone in need is to get them into shelters with cool air, food, water, and other necessities.
"Every tragedy is unique, and this one was very severe," Squier said.
Red Cross Assistance
The Red Cross erected around 20 shelters across Louisiana, providing protection and other essentials to about 2,000 individuals. Supplies that were given are also being distributed across the shelters and to other persons in need.
In the aftermath of the hurricane, the Red Cross works with the government and community partners to determine the next steps for people who rely on shelters.
According to Squier, people were still fleeing their houses and heading to shelters days after Ida made ashore.
Related Article: Post-Ida: Why Do People Still Live in Flood-Prone Areas?
Slowly Returning Home
Some individuals who fled ahead to the storm are beginning to return home, while others cannot return due to power outages and storm damage. People in such situations can get health and mental health assistance from the Red Cross and a place to remain in one of the state's shelters and other basic requirements like food and water.
Hurricane Amidst the Pandemic
With the COVID-19 pandemic still a concern in the United States, Squier said additional considerations for volunteers, such as mask use, mandatory wherever inside Louisiana and COVID testing.
"COVID adds a difficulty," she explained, "but it's nothing we can't handle."
"Time and time again, the people of Louisiana have been badly impacted," Squier added. "They're tenacious and proud."
Hurricane Ida was the second-most destructive storm to hit the US state of Louisiana on record, after only Hurricane Katrina, and was tied for the strongest landfall in the state by maximum winds with Hurricane Laura a year earlier and 1856 Last Island hurricane. Ida surpassed Ike in 2008 as the costliest storm on record. The ninth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and the fourth hurricane and second significant hurricane.
Ida formed as a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea on August 26 and became a tropical depression. The depression became stronger and became Tropical Storm Ida near Grand Cayman later that day. Ida became a hurricane on August 27 due to favorable circumstances, right before passing across western Cuba. The hurricane rapidly intensified over the Gulf of Mexico the next day, reaching its peak strength as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
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