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Flash flood watch for New Orleans as half a million residents still without power

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(NEW ORLEANS) — A flash flood watch has been issued for New Orleans until late Monday night as Louisiana continues its path toward recovery following Hurricane Ida’s disastrous touchdown.

Some regions of southern Louisiana could see two to four inches of heavy rain, threatening neighborhoods still picking up the pieces from one of the strongest hurricanes on record to hit the state.

Ida killed at least 11 people in Louisiana and initially left almost a million without power as it dumped more than 13 inches of rain in some communities. According to local utility company Entergy, Ida damaged or destroyed more than 14,000 poles, 2,223 transformers and 155 transmission structures.

Now, half a million customers remain without electricity more than a week later, according to PowerOutage.us.

The region is also experiencing hot and humid conditions, with temperatures reaching 90. The humidity will make it feel more like 95 to 100 degrees, forcing a heat advisory for the city as residents lack the power to run their air conditioners.

Several regions are also without water and some have been placed under boil-water advisories, while other homes are suffering from structural damages. Power lines and trees across southern Louisiana were uprooted by the hurricane’s 172 mph winds.

NOLAReady: Flash flood watch in effect in NOLA until 9pm today. Storm-related debris could block drains. Stay weather aware. Neutral ground parking allowed.

— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) September 6, 2021

Though the flash flood could hinder recovery efforts, the storm brewing in the southern Gulf is not predicted to become a tropical cyclone as it winds through the Gulf of Mexico. Still, officials are telling residents to stay alert.

The National Weather Service warns residents to move to higher ground, be cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers, and never drive their car into floodwaters.

Heavy rainfall of 1 to 2 inches per hour in isolated spots will be a concern this afternoon into this evening. Soils are saturated, so any rain will quickly run off. Debris could also block drains, and this could result in street flooding issues. #lawx #mswx https://t.co/1iyLMLOJTt

— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) September 6, 2021

President Joe Biden visited Ida-damaged regions on Friday, linking Ida’s destruction to climate change and urging rebuilding efforts to take into account the growing impact of environmental disasters.

“Things are changing so drastically in terms of the environment,” the president said. “We’ve already crossed certain thresholds. We can’t build back a road, a highway, a bridge or anything to what it was before. I mean, you got to build back to what it is now, what’s needed now.”

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