As officials continue to assess the damage from Hurricane Ida, drone videos from across Louisiana are pouring in, showing just how brutal Category 4 winds and torrential rain can be. Heartbreaking aerial footage of the affected areas lay bare heavily damaged homes, debris scattered across streets, and flooded neighborhoods.
With winds as high as 150 mph shattering the power grid, more than 1 million locals have been left without electricity and reliable cellphone service. Some of the hardest-hit areas are not expected to see power being restored for weeks – which is in line with what forecasters at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have been predicting.
Types of damage due to Category 4 hurricane winds
NOAA often correlates the destructive potential of a hurricane with a measurement system called the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. According to this five-tier scale, a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130-156 mph, is capable of causing catastrophic damage, including:
- Well-built homes can sustain severe damage with the loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls.
- Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.
- Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.
- Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
Drones capture Hurricane Ida impact
The insane drone footage below comes from the town of Lockport in Lafourche Parish, an area that suffered severe damage from Hurricane Ida. As one of the houses is torn open like a dollhouse by the monster storm, it’s eerie to see clothes hanging seemingly untouched in closets – though we admit the drone operator could have done without zooming in on people’s bedrooms.
Meanwhile, in LaPlace, along the east bank of the Mississippi River, residents explain the damage left behind by Ida as a result of high and intense winds that lasted four to five hours. As one local told NBC News:
It’s the worst that I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve been in the parish. And we’ve seen several hurricanes. The property damage is graphic. Every neighbor has incurred a significant amount of property damage.
Drone video of potential looting in New Orleans
According to reports, flying robots have also caught on camera the moment when a man in New Orleans appeared to be trying to access money from a severely damaged ATM in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
New Orleans Police Department has assured that anti-looting deployment will be implemented “to ensure the safety of our citizens and to ensure the safety of our citizens’ property.”
It’s worth noting that the Biden administration has instructed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with utility companies to deploy surveillance drones across the impacted regions and assess the damage to energy infrastructure even as the government works with private sector energy providers to restore power.
In the meantime, Ida has weakened to a tropical depression.
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