A looting incident broke out in New Orleans, a Louisiana city, after Hurricane Ida flooded wide areas, plunged 1million into darkness and reversed the flow of the Mississippi.
The hurricane which first claimed the life of a 60-year-old man after pushing down a tree on his house near Baton Rouge, has been declared as a major disaster by President Joe Biden.
Hurricane Ida blew in from the Gulf of Mexico with 150mph winds, exactly 16 years after Hurricane Katrina battered the coast, claiming 1,800 lives.
While nearly all offshore Gulf oil production have been suspended ahead of the storm and residents of the most vulnerable coastal areas evacuated, power to more than 1million homes and businesses in New Orleans was knocked out on Sunday August 29 after transmission lines to the city failed.
A transmission tower which collapsed into the Mississippi, saw the river’s flow briefly reversed.
Barely 24 hours after the power incident, residents of Louisiana have now reported cases of looting. It was reported that some men tried to rob a cash machine in a market in New Orleans neighbourhood St Claude, while a group were captured by a drone looting a store in New Orleans East.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell who reacted to the reports, said that the looting isn’t as widespread as it appears. Cantrell also said the local police are cracking down on looting and anyone caught doing so will be charged with a state felony.
‘My directive has been very clear: lock ’em up. We will not tolerate and we have not tolerated it.
‘There is no widespread looting going on in the city of New Orleans.
‘What we do have that’s widespread are residents who are being neighbors, who are understand and exhibiting the spirit of humility, of empathy, who are cleaning up their lawns and who are servicing their community.
‘That’s widespread in the city of New Orleans, that’s who we are.’
Though Hurricane Ida weakened into a tropical storm over south-west Mississippi, the US National Hurricane Center said further heavy downpours and ‘life- threatening’ flooding is expected and levees around New Orleans upgraded since Hurricane Katrina remain at risk.
Here is an aerial footage of Hurricane Ida’s damage across Louisiana;