Just about every school in New Orleans, Louisiana, and in surrounding parishes has been closed indefinitely after Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm and left more than a million people in southeastern Louisiana without power, The Times-Picayune/Advocate reports.
Ida struck Sunday afternoon at about 1 PM and weakened to a Category 3 storm by 7 PM and a tropical storm by early Monday morning as it moved inland.
The storm’s winds destroyed power lines and houses, leaving some 2,000 people in shelters, but the main damage from Ida came from water.
The Louisiana town of Jean Lafitte was “totally devastated,” with rescuers unable to reach stranded residents after a bridge was destroyed, Mayor Tim Kerner Jr told CNN. “We’ve suffered flooding before. We suffered storms before. But I’ve never seen water like this in my life. It just hit us in the worst way possible and it was such a massive storm that it just totally devastated us,” he was quoted as saying.
Rescue efforts were said to be under way, despite a 12-hour gap in 911 coverage in New Orleans due to power outages and the impassability of roads due to flooding.
An announcement from Jefferson Parish Schools, Louisiana’s largest district that serves close to 50,000 students, read as follows:
All schools and administration buildings in Jefferson Parish Schools will be closed until further notice as district leaders assess the impact of Hurricane Ida. This is a full closure that will not include remote learning. The District’s intent is to reopen schools as soon as possible.
In addition to assessing the status of campuses and facilities, district leaders are also planning to survey the status and well being of students, employees, and families. Jefferson Parish officials requested that citizens who evacuated prior to Hurricane Ida not return until further notice due to power outages, debris, and other hazards.
The district will continue to use district email and the Student Progress Center messaging system to communicate the latest information directly to families and employees. Stay tuned to the district’s website for the latest information.