Hurricane Ida Updates: Mississippi News, Damage Reports
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Residents across the state are starting to pick up the pieces after the remains of Hurricane Ida tore much of the state on Monday.
Governor Tate Reeves said during a press conference Monday night that the damage across the state appeared minimal and that state and local work teams should be able to handle most of the damage caused by the storm.
“(Damage estimates) are very small given the size of the storm,” he said.
Federal Emergency Management Agency search and rescue teams, as well as some members of the Mississippi National Guard, are being dispatched to Louisiana to help with their recovery efforts, Reeves said.
Stephen McCraney, director of emergency management for Mississippi, said around 144,000 customers across the state lost power at the height of the storms. That total was around 55,000 on Tuesday morning.
4:35 p.m .: 25,000 Entergy customers still without electricity
After Hurricane Ida, around 25,000 Entergy customers in Mississippi are still without electricity, according to a press release from the company.
Officials said the hardest hit areas are in the southwest corner of the state near Brookhaven and McComb. Due to the extensive damage in this area, as well as severe damage across Louisiana, officials are warning the outages could be extensive.
“Due to the scale of the damage and the need to rebuild, we believe recovery will be difficult and challenging, and customers in the hardest hit areas should expect weeks of blackouts,” officials said in a statement.
An assault team, consisting of more than 15,000 workers, is currently spread across the two states and is restoring power if possible.
The company estimates that 21,000 Entergy customers in Mississippi will have their power restored by Tuesday afternoon. According to the latest estimate by PowerOutage.US, around 42,000 customers across the country are left without electricity.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is also providing aid to residents hardest hit by the storm.
Officials said in a press release Tuesday that more than 4,000 bottles of water and 400 tarps have been sent to the affected counties. Additional sandbags have also been provided in the affected areas as many are still at risk of flooding.
Residents in need of assistance are asked to contact their county’s Emergency Management Director. A full list of directors can be found at https://www.msema.org/county-ema/
10:55 am: Claims assessments begin along the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Malary White, director of foreign affairs for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said local authorities will conduct preliminary damage assessments along the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Tuesday. Initial information from these reviews is expected to be released on Wednesday.
White encouraged people to self-report damage to their property on the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency website at https://www.msema.org/contact/crisistrack/.
She added that the self-disclosure tool is not a request for assistance, but a way to help the agency determine if the damage can be used nationwide to obtain a statement of assistance.
For those with questions about assistance with Hurricane Ida, White encouraged residents to call 1-888-574-3583.
Some key roads, including Highway 90 between Biloxi and Bay St. Louis, remain closed while crews continue to clear debris, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation website.
State offices are also still affected by the storm. Medicaid’s Mississippi division regional offices will delay openings in Columbia, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, McComb, Pascagoula and Picayune until noon Tuesday, MEMA officials said.
All Mississippi State Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites in central and southern Mississippi will be closed on Tuesday, according to the department’s website. The COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites in northern Mississippi are operating as usual.
10:20 am: Most cities and schools on the Jackson Metro are resuming normal operations
The city offices and services in Jackson and surrounding cities are operating as usual on Tuesday following Hurricane Ida.
Waste management officials said residential trash collections will be delayed due to Hurricane Ida. For regional customers with a twice-weekly pick-up who did not receive any service on Monday, the pick-up will be postponed until the next regular pick-up day. Those with weekly pickups will be delayed for one day. City of Madison’s recycling customers will be serviced on their next regular collection day, officials said.
Residents in Hattiesburg also have a one-day delay in service.
Large debris will be picked up on Tuesday in District 2, Wednesday in District 3, Thursday in District 4 and Friday in District 5, officials said.
Hurricane Ida in MS:“Not nearly as bad as predicted”: Hospitals that are already overcrowded avoid further overcrowding of Ida
Most school districts in the region returned to face-to-face classes on Tuesday. However, Hinds County’s school district remained closed due to power outages and road closures, officials said. District leaders have not said whether classes will resume on Wednesday.
9:50 am: Shops in South Mississippi, schools will be closed on Tuesday
Some McComb shops remained closed Tuesday after Hurricane Ida rode through southwestern Mississippi counties on Monday, causing widespread power outages, power lines and trees crashing.
Sanderson Farms announced Monday that its McComb facility will remain closed today. Other companies announced on Facebook that their offices would be closing Tuesday, including Canopy Children’s Services and the NOLA Lending Group.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 30,000 Mississippi customers in that area alone were without power, with most outages in Pike, Wilkinson, Amite, Walthall and Franklin counties.
Schools in these counties were closed on Tuesday.
9:30 a.m .: 2 dead, 10 injured after bridge collapse in George County
Two people were killed and ten others injured Monday night after seven vehicles fell into a massive hole caused when part of Highway 26 near Lucedale collapsed over Mississippi following Hurricane Ida.
George County Medical Examiner Dee Ann Murrah confirmed the two deaths and identified one of the victims as Jerry Lee from Lucedale.
Debbie Gilbert, assistant director of emergency management for George County, said four people were taken to George County Hospital and two others who were in critical condition were taken to Stone County Memorial Hospital to be stabilized before moving to a Trauma center were brought.
Four others went away or refused medical treatment at the scene, Gilbert said.
Gilbert said the hole was about 50 feet wide and about 50 to 70 feet deep, which most likely formed after torrential rains in the area. All vehicles were evacuated from the crime scene on Tuesday morning, but Highway 26 will be closed until further notice, officials said.
The George County School District will be closed on Tuesday due to the collapse.
The authors of Clarion Ledger, Gabriela Szymanowska, Brian Broom and Keisha Rowe, and the American authors of Hattiesburg, Lici Beveridge, Lauren Thrailkill and Dominic Gwinn, contributed to this report.