Above image: Theophilus Charles, 70, weeps while sitting on the front porch of his heavily damaged home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Houma, Louisiana, US August 30, 2021. Charles, who hunkered down in the house through the category 4 storm, says he has now lost everything.
Hurricane Ida has left a million people without any power in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, with a warning for evacuees not to return home.
The category 4 hurricane swept into the US on Sunday, wiping out the electric grid by toppling a major transmission tower and ruining substations.
New Orleans, Louisiana, is now under curfew, from 8pm until 6am, in a bid to reduce crime but there have still been reports of looting, according to the city’s mayo LaToya Cantrell.
She noted that some electricity will be able to restored by Wednesday – but a citywide restoration is expected to take weeks.
Almost 441,000 people have no water either, following the floods within water treatment plants and ongoing electrical failure.
Without electricity, access to drinkable tap water or fuel, many are at risk from the upcoming heatwave too as humidity and high temperatures mean Wednesday could feel like 41 degrees Celsius in the area.
One person in Louisiana died in the floods while another was fatally hit by a falling tree.
In Mississippi, a further two people died and 20 were seriously injured when a highway collapsed – cars reportedly plummeted into a hole nearly 60ft deep, after more than eight inches of rainfall left drivers unable to see.
More than 6,000 national guard members have been deployed to help with the rescue efforts, and efforts are underway to distribute food, water and cooling stations.
As Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards said: “There are an awful lot of unknowns right now.”
Those who fled in the aftermath of Ida have also been urged not to return.
The governor explained: “Many of the life-supporting infrastructure elements are not present, they’re not operating right now. So if you have already evacuated, do not return here or elsewhere in south-east Louisiana until the office of emergency preparedness tells you it’s ready to receive you.”
The state’s lieutenant governor Bill Nungesser also warned that the death toll is expected to climb as officials uncover the true impact of the hurricane.
Ida has slowed, but it is still moving across the country and ended up in Tennessee on Tuesday, triggering flash flood warnings and recommendations from officials for locals to evacuate in the state.
The hurricane is likely to move onto the US northeast, meaning Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia are now under flash flood watches too.
The collapsed jazz club the Karnofsky Shop is seen after Hurricane Ida ripped through New Orleans, Louisiana, US, August 30, 2021.
Fran Tribe sits with her dog Dave outside a home destroyed by Hurricane Ida in Houma, Louisiana, US, August 30, 2021.
An apartment building that burned overnight after Hurricane Ida struck the Relais Esplanade Apartments in Kenner, Louisiana, US, August 30, 2021.
Members of a rescue team help evacuate people after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, in Laplace, Louisiana, US August 30, 2021.
A boy walks in a flooded street after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, in New Orleans, Louisiana, US August 30, 2021.
Eugenia Washington and Isaac Bourgeois, together with their dog Phebi, who say they have been there for five hours, sit on a cooler while waiting for a gas truck to show up at a gas station in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Louisiana, US, August 31, 2021.
A destroyed car is seen under the debris of a building after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, US, August 31, 2021.
People wait for transportation after being rescued from a flooded neighbourhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on August 30, 2021 in Laplace, Louisiana.
The Maldonado family travel by boat to their home after it flooded during Hurricane Ida on August 31, 2021 in Barataria, Louisiana. “I’ve lost everything in my trailer because of the hurricane. I’ve lost everything, my family has lost everything and we’re now trying to find help. We all live in this area and now it’s all gone,” said Fusto Maldonado when asked about the storm’s effect.
Catera Whitson (C) and Kyler Melancon (R) ride in the back of a high water truck as they volunteer to help evacuate people from homes after neighborhoods flooded in LaPlace, Louisiana on August 30, 2021 in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Dina Lewis rescues items from her home (R) after it was destroyed by Hurricane Ida on August 30, 2021 in Laplace, Louisiana.
A truck is seen in heavy winds and rain from hurricane Ida in Bourg, Louisiana on August 29, 2021.
A woman walks down a flooded residential street in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on August 30, 2021 in Norco, Louisiana.
Montegut fire chief Toby Henry walks back to his fire truck in the rain as firefighters cut through trees on the road in Bourg, Louisiana as Hurricane Ida passes on August 29, 2021.
Waves crash against the New Canal Lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain as the effects of Hurricane Ida begin to be felt in New Orleans, Louisiana, US August 29, 2021.
Bourbon Street in the New Orleans French Quarter is dark except for lights used during a TV broadcast Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, after New Orleans lost power during Hurricane Ida.