Drone footage captured the utter devastation left behind by Hurricane Ida in Lafourche Parish, just south of New Orleans, where evacuated residents were told they could return on Tuesday, officials said.
They’ll need to show proof of residency to pass through check points starting at noon CDT and then have to obey a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew, Lafourche Parish announced.
While residents are being let back in, they might want to approach with caution.
“Please know there is no clean water access from Raceland to the South Lafourche area,” the parish warned in a statement.
“There is no power in the parish, and it will not be restored for some time. Nearly all communication is down, including cell phone service parish-wide. Your home may be severely damaged and uninhabitable. We do not have access to food at this time due to the amount of damage to stores, so please bring all supplies you need to self-sustain while you are here.”
Returning locals might not recognize the homes and business they left behind before Ida roared through their community on Sunday.
Drone footage showed trees snapped like twigs, power poles bent at severe angles, washed out highways, submerged cars and even a power boat in the middle of the road.
And even some commercial structures — with roofs and support beams still standing — had their interiors completely gutted by the storm.
Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane early Sunday afternoon with 150 mph winds. More than 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana remained without power for a second day on Tuesday.
Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson said water services are slowing coming back online but noted it “will be months before we get power back on to the deep southern part of” his community. He called Hurricane Ida a “catastrophic event.”
“This was a parish-wide event and something that we’re gonna be reeling the effects from for some time,” Chaisson told MSNBC’s “Stephanie Ruhle Reports” on Tuesday.
Bianca Britton contributed.