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DOTD: Town of Grand Isle uninhabitable after Hurricane Ida

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BATON ROUGE - Grand Isle, a Louisiana town known for its campsites, trails, and fishing spots, has long been a vacation spot for Louisiana natives. 

But after Hurricane Ida brought 150 mph winds to the popular vacation site on Sunday, August 29, the town was demolished and Jefferson Parish officials deemed the area "uninhabitable." 

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development voiced its agreement with this warning by posting the following statement on its website Thursday:

"The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development does not recommend anyone travel to the Town of Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish following Hurricane Ida.

There are currently multiple washouts along area roadways, some of which may be several feet wide, with the potential to cause damage to vehicles and create extremely unsafe driving conditions.

DOTD crews are working on assessing the widespread damage to the state’s infrastructure, and increased traffic through the region would impede these operations. DOTD is still in the process of removing two to three feet of sand from numerous roadways.

Areas along US 90 and surrounding roadways were also severely impacted by the hurricane, and the safety of travelers through this area is of considerable concern.

The island currently has no electricity, running water or essential supplies, and it is not safe for anyone to attempt to travel to the area.

While DOTD certainly understands the sense of urgency that many residents feel in returning to their properties, any reference to DOTD issuing clearance for return to Grand Isle is inaccurate.

DOTD has communicated with the Town of Grand Isle strongly discouraging travel to the island due to current conditions in the aftermath of the storm, and will reopen roads as soon as it is safe to do so.

As a reminder, roadway closures and conditions can be accessed in real time at www.511la.org."

Dakota Smith, a scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), used Twitter to share his before and after images of Grand Isle.

The images in Smith's Twitter video reveal Ida's power as the system made landfall in Louisiana.

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