Restoring power to La's Zeta-impacted areas may take up to 10 days
BATON ROUGE - As of Friday (Oct. 30) morning, over 300,000 are without power across Louisiana, with the majority of outages in Jefferson Parish where over 150,000 are awaiting electricity.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is scheduled to join fellow officials and lawmakers in a Friday morning tour of areas that were impacted by Hurricane Zeta after it made landfall Wednesday evening.
Following the tour, Governor Edwards will update the public on Zeta's aftermath and ensuing relief efforts during a 10:45 a.m. news conference.
As of Friday morning, Grand Isle appeared to be one of the areas most impacted by Hurricane Zeta. After touring the barrier island community south of New Orleans on Thursday, Governor Edwards called the damage to Grand Isle “catastrophic” and ordered the Louisiana National Guard to fly in soldiers to assist with search and rescue efforts.
Dodie Vegas, co-owner of Bridge Side Marina on Grand Isle, spoke to The Associated Press about her experience during Zeta.
Vegas said damage to the waterside complex of cabins, campgrounds and docking facilities that she and her husband own was minimal, but the rest of the island wasn’t as fortunate.
“As far as you can see, going down the island, the power lines are cracked in half,” she said by phone Thursday after riding out the storm with family. She described torn-off roofs and scattered debris: “The middle of the island looks like a bomb was dropped.”
The storm is reportedly responsible for six deaths. A man was electrocuted in New Orleans, and four people were killed in Alabama and Georgia when trees fell on homes, authorities said, including two people who were pinned to their bed. In Biloxi, Mississippi, a man drowned when he was trapped in rising seawater.
According to local officials, the storm has passed but dangerous conditions remain. They say deadly situations often occur after a storm, as people accidentally inhale toxic generator fumes or come in contact with downed power lines and get electrocuted.
Zeta was the 27th named storm of a historically active year, with more than a month left in the Atlantic hurricane season. It set a new record as the 11th named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. in a single season, well beyond the nine that hit in 1916. And the coronavirus pandemic has saddled hurricane evacuees with added stress.
“Our heart breaks because this has been a tough, tough year,” said Gov. Edwards, whose state has taken the brunt of the hurricanes.