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Hurricane Ida leaves path of destruction across Louisiana, Gulf Coast

A woman stands on a street in Louisiana that has been damaged by Hurricane Ida. Multiple phone poles are down and there is debris in the street.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Scott Olson / Getty Images


On August 29, 2021, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Ida slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast region overnight, leaving a trail of wreckage, at least 12 dead and more than one million people without power in Louisiana alone.

About Hurricane Ida

As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, climate-driven severe weather is compounding the challenges in ways that are impacting nearly every facet of life in the Gulf Coast region. Hurricane Ida has severely impacted coastal Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. These regions are facing severe power outages, property damage, water shortages and an unsafe increase in hazardous waste.

Over the course of the following hours and days, Ida slowed down, but continued on a path of destruction, spinning out tornadoes and flash-flooding across the Northeast, before moving out to sea. To date, Ida is responsible for 66 deaths and $50 billion in damages.

New Orleans leads the nation with the highest poverty rate among the 50 largest metro areas and over 50% of families in the metro report having no savings.

Additionally, nearly 1 million residents of the Gulf Coast are in the dark with no access to power.  Many residents have evacuated to neighboring states and cities for refuge with an uncertainty of when they will be able to return home. Birmingham, Alabama; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; and, Jackson, Mississippi are among the places where most evacuees are staying right now. There is a significant increase in demand for food, water, medicine, gasoline, and sanitation.

This Gulf Coast storm lays bare racial and economic injustice. In New Orleans, local environmental groups reported that predominantly Black and Latino communities were the first to lose power. These communities have also been hardest hit by the pandemic. Many of these households do not have financial resources to relocate to safety or rebound from disruptions from both the pandemic and Hurricane Ida.



Gulf Coast residents are in the dark with no access to power

How to Help People Affected by Hurricane Ida — What CARE is Doing in Louisiana

Since 2020, CARE has partnered with US-based community organizations to provide food, jobs, and in-demand resources through our CARE Package Relief effort. We are now expanding our efforts to rapidly mobilize response to the challenges caused by severe weather events.

We are leveraging our relationships with current CARE Package Relief partners that are near the impacted areas while also focusing on a new partnership with the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice for the greater Louisiana area for future relief activation and continued resilience work. This is included but not limited to access to clean water, food, jobs, safe living conditions and emergency cash assistance.

Bethel’s Heavenly Hands, a current CARE Package Relief partner in Houston, has an existing program in place to support evacuees who have fled to safety and provide support to neighboring areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted. Through our partnership with them, we are aiming to deploy immediately needed resources to people in need.

*Last updated September 3, 2021