September 5, 2021

The road to recovery after Hurricane Ida

Anthony Tilghman
Anthony Tilghman, is an 2x Award-winning photographer, Education advocate, Mentor, and Published Author with years of experience in media, photography, marketing and branding. He is the Winner of the 2020 & 2021 Dateline award for Excellence in Local Journalism.

Days after Hurricane Ida made landfall, a trail of destruction is left on its path. Hurricane Ida is the fifth-largest hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in recorded history. President Joe Biden describing the category four hurricane as “one of the greatest challenges of our time.” Ida’s wrath was felt in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Connecticut.

The hurricane made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday, on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, with winds of up to 150 miles per hour. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it is one of the strongest storms to hit the Louisiana coast since Hurricane Katrina. Later that Sunday, the President approved a major disaster declaration for Louisiana, and by doing so, he released federal funding for recovery efforts.

By Monday, one million Louisiana utility customers were without power. Hurricane Ida was the tip of what was yet to come. Days after the hurricane hit, deadly remnants of the storm reigned havoc in Southern Louisiana, New England, and New York.

The National Weather Service declared its first-ever flash flooding emergency for New York City. The declaration was prompted by a month’s worth of rain brought by the hurricane in a matter of hours. The streets in New York were underwater.

The Mayor of New York consequently declared a state of emergency. But even then, 13 people have lost their lives in New York. Among them was a mother and son who were stuck in their basement apartment when it collapsed.

New Jersey faced a similar fate, while Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia had mass evacuation as more destruction loomed. Reconnaissance flights in Louisiana on Wednesday showed towns and homes overwhelmed with strong winds and floods. Of the homes not destroyed, 150,000 of them are without power.

It gets worse as the storm seeded seven destructive tornadoes as it advanced North, touching down in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In Mullica Hill, New Jersey, 100 homes were shredded by an EF-3 tornado with winds of 150 miles per hour.

It is believed that at least 64 people have been killed across eight states.  And as water begins to recede in different states, a massive rescue and recovery operation is underway in the U.S. East Coast. Water is said to have come so fast that very few had time to evacuate. The tallying of death and property is still underway.

After touring the damaged neighborhoods in Louisiana, the President called upon insurance companies to file claims as fast as they could. His administration is said to be providing meals and water. Biden, in his speech, said that it would take a lot longer to restore power.

Hurricane Ida is a painful reminder that climate change is a real threat. A threat whose effects have been felt along North East Coast.

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