Louisiana death toll from Hurricane Ida rises to 26 – Metro US

Louisiana death toll from Hurricane Ida rises to 26

Large swaths of New Orleans still out of power, over
Large swaths of New Orleans still out of power, over a week after Hurricane Ida

(Reuters) -Louisiana’s death toll from Hurricane Ida rose to 26 on Wednesday after health officials reported 11 additional deaths in New Orleans.

Of those deaths, eight were males and three were females, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

The causes of the additional deaths ranged from excessive heat during an extended power outage to carbon monoxide poisoning, the department said, with excessive heat being responsible for nine of those fatalities.

The 11 deaths occurred or were reported to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office between Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, the department said.

Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Gulf Coast, hit Louisiana more than a week ago before moving northeast and causing intense flooding that killed dozens.

The hurricane had led to widespread power outages earlier this month, with over a million people being left in the dark in Louisiana. As of late Wednesday, over 270,000 people in the state still faced power outages, according to the PowerOutage.us website.

Louisiana is rescheduling its fall elections because of Ida’s far-reaching damage, with Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin saying that the state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, had agreed to push back the election dates by five weeks, local media reported.

The statewide election scheduled for Oct. 9 will instead be held Nov. 13, and a runoff as needed will be scheduled for Dec. 11, according to the Associated Press.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf asked U.S. President Joe Biden to declare a major disaster in Pennsylvania after heavy rains and flash flooding in the state last week from the remnants of Ida.

Biden on Tuesday toured sites of deadly floods in the Northeast and said Hurricane Ida demonstrated the ravages of climate change as he pressed for investments to boost infrastructure and fight global warming.

Biden noted that wildfires, hurricanes and floods were hitting every part of the United States, with more than 100 million Americans affected this summer alone. The storms will only be getting worse, he said.

The president visited Louisiana last week, promising federal aid and urging national unity.

Energy companies were also struggling to restart production more than a week after Ida made landfall. As of Wednesday, more than three-quarters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico’s offshore oil and natural gas output remained shut as the fallout from Ida hampered production.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jan Harvey)