LOUISIANA – An urgent search and rescue mission is underway along Louisiana's Gulf Coast after Hurricane Ida came ashore. It was the second strongest storm in history to hit the Pelican State.
Entire towns and communities are underwater as boats and helicopters go from home to home to save the stranded.
"This is one of the worst natural disasters I've ever seen in St. John," said St. John Parish President Jaclyn Hotard.
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Flooded streets and homes are shown in the Spring Meadow subdivision in LaPlace, La., after Hurricane Ida moved through Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. Hard-hit LaPlace is squeezed between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
So far, nearly 800 people have been rescued from her parish.
"We've been in our emergency operations center," said Hotard. "I slept here. I will continue to sleep here and my home's flooded. I lost my car but we're here to do the people's work."
People are evacuated from floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in LaPlace, La., Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
At least three people have died but officials expect the death toll to go up.
More than one million people are without power because of the ruined electric grid which could take weeks to repair.
Jacob Hodges, right, and his brother Jeremy Hodges work to clear debris from their storage unit which was destroyed by Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Water and sewage are other major concerns. Eighteen water systems serving 255,000 people are not functioning.
On top of that, 2,000 people are in shelters in areas where COVID-19 is surging. One official called it a "COVID nightmare."
Jeremy Hodges climbs down the side of his family's destroyed storage unit in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The Louisiana National Guard has 5,000 troops helping in the search and rescue effort and CBN's Operation Blessing is also there preparing to move in with relief supplies and to help with cleanup.
Meanwhile, the storm continues to move north, spawning hurricanes and dumping heavy rain on places like central Tennessee where they're still recovering from last week's devastating flooding.
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