Louisiana's last inhabited barrier island bore the brunt of Hurricane Ida. Here's what it looks like now (2022)

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href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/30/politics/joe-biden-covid-19-positive/index.html\" target=\"_blank\">tested positive for Covid-19 again\u003c/a>, according to presidential physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor, in what is likely a \"rebound\" Covid-19 positivity that the doctor noted is \"observed in a small percentage of patients treated with Paxlovid.\" Dr. Peter Hotez explains."},{"title":"Hear why Kentucky's governor is worried the death toll will rise","duration":"04:34","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/weather/2022/07/30/kentucky-flooding-andy-beshear-response-nr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"weather/2022/07/30/kentucky-flooding-andy-beshear-response-nr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220730111133-andy-beshear-07-30-2022-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/weather/2022/07/30/kentucky-flooding-andy-beshear-response-nr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/top-news-videos/","description":"Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear 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Adam Kinzinger, who is one of two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee, responds to GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy's claim that he doesn't remember telling Cassidy Hutchinson to not let Trump go to the Capitol on January 6.","descriptionText":"Rep. 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CNN's Dianne Gallagher reports.","descriptionText":"The entire police force in the small town of Kenly, North Carolina, has resigned, citing a hostile work environment after a Black town manager took office. CNN's Dianne Gallagher reports."},{"title":"'People thought I was joking': Woman describes 16-hour ordeal to free stuck poodle","duration":"02:00","sourceName":"WSVN","sourceLink":"https://wsvn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2022/07/29/fl-poodle-stuck-in-bathtub-dnt-vpx.wsvn/index.xml","videoId":"us/2022/07/29/fl-poodle-stuck-in-bathtub-dnt-vpx.wsvn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220729080111-fl-poodle-stuck-in-tub-wsvn-free-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2022/07/29/fl-poodle-stuck-in-bathtub-dnt-vpx.wsvn/video/playlists/top-news-videos/","description":"A Florida poodle is recovering after getting its paw stuck in a bathtub drain for 16 hours. With a veterinarian in attendance, plumbers ended up having to dig the drain out to free the dog. CNN affiliate WSVN has more. ","descriptionText":"A Florida poodle is recovering after getting its paw stuck in a bathtub drain for 16 hours. With a veterinarian in attendance, plumbers ended up having to dig the drain out to free the dog. CNN affiliate WSVN has more. "},{"title":"See how Trump defended hosting Saudi-backed golf event at his club","duration":"01:30","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2022/07/29/trump-liv-golf-tournament-new-jersey-club-sot-ac360-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2022/07/29/trump-liv-golf-tournament-new-jersey-club-sot-ac360-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220728225434-trump-espn-liv-intv-vpx-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2022/07/29/trump-liv-golf-tournament-new-jersey-club-sot-ac360-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/top-news-videos/","description":"Former President Donald Trump spoke to an ESPN reporter on national TV about his decision to host a golf tournament funded by Saudi Arabia at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey.","descriptionText":"Former President Donald Trump spoke to an ESPN reporter on national TV about his decision to host a golf tournament funded by Saudi Arabia at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey."},{"title":"DOJ to force White House officials to testify about Trump's actions on Jan. 6","duration":"02:34","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2022/07/28/doj-court-trump-january-6-white-house-officials-lead-intv-perez-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2022/07/28/doj-court-trump-january-6-white-house-officials-lead-intv-perez-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220701180336-donald-trump-file-0528-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2022/07/28/doj-court-trump-january-6-white-house-officials-lead-intv-perez-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/top-news-videos/","description":"Justice Department prosecutors are preparing to fight in court to force former White House officials to testify about then-President Donald Trump's conversations and actions aroundJanuary 6. CNN's Evan Perez has the exclusive.","descriptionText":"Justice Department prosecutors are preparing to fight in court to force former White House officials to testify about then-President Donald Trump's conversations and actions aroundJanuary 6. CNN's Evan Perez has the exclusive."},{"title":"Beyoncé gives rare look at three kids after release of new album","duration":"00:58","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2022/07/29/beyonce-renaissance-new-album-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2022/07/29/beyonce-renaissance-new-album-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220729083919-beyonce-family-mxp-vpx-screengrab-large-169.jpeg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2022/07/29/beyonce-renaissance-new-album-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/top-news-videos/","description":"Beyoncé has officially released her seventh album, \"Renaissance,\" as part one of a three part series. The album had previously leaked two days before its scheduled release. ","descriptionText":"Beyoncé has officially released her seventh album, \"Renaissance,\" as part one of a three part series. The album had previously leaked two days before its scheduled release. "},{"title":"See what happens when a fire drought meets a rain drought","duration":"02:42","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/tv/2022/07/28/oak-fire-california-climate-change-lead-weir-dnt.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"tv/2022/07/28/oak-fire-california-climate-change-lead-weir-dnt.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220728140959-03-oak-fire-climate-change-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/tv/2022/07/28/oak-fire-california-climate-change-lead-weir-dnt.cnn/video/playlists/top-news-videos/","description":"Americans have been told for decades to prevent wildfires. That's left a lot of fuel to burn, and with climate change having an impact too, Californians have a lot to rethink, reports CNN's Bill Weir.","descriptionText":"Americans have been told for decades to prevent wildfires. That's left a lot of fuel to burn, and with climate change having an impact too, Californians have a lot to rethink, reports CNN's Bill Weir."},{"title":"Mick Mulvaney on Trump WH: 'The West Wing was broken; it was not functioning properly'","duration":"02:49","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2022/07/28/january-6-investigation-pompeo-mulvaney-25th-amendment-nobles-dnt-the-lead-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2022/07/28/january-6-investigation-pompeo-mulvaney-25th-amendment-nobles-dnt-the-lead-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220728145720-pompeo-mulvaney-mnuchin-split-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2022/07/28/january-6-investigation-pompeo-mulvaney-25th-amendment-nobles-dnt-the-lead-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/top-news-videos/","description":"As the January 6 committee continues its investigation into the insurrection of the Capitol, more ex-Trump White House officials are expected to speak, including former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and possibly address discussions among officials about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove then-president Trump from office. 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Louisiana's last inhabited barrier island bore the brunt of Hurricane Ida. Here's what it looks like now (1)

Louisiana's last inhabited barrier island bore the brunt of Hurricane Ida. Here's what it looks like now (2)

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    'Its decimated': Grand Isle devastated by Ida

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(CNN)Grand Isle, Louisiana's last remaining inhabited barrier island at the southern tip of the state, bore the brunt of Hurricane Ida and was devastated by the Category 4 storm's high winds, rain and storm surge.

"I've never seen it look like this," Bryan Adams, director of Jefferson Parish Fire Services, said Tuesday after inspecting Grand Isle. "It's decimated."

About 40-50% of houses are gone and 100% of the camps are damaged. "They've been knocked off the pillars, they've just been destroyed," he said.

"The people are very sad. A lot of people have lost their homes, talking about how they don't know whether they'll be able to go back or not, because they don't have the money to go back, can't afford to go back," Adams said. It will take about four or five years to get Grand Isle "back to where it was," he added.

If it ever does.

Read More

Even before Ida, the narrow isle has been increasingly under threat due to rising sea levels and sinking land. Located in the Gulf of Mexico, it had an estimated 2020 population of just over 1,400 people, according to the US Census.

Grand Isle is largely known for its beaches and particular habitat, known as a Chenier Plain, that makes it a hot spot for fishing, migratory birds and other wildlife. Last year, The New York Times named it to its "52 Places to go in 2020," saying it was "hauntingly beautiful" and "may soon vanish."

Louisiana's last inhabited barrier island bore the brunt of Hurricane Ida. Here's what it looks like now (21)

Grand Isle had an estimated population of just over 1,400 people as of 2020.

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Louisiana's last inhabited barrier island bore the brunt of Hurricane Ida. Here's what it looks like now (22)

A Louisiana State Trooper keeps watch over damaged homes on Grand Isle on Tuesday.

Ida could hasten that vanishing. With winds of 150 mph, the Category 4 storm made landfall Sunday near Port Fourchon, about 10 miles southwest of Grand Isle. The storm's hurricane-force winds extended 50 miles from the center.

On Tuesday, a CNN crew visited the island to find utter devastation: homes destroyed and vehicles still under floodwaters, although there were no reports of deaths or injuries due to a mandatory evacuation.

Rickie Polkey, 58, said he and his family built their home on elevated stilts 39 years ago. He returned Monday to find the roof and much of the home destroyed by wind and rain, and the inside could only be accessed by a temporary ladder.

"In Katrina, we lost our front porches and our steps, but the house was intact, the roof was intact, everything was intact," he said.

He came back post-Ida to try to find some wedding memorabilia. He said he doesn't plan to rebuild and instead plans to move to Kentucky, where they have family.

"We just trust the Lord. He gives and He takes away," Polkey said.

Louisiana's last inhabited barrier island bore the brunt of Hurricane Ida. Here's what it looks like now (23)

An areal photo from a rescue flight provided by MedicCorps.org shows the destruction on Grand Isle on Tuesday.

Many other residents of Grand Isle have not yet returned. Jefferson Parish advised residents late Tuesday night not to attempt to enter the isle by boat or by land. The parish also posted photos of some of the destruction, showing a line of toppled utility poles, standing water, ravaged homes and caved-in roofs.

"We understand that many want to see their properties; however, the current conditions on the island are very dangerous and it is critical that we keep the area clear," the parish said on Facebook.

Correction: A previous version of this story gave the incorrect location for where Ida came ashore. It was 10 miles southwest of Grand Isle

CNN's Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.

(Video) Watch: TODAY All Day - August 28

FAQs

Is Grand Isle Louisiana destroyed? ›

Though it's been over nine weeks since Ida carved a path of destruction through southeast Louisiana, much of Grand Isle remains in ruin. Officials said about 80% of the island's structures were damaged and about half of the homes were destroyed.

What happened to Louisiana during Hurricane Ida? ›

By the time Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, more than 400,000 utility customers in Louisiana were without power, and by Sunday night, that number had risen to nearly one million, including much of the city of New Orleans.

Has Louisiana recovered from Hurricane Ida? ›

60 Days Since Ida, Louisiana Recovery Continues to be Whole Community Effort. BATON ROUGE, La. – It's been 60 days since Hurricane Ida made landfall. The first months of disaster recovery are often intense, stressful, and sometimes chaotic.

What is the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in Louisiana? ›

Hurricane Ida ties as strongest hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana with 150 mph winds.

Is Grand Isle uninhabitable? ›

Grand Isle, Louisiana is a self-described "remote oasis" that rests on a narrow barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. It's the state's only barrier island with residents, but in the wake of Hurricane Ida, officials say it has become "uninhabitable."

Are they going to rebuild Grand Isle? ›

The corps says they will start repairing 12 washout areas in Grand Isle's dunes beginning in August. They will also be repairing rock jetties and replacing clay in some of the berms which protect the island. The three phases of the project are expected to be wrapped up by July 2024.

How long will New Orleans last? ›

The rate at which the coastline is diminishing is about thirty-four square miles per year, and if it continues another 700 square miles will be lost within the next forty years. This in turn means thirty-three miles of land will be underwater by 2040, including several towns and Louisiana's largest city, New Orleans.

Is Ida worse than Katrina? ›

As the table below suggests, Ida, which hit New Orleans more directly than Katrina did in 2005 – and mustered greater and more concentrated destructive power – wreaked only a fraction of the loss of life and property damages.

What do zoos do during a hurricane? ›

The zoo stocks up supplies and gathers two weeks' worth of food prior to June 1, the start of hurricane season. Next, when a storm has been predicted staff members will look for overgrown foliage or trees that could pose a potential threat to the compound and create a means of escape should the foliage fall.

Will there be a hurricane in Louisiana 2022? ›

Tropical disturbance expected to become 2022′s first hurricane headed to Central America. NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean is forecast to become the first hurricane of the 2022 season.

What's it like in Louisiana? ›

Louisiana is a great place to live because of its vibrant culture, low cost of living, and comfortable weather all year long. With winter temperatures hovering in the 70s and 80s you can keep your shorts on and not worry about shoveling snow in the morning.

Has New Orleans reopened after Ida? ›

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The French Market reopened this weekend for the first time since Hurricane Ida, celebrating the occasion Saturday with a second line from Washington Artillery Park to the Farmers and Flea Markets.

What is the strongest hurricane to ever hit the United States? ›

Here are the strongest hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland based on windspeed at landfall: Labor Day Hurricane of 1935: 185-mph in Florida. Hurricane Camille (1969): 175-mph in Mississippi. Hurricane Andrew (1992): 165-mph in Florida.

Has Louisiana ever had a Category 5 hurricane? ›

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana Sunday, battering the region with winds so rough that it was tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever strike the US. Ida's 150 mph winds were just shy of the wind speed needed to classify it as a Category 5 hurricane (156 mph).

What was the worst hurricane in history? ›

#1: Hurricane Maria (2017)

With maximum sustained winds over 175 miles per hour, Hurricane Maria blasted Puerto Rico to claim more than 3,000 lives and generate nearly $100 billion in property damage. It remains the deadliest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history.

Why is Grand Isle disappearing? ›

Advocate Editorial

The mighty Mississippi River has had its way with our coastline as the river decided to change its path, submerging some barrier islands, enhancing other barrier islands. In recent years, Grand Isle was the one barrier island inhabited enough to be a vibrant community.

Does Grand Isle have electricity? ›

Power was restored to parts of Grand Isle over the next 130 days, but large Entergy generators were still providing power to other areas. As of Friday, power has been fully restored to the entire town, WVUE-TV reported. Copyright 2022 The Associated Press.

Who lives on Grand Isle Louisiana? ›

Grand Isle has a 2020 population of 947.
...
Grand Isle Demographics
  • White: 94.94%
  • Two or more races: 3.27%
  • Black or African American: 0.89%
  • Other race: 0.89%
  • Native American: 0.00%
  • Asian: 0.00%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.00%

Why arent there beaches in Louisiana? ›

Louisiana Coast Beaches

The coastline of Louisiana is, unfortunately, disappearing due to erosion. So, the beaches that still remain should be nurtured and respected. And while you shouldn't expect beaches equivalent to Bali, you'll still be able to find some white sand beaches in Louisiana.

What is the status of Grand Isle Louisiana? ›

Grand Isle beaches are open!

The town of Grand Isle has announced that their beaches are open to the public.

Is Grand Isle Open 2022? ›

Grand Isle opens beach to public for first time since Hurricane Ida | Hurricane Center | nola.com. An undated photo of the beach at Grand Isle, which reopened to the public in April 2022, after significant damage during Hurricane Ida in 2021.

Will New Orleans be underwater in 50 years? ›

The Mississippi River Delta and coastal Louisiana are disappearing quite quickly. Louisiana has lost 2,000 square miles of land since the 1930's, and this is still ongoing. As you are reading this, we are losing land. Therefore, by 2050, New Orleans will most likely be underwater.

How much of Louisiana will be underwater soon? ›

Rising sea levels could leave more than 5,800 square miles of Louisiana wetlands underwater within 50 years, according to a new study. A new study of the Louisiana marshlands outside New Orleans says the region has already passed its tipping point and could be completely submerged within 50 years.

Which was stronger Katrina or Ida? ›

Ida struck Louisiana on Aug. 29 as a strong Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum winds of about 150 mph — much higher than the maximum winds of 125 mph from Katrina, a Category 3.

Was Katrina a Category 5 hurricane? ›

In New Orleans, the levees were designed for Category 3, but Katrina peaked at a Category 5 hurricane, with winds up to 175 mph. The final death toll was at 1,836, primarily from Louisiana (1,577) and Mississippi (238). More than half of these victims were senior citizens.

Is New Orleans at risk? ›

New Orleans is among the most at-risk places along the U.S. coast for hurricanes. An analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated the area was likely to see a hurricane within 50 nautical miles about once every seven years and a major hurricane about every 20.

What do aquariums do during hurricanes? ›

It allows facilities to prepare for these storms in the manner they deem best in order to care for their animal collection. As Murphy's Law states " anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" and zoos and aquariums must be able to adapt to changing conditions to protect animals, regardless of rules or procedures.

What happened to the zoo animals during Katrina? ›

(CNN) -- Hurricane Katrina killed most of the fish in the New Orleans Aquarium of the Americas, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association Web site reported. The animals were killed when the facility lost power and the staff had to evacuate.

What happens to zoo animals during natural disasters? ›

Zoo animals are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. They are, after all, left in enclosures that are designed to prevent them from escaping. If these animals do escape out of their enclosures, they pose a public health risk as zoo animals are wild and often powerful creatures.

Is 2022 going to be a bad hurricane season? ›

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2022, making it the 7th consecutive year that hurricane activity is expected to be above normal.

What is the hurricane prediction for 2022? ›

There is a 75% chance one major hurricane will strike the U.S. coastline, the forecast said. The East Coast has a 50% chance of a major hurricane strike while the Gulf Coast has 49% chance. So far, three tropical storms have formed so far in 2022.

Will there be a hurricane in florida 2022? ›

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The 2022 hurricane season is underway and the first named storm of the season is now behind us. Potential Tropical Cyclone One formed last Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico from remnants of Agatha, a Pacific basin hurricane.

Where should you not live in Louisiana? ›

The 20 Worst Places to Live in Louisiana
  • Monroe.
  • Walker. ...
  • West Monroe. ...
  • Leesville. ...
  • Ponchatoula. ...
  • Baton Rouge. ...
  • New Orleans. New Orleans sits alongside the Mississippi River, and it is the most populous city in Louisiana. ...
  • Gonzales. Gonzales is a suburb of Baton Rouge, and it has a population of 10,667. ...

What is the safest place to live in Louisiana? ›

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Louisiana for 2022
  • Harahan.
  • Mandeville.
  • Youngsville.
  • Scott.
  • Kenner.
  • Zachary.
  • Broussard.
  • Gretna.

What are the cons of living in Louisiana? ›

Like any other state, Louisiana has many disadvantages such as lack of job opportunities, poor health services and lack of quality education. In addition to this, the state is prone to natural hazards which may be dangerous when unprepared.

Is the water safe to drink in New Orleans? ›

NEW ORLEANS — Drinking water is safe and pressure is stable, but the Sewage & Water Board of New Orleans is asking residents to conserve their usage as the majority of sewer pump stations are still offline.

Is New Orleans back to normal after Katrina? ›

The Katrina photos show how horrific the flooding was for most of New Orleans. My comparison photos show the extent the city has recovered. Some areas have fully rebounded, while other sites still have storm damage or have been left uninhabited. But overall, the city has bounced back well since 2005.

Is New Orleans cleaned up after Hurricane? ›

'Front lines of climate change': Months after Hurricane Ida, New Orleans begins cleanup from tornado.

What is the number 1 worst hurricane? ›

United States
RankHurricaneSeason
1"Galveston"1900
2"San Ciriaco"1899
3Maria2017
4"Okeechobee"1928
7 more rows

What are the 3 worst hurricanes in US history? ›

The 30 Deadliest U.S. Mainland Hurricanes
RankName/AreaDeaths
1.Great Galveston Hurricane (TX)8,000
2.Lake Okeechobee (FL)2,500
3.Katrina (LA/MS/FL/GA/AL)1,200
4.Cheniere Caminanda (LA)1,100-1,400
26 more rows

Has there ever been a Category 6 hurricane? ›

There is no such thing as a category 6 hurricane or tropical storm – yet. The highest level – the top of the scale for the most powerful, most devastating hurricane or tropical storm capable of destroying entire cities like New Orleans or New York – is a category 5 storm.

What is the status of Grand Isle Louisiana? ›

Grand Isle beaches are open!

The town of Grand Isle has announced that their beaches are open to the public.

Why is Grand Isle disappearing? ›

Advocate Editorial

The mighty Mississippi River has had its way with our coastline as the river decided to change its path, submerging some barrier islands, enhancing other barrier islands. In recent years, Grand Isle was the one barrier island inhabited enough to be a vibrant community.

What hurricane destroyed Grand Isle Louisiana? ›

Three months after Hurricane Ida struck the Louisiana coast near Grand Isle with near 150-mph winds and a devastating storm surge, officials say that almost 700 of the island's nearly 2,800 buildings were either destroyed during the Category 4 storm or sustained so much damage they must be demolished now.

Did Grand Isle survive Ida? ›

— It's a wonder how anyone survived Hurricane Ida on the small barrier island of Grand Isle. Visiting now, taking in the destruction, it would appear no one did. But the remnants of bright beachy colored homes give the land life where there otherwise is little.

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