Photos show catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Ida

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  • 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)
  • Downtown business owner Pat Ring looks at some of the damage to businesses along Main Street in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • 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)
  • Ernie Bellinger looks out his second story door onto a damaged storage unit in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • A massive oak, toppled by Hurricane Ida, stretches across a New Orleans street, stretching utility lines and resting against the fronts of two houses on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Kevin McGill)
  • A sailboat sits on the beach after Hurricane Ida passed on August 30, 2021 in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane yesterday in Louisiana and brought flooding and wind damage along the Gulf Coast. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
  • Rene Hebert walks through the family's destroyed offices as cleans up in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Two men help a stranded motorist in floodwaters on Beach Blvd. after Hurricane Ida passed on August 30, 2021 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
  • A man wades through floodwaters in the Shoreline Park community in Bay St. Louis, Miss., on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)
  • Stanley Delle, left, and Jeff Delle help 80-year-old Eileen Delle onto dry land Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 after floodwaters from Hurricane Ida surrounded her elevated home in the Shoreline Park community in Bay St. Louis. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)
  • Eddie Gonzales pilots his boat through floodwaters in search of anyone who may need help in the Shoreline Park community in Bay St. Louis, Miss., on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)
  • A woman rides on the back of a tow truck through floodwaters Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 in Shoreline Park community in Bay St. Louis. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)
  • Following Hurricane Ida's destructive path, volunteers and town officials alike in Osyka, Miss., began cleanup efforts to make the roads navigable for first responders and utility workers Monday, Aug. 31, 2021. (Caleb McCluskey/The Enterprise-Journal via AP)
  • Boat washed up on the shoreline of Bayou Portage in Pass Christian, Miss. from the effects of Hurricane Ida on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)
  • Clark Street in Pass Christian, Miss. is completely flooded after the torrential downpour from Hurricane Ida on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)
  • A man rides a bike along Main Street in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Vehicles maneuver around a fallen sign in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Houma, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Rescuers set out in hundreds of boats and helicopters to reach people trapped by floodwaters Monday, and utility repair crews rushed in, after a furious Hurricane Ida swamped the Louisiana coast and ravaged the electrical grid in the sticky, late-summer heat.

People living amid the maze of rivers and bayous along the state’s Gulf Coast retreated desperately to their attics or roofs and posted their addresses on social media with instructions for search-and-rescue teams on where to find them.

More than 1 million customers in Louisiana and Mississippi — including all of New Orleans — were left without power as Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. mainland, pushed through on Sunday and early Monday before weakening into a tropical storm.

As it continued to make its way inland with torrential rain and shrieking winds, it was blamed for at least two deaths — a motorist who drowned in New Orleans, and a person hit by a falling tree outside Baton Rouge.

But with many roads impassable and cellphone service knocked out in places, the full extent of its fury was still coming into focus. Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for Gov. John Bel Edwards, said that given the level of destruction, “We’re going to have many more confirmed fatalities.”

The governor’s office said damage to the power grid appeared “catastrophic.” And local officials warned it could be weeks before power is fully restored, leaving multitudes without refrigeration or air conditioning during the dog days of summer, with highs forecast in the mid-80s to close to 90 by midweek.

The hurricane blew ashore on the 16th anniversary of Katrina, the 2005 storm that breached New Orleans’ levees, devastated the city and was blamed for 1,800 deaths.

“For the most part, all of our levees performed extremely well — especially the federal levees — but at the end of the day, the storm surge, the rain, the wind all had devastating impacts,” Edwards said. “We have tremendous damage to homes and to businesses.”

This time, when daylight came, the streets of New Orleans were littered with branches and some roads were blocked, but there were no immediate reports of the catastrophic flooding city officials had feared.

“I had a long miserable night,” said Chris Atkins, who was in his New Orleans home when he heard a “kaboom” and all the sheetrock in the living room collapsed. A short time later, the whole side of the living room fell onto his neighbor’s driveway.

“Lucky the whole thing didn’t fall inward. It would have killed us,” he said.

The misery isn’t over for many. Stephanie Blaise returned to her home with her father in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward after evacuating. It only lost some shingles. But with no idea when electricity would be restored, she didn’t plan to stay long.

“We don’t need to go through that. I’m going to have to convince him to leave. We got to go somewhere. Can’t stay in this heat,” she said.

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