On Sunday, Hurricane Ida struck Southern Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, ironically 16 years to the day that Katrina hit the same area.
The vicious storm hit hard, tearing off roofs and knocking out generators of hospitals that are already filled with thousands of COVID-19 patients in the middle of a fourth coronavirus spike that is largely attributed to the highly contagious delta variant and low vaccination rates across the state.
On Sunday, there were over 2,400 COVID-19 patients hospitalized according to Gov. Bell Edwards. Some hospitals were able to evacuate a small number of patients. Some hospitals are planning to evacuate “once it is safe to do so,” according to the state health department spokesperson Aly Neel.
Ida made landfall in Lafourche Parish where it was reported that some hospitals were immediately impacted by the terrifying storm. Lady of the Sea General Hospital sustained roof damage, and Thibodaux Regional Medical Center reported partial generator failure.
Edwards said that the main focus will be making sure there are generators and water that will allow hospitals to keep up with vital needs such as ventilators and oxygen.
“I hate to say it this way, but we have a lot of people on ventilators today and they don’t work without electricity,” he said.
Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama at a time when COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU usage are at record highs and staff shortages are at a record low.