New Orleans could be without power for weeks

National News

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)

New Orleans residents face a massive cleanup effort and possibly weeks without power. Whole toppled trees blocked streets, pulled down power lines, covered yards and damaged homes.

With power likely to be out for weeks, John Pope said he would survive without electricity — with help from neighbors who have a generator — until a scheduled trip out of town next week.

Ehab Meselhe, a professor in Tulane’s engineering school, planned to head out of town once he and his wife finished cleaning up the tree branches and limbs littering their yard. “I have another house in Lafayette,” he said. “Once power is back, we’ll come back.”

A few blocks away, Hank Fanberg stuffed hurricane debris into a garbage back as generators roared on either side of his lightly damaged house. He said neighbors on both sides have generators and they have both already offered, “so we’re going to be in good shape in terms of some electricity.”

Sitting on a screened porch while listening to a battery-operated radio and feeding her one-year-old daughter, Pamela Mitchell wasn’t sure what she would do. She had already spent a hot and frightening night at home while Ida’s winds shrieked. She was thinking about trying to leave. But her 14-year-old daughter, Michelle, was determined to stay, preparing to clean out the refrigerator and put perishables in an ice chest. “We went a week before — with Zeta,” she said, recalling the hurricane that hit the city last fall. “So, we’ll be all right.”

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