Louisiana In Need Of Luck Following Hurricane Nicholas


Photo Courtesy of The New York Times.

Hurricane Nicholas brought strong winds and flooding rainfall after weakening to a tropical storm last Tuesday night after crawling from Texas into Southern Louisiana, struggling to recover from Hurricane Ida. 

The storm intensified into a hurricane near Texas’ gulf, with 95 mph gusts of wind and a storm surge engulfing coastal roads. It proceeded northeastward into Southern Louisiana. It weakened to a tropical storm, with the threat of flash floods persisting as the storm descended onto land, saturating Louisiana where the ground was already flooded. Many places were still recuperating from earlier storms. 

“Soils have not yet recovered from Hurricane Ida a couple weeks ago in eastern Louisiana,” the Weather Service wrote. Hurricane Ida created catastrophic storm surges with devastating winds resulting in an influx of debris around the Southern Louisiana region. With the amount of waste remaining from Hurricane Ida, some drainage systems may be blocked, causing additional flooding.

Hurricane Nicholas also took out numerous trees, which toppled power lines and resulted in hundreds of thousands of power outages across Texas and Louisiana. Many of those were houses and businesses that recently managed to restore power after Hurricane Ida’s landfall. Around 95,000 residents in Louisiana were still without power from Hurricane Ida when Hurricane Nicholas hit, ensuring a longer delay of power restorement. Last Wednesday, energy companies working to restore power to remaining areas in the state said they were keeping a close eye on Nicholas but did not expect it to influence their restoration times. In addition, the hurricane caused heavy downpours throughout the region, prolonging recovery efforts.

Many residents had to take shelter in other locations either to combat the loss of electricity or to remain safe from debris and storm damage. “My apartment was without power for a week during Hurricane Ida and then two weeks later I lost power for a few days again. So I had to sleep in the hospital I work in as it was the safest location during the storm,” said Baton Rouge resident Sameer Mishra. “I was in contact with my friend in New Orleans and she was stressing to me about the roof damage she has now because Hurricane Ida caused debris to fall which weakened her structure allowing Hurricane Nicholas to cave parts of the roof in,” Shayna Mohanty adds. 

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared two states of emergency within a month, both of which have been approved by President Joe Biden. In addition, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has activated the Emergency Operations Center, tracking the anticipated storm and current recovery operations and working with FEMA and parish emergency preparedness offices.

As Hurricane season is a persistent issue among Louisiana residents, one can only hope they can complete their recovery efforts without setbacks.