Louisiana locals may suffer from a power outage for weeks after Hurricane Ida pummeled the state of New Orleans on Sunday, August 29. Approximately 5,000 National Guard members have been deployed for search and rescue operations. Additionally, over 25,000 workers mobilized to support power restoration in the city. State and local officials surmise that the number of help may increase as rescue efforts continue. “The systems we depended on to save lives and protect our city did just that and we are grateful, but there is so much more work to be done,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. She ordered the evacuees not to return to their homes until power and communication have been restored. US President Joe Biden has declared a state of calamity in New Orleans and issued extra funds for recovery efforts.

Ida made landfall in the state as a category four hurricane, powerful enough to severely damage buildings, trees, and power lines. It was previously deemed “life-threatening” similar to Hurricane Katrina that struck the country—and had the same path as Ida—in 2005 and claimed over a thousand lives. New Orleans’ flood defenses, however, have improved. The levee systems had “performed magnificently,” according to Governor John Bel Edwards. He added that none of the systems had been breached. Still, the damage was catastrophic and authorities continue to be in a “life-saving mode,” said Edwards.