Charter buses prepare to help evacuate people from Louisiana’s coast after Ida

HOUMA, Louisiana (KXAN) — Hurricane Ida slammed the Louisiana gulf coast Sunday, making landfall as a category four and one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland.

The Associated Press reports more than 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi, including all of New Orleans, were left without power. Officials said it could be weeks before the power grid could be repaired.

“Terrible, terrible, terrible,” said Bernard Johnson, who has lived in southeastern Louisiana his whole life.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a category four before. I’ve been in a storm, but this is the worst one I’ve ever been in,” he explained.

He’s a DJ, who’s now left with no speakers — a musician without a record player.

It’ll be a long road ahead in the coming months for the Houma, Louisiana area to bounce back. The city is the largest in Terrebonne Parish, which is southwest of New Orleans.

It wasn’t just neighborhoods like Johnson’s that sustained damage from Hurricane Ida. On Main Street, parking meters and street lights litter the road.

It’ll be a long cleanup effort to pick up bricks, broken glass, traffic lights and powerlines. Things we take for granted — gone in an instant.

“We have buses coming in from all over the country,” said Lea Smith with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the transportation department hired 55 buses to evacuate roughly 4,000 people out of devastated communities.

“It feels great to be able to help and do something instead of just sitting at home watching the news,” said Smith.

Ida blew through on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which flooded New Orleans in 2005. Katrina took more than 1,800 lives, according to the AP. Ida is responsible for at least two deaths, the news outlet reports.

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