Hurricane Ida has passed by, but New Orleans remains mostly powerless.
Electricity went out across the city Sunday, and while one neighborhood flickered back early Wednesday, there’s no word about when the rest of the lights will be back. Gasoline is scarce, most grocery stores are closed, tap water is iffy and officials are telling people who fled not to come home.
It’s a challenge just to care for those who are there: More than half the population rode out the storm, and about 200,000 are enduring the smothering August heat and trying to put food on the table without electricity. Louisiana’s biggest city is now confronting the most extensive U.S. outage since February, when a brutal storm in Texas left more than 200 people dead. In the Crescent City — beloved for its jazz, nightlife and food — people are picking their way through a labyrinth of downed trees and power lines to find the few stores where they can stock up on supplies.