As Ida comes ashore, officials are asking residents to hunker down and wait out the storm.
"As the powerful Hurricane Ida rapidly approaches our gulf coast, conditions are quickly deteriorating. If you have not evacuated and are in the affected area along the southeast and south central gulf coast, please seek shelter immediately," a post from Louisiana State Police states. "Do not venture out. Travel should be avoided, but if you must travel for an emergency motorists may call *LSP (*577). This number should not be utilized for informational purposes."
Here are some numbers for information: For information about shelters, call 211. For road closure information, motorists can utilize the 511 phone system, 511la.org, or Louisiana 511 smartphone application. For updates related to Hurricane Ida, citizens can text “Ida” to 67283 #Ida
In St. Landry Parish, Coulee Croche Fire Protection District 4 is asking residents to stay put after the storm, so they can do their job.
"Also would like to remind everyone to not travel and site-see after the storm has passed," a post states. "This allows emergency responders to do their job and respond easier."
They're read, but won't respond until conditions are safe, the post adds.
"Although you haven't heard for us about the incoming hurricane Ida crews have been preparing. Parish EOC has been activated and fully staffed as of this morning. Parish emergency response and communication protocols have been activated as well as department protocols," the post states. "CCFD4 equipment and supplies has be checked, rechecked, and checked a third time. Boats have been prepared and are on standby if needed. Chainsaws have been ran, fueled, and sharpened ready for use as needed. CCFD4 is prepared for tree removal on a as-needed bases crews will only be cutting enough of the tree to allow access for emergency vehicles crews will not be completely clearing roadways."
In New Orleans, as the storm came ashore Mayor LaToya Cantrell joined local and state officials to ask residents to stay put.
She said first responders will not be able to help until the storm passes. She said power is starting to go out, but until the winds calm to less than 35 miles per hour, no utility workers can climb poles to restore it.
Health officials asked residents to stay home; hospitals overflowing with COVID patients don't have the space to help lots of injured people, they say. Police Chief Shaun Ferguson said his officers can't get out until it is safe to do so. He said police and other first responders will be there to help, but after the storm passes.
All officials asked residents to be careful, stay put and be patient. They asked that residents heed all orders and warnings, and to conserve water as much as possible - especially folks staying in the city's hotels.
When it is safe, Cantrell said, that will be announced. Until then "stay inside," she said.
"We will get through this together," said Cantrell.
On the 16th anniversary of another monster storm, many officials said that it was the nightmare of Katrina's aftermath that ensures they are prepared for Ida.
Cantrell said she's been in direct contact with the White House and FEMA officials already, to touch base before the storm hits.
Here's the press conference. If you can't see it, click here.