1 in 3 gas stations in major Louisiana cities such as Baton Rouge do not currently have fueling capabilities following the devastating Hurricane Ida seen in the Southern state this week.
It is estimated that 30% of the gas stations in New Orleans are similarly without gasoline. When it comes to the entire state of Louisiana, around 13% of gas stations are without fuel for local residents. While other gas stations do have fuel, many are still without power.
With this, state officials are reporting that the rage of this extreme weather storm has left many parts of Louisiana simply "uninhabitable" for now.
With unprecedented flooding destroying or severely damaging homes and businesses throughout the state, this Category 4 Hurricane is now ranked the second-worst Hurricane in their history. It is only trailing behind the infamous Category 5 Hurricane Katrina that roared through the South back in 2005. Now, on the 16th anniversary of Katrina, the winds and destruction of Ida is heavily weighing down on residents —many of whom have now had to live through both catastrophic storms in their lifetimes.
In New Orleans, more than 2 million residents are without power.
More than 1 million homes and businesses in the state — resulting more than 2 million residents — have no power as Ida devastated their electric grid in New Orleans. Other images show entire neighborhoods flooded, with those who refused to evacuate needing rescuing from their homes and rooftops from local police.
In the town of Jean Lafitte, LA, Mayor Tim Kerner reported "catastrophic" flooding, estimating that 90% of their homes had suffered severe damage or had been destroyed.
According to the IPCC, Hurricane and Fire Seasons will continue to worsen until we address the climate conditions that got us here.
So, why is this happening? To put it simply: hurricanes feed off heat. Heat is an ever-growing source of fuel for these monster storms in a warming world. The same can be said for the dry and windy conditions in California fueling wildfires like we have never seen before.
As climate experts and local officials agree that this is the most destructive storm the United States has seen since Katrina, it is expected to only get worse from here unless humans make changes when it comes to our activities on Earth — many of which are empowering these extreme weather events.
As the planet warm up, even by the estimated 1.8-2 °F since 1900, it creates more habitable conditions for extreme weather. As this continues (or is accelerated by human activity), we will continue to see stronger fire and hurricane seasons every year. This is known and verified by climate scientists worldwide, as well as a recent report signed off by every major country represented in the United Nations.
We must make the necessary changes when it comes to enforcing stricter environmental regulations and human activity if we are to have any hope towards a future with fewer Idas or catastrophic storms in at-risk states.