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Ida weakens to a tropical depression as it moves through Mississippi

Flooding in LaPlace, La., on Monday. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

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Biden administration officials will visit Louisiana and Mississippi Tuesday to meet with local leaders and assess the devastation caused by Ida.

More than 3,600 Federal Emergency Management Agency employees have been deployed to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas to help with the rescue and cleanup efforts, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a news conference Monday.

Hurricane forecasters downgraded Ida to a tropical depression Monday evening but are still warning of dangerous storm surges and heavy rainfall in multiple states.

Ida, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, battered Louisiana, with reports of downed power lines, levee failures and flooding, collapsed buildings, and residents trapped on rooftops. Nearly 1 million households are still without power.

Here’s what to know

  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said the death toll from Ida could rise “considerably” as search-and-rescue efforts get underway. The Louisiana State Police also warned that “the full extent of damage” was not clear yet.
  • Officials in Louisiana implored residents to take precautions Monday. In a tweet, Edwards told residents to “remain where you are.” The National Weather Service in New Orleans urged people to “be EXTREMELY safe today as weather hazards remain in effect.”
  • New Orleans’s 911 services were experiencing “technical difficulties,” and residents were instead being urged to seek help in person from first responders.