The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Ida’s death toll reaches 4; officials urge those who evacuated not to return

Hurricane Ida caused widespread flooding in LaPlace, La., west of New Orleans. On Aug. 30, people emerged from their homes to assess the damage. (Video: Whitney Shefte, Alice Li, Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post, Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

NEW ORLEANS — More than a million people began a second day in darkness in storm-stricken Louisiana, facing the possibility of days or weeks without power.

Local and state officials continued to urge those who evacuated to stay away, warning that coming home now could mean returning to an area largely without water and power, struggling with limited services. Louisiana officials said those in particularly hard-hit places who chose not to evacuate may end up leaving anyway, as they find themselves dealing with the strained resources.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said 80 percent of the state’s rescues from the prior day were in St. John the Baptist Parish.

“This storm was every bit as advertised,” he said from a briefing there. “The damage that we have seen here and that they’re dealing with is just catastrophic.”