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‘We haven’t had that loss of human life’ Miss. officials react after Hurricane Ida makes landfall

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 9:21 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mississippi officials said the state ‘dodged a bullet’ when it comes to the impact of Hurricane Ida.

Governor Tate Reeves said he’ll be releasing any federal assets to take on what’s left of the storm at a state and local level.

Monday night, the final remnants of Hurricane Ida made their way through Northeast Mississippi. When it made landfall in the southern part of the state, officials were preparing for the worst with Hurricane Katrina on their minds.

“It’s one of those events where it’s slow. It’s like watching the Mississippi River rise. I don’t get comfortable,” MEMA Executive Director Stephen McCraney said.

McCraney said he won’t breathe a sigh of relief until the remnants of Hurricane Ida are out of the state. Reeves urged everyone to stay indoors until everything passes.

“The risk factors that exist are trees falling over roadways, trees and or limbs falling on poles, and other power mechanisms,” Reeves said.

At its peak, Mississippi saw 144,000 people without power after Hurricane Ida made landfall. By Monday evening, 85,000 remained in the dark.

However, officials said the worst didn’t happen.

“We have a lot of property damage. You can lose your home, you can lose your business. Those are all things you can replace. What you can’t replace is human life,” one Mississippi official said. “One of the things I know on the coast and throughout southwest Mississippi, we haven’t had that loss of human life.”

More than 1,800 people died 16 years ago in Hurricane Katrina. Lessons were learned and protocols have become stronger in that time. It’s a reason Reeves said caused a strong preparedness to this storm in the state.

Monday, Reeves announced federal personnel help wouldn’t be needed on the ground.

“When you’re in a major hurricane of this magnitude, if you can take care of yourself at the local or state level, it’s imperative you let the federal assets go where they are most needed,” Reeves said.

During Monday’s briefing, Reeves said there was one death in Harrison County. However, the fatality happened before the storm made landfall. Reeves said the person died in a car wreck on their way to pick up sandbags.

Louisiana has reported two deaths due to Hurricane Ida.

However, crews in southern Mississippi have had to make 20 water rescues.

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