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Four confirmed deaths after Hurricane Ida, but the death toll is expected to increase "significantly"

"I don't want to tell you what I hear because what I hear suggests a lot more. They are not yet confirmed and I really don't want to go there, ”said Edwards.

A man is missing from his home and believed to be dead after an alligator attack in the floods. Cynthia Lee Sheng, president of Jefferson Parish, said at least one person died at home in Jean Lafitte, where rising water forced hundreds to leave Refuge in attics and on roofs.

Although the levee system that protected New Orleans fell after a catastrophic failure during Hurricane Katrina (infrastructure spending!)

Every little thing I owned and had is gone, ”Craig Adams, a 53-year-old Houma resident, told the New York Times. “I have to start all over again. You always see other people going through this on the news. You never think that it will be you – until it is. "

In addition to all the usual damage and loss after a major hurricane, the coronavirus pandemic adds another concern to Ida's aftermath. Low vaccination rates in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as overcrowded accommodations and overcrowded hospitals mean "This is a pandemic tinderbox, ”said Irwin Redlener of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. Some hospitals are planning to evacuate patients, but that can be even more of a threat.

“The hospital patients who have been evacuated are a problem because they are infected, and once you start moving people, you can't take all the precautions you could take when you're in a negative pressure room such is located, ”Arnold Monto, professor of epidemiology in the University of Michigan's School for Public Health, told USA Today.

Hurricane Ida is a natural disaster – but one with damage that is compounded again and again by human activity, from climate change to the poverty that keeps many residents unable to evacuate before a storm, to the low vaccination rates that make the storm a potential COVID -19 super spreaders. Republicans like to claim they are the party of personal responsibility, but their denial of responsibility has made all of these things much, much worse than they needed to be.

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