Hurricane Ida made landfall into Louisiana's Gulf Coast at around noon on August 29. The Category 4 storm caused severe destruction across the state with sustained winds of 150 miles (240 kilometers) per hour and a central pressure of 930 millibars. According to NASA, it is 'the fifth strongest hurricane (based on wind speed) ever to make landfall in the United States.' NASA astronauts captured stunning images of the enormous storm from space, pictured below.
#HurricaneIda is weakening, which is good news, but it still did a lot of damage. Looking down the eye from above gives perspective of how high these clouds are… Thinking of all those affected. Stay safe! #MissionAlpha pic.twitter.com/Y8PGi4Rjqd— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) August 30, 2021
Today, September 5, one week after Hurricane Ida made landfall, Louisiana government and first responders are working to help people with recovery and reconstruction efforts. “Many of the life-supporting infrastructure elements are not present, they’re not operating right now,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said during a news conference. The storm caused damage to some homes and took down power lines. More than 1 million customers (businesses, households) in Louisiana had reportedly lost power by midday on August 30. As of Sunday, approximately 630,000 customers are still without power in the state according to PowerOutage.us. Many other infrastructures, including terrestrial telecommunication systems have been affected. Most communities utilize an internet service offered in a bundle with their TV cable company provider or mobile service provider, which often depend on terrestrial infrastructures to operate like ground based power, antenna poles, and cable lines that are affected by severe weather.
We have many residents that need help tarping their roofs ahead of rain next week. We would love volunteers to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.#SCPStrong #HurricaneIdaRecovery pic.twitter.com/XRMxZhGBcn— St. Charles Parish (@stcharlesgov) September 5, 2021
SpaceX Starlink is now providing internet service to Louisiana St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations team after Hurricane Ida destroyed local communication systems. The Starlink internet service is unaffected by terrestrial disasters because it is a satellite broadband system that mainly operates from space. The company says it is actively building the world’s most advanced internet infrastructure that will be capable of connecting even the most remote regions around the world. SpaceX currently operates around 1,740 internet-beaming satellites that beam internet service to user terminals on Earth. “Thanks to Elon Musk and SpaceX for getting us connected port [post] Hurricane Ida Communications is key in our recovery,” St. Charles representatives said via Twitter. They shared a photo of a Starlink user terminal installed by the emergency operations team on a roof top. The network is very easy to install, simply set the dish antenna pointing towards the sky and connect to an energy source, like a portable power generator. The Starlink terminal works alongside a Wi-Fi router to easily connect any device to the internet. For more information visit Starlink.com.
Featured Image Source: @stcharlesgov via Twitter