In upper Jefferson Parish, what happened to sewer, water infrastructure after Hurricane Ida?
Elenora Smith didn’t mess around with Hurricane Ida.
The 75-year old Metairie resident evacuated before the storm made landfall in Louisiana, heading north to Mississippi to get out of its path.
Days later, when she heard that electricity had been restored on her street, Smith figured it was time to head home. But what she found on her return was a house with power, but no water. Nothing came from the tap, and the toilets wouldn’t flush.
“I had to go to my sister-in-law’s,” she said. “Not being able to flush the toilet was really big.”
Not unlike its epic takedown of the region's power grid, Hurricane Ida crippled Jefferson Parish's critical water and sewer infrastructure, leaving parts of the parish without water service for days, and the entire parish was under a boil water advisory for a week. The sewer system was also rendered nearly unusable, leading parish officials to plead for residents to avoid flushing or showering to avoid costly backups.