NewsLocal News


Hurricane Ida's impact felt by native Wisconsinites, organizations

Posted at 4:45 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 18:25:44-04

MILWAUKEE — Hurricane Ida's impact continues to send a ripple effect throughout the country, less than a day after making landfall.

It was a much different story Monday in Milwaukee; it's a perfect, sunny day. Despite the contrasting weather between the New Orleans and southeastern Wisconsin areas, many people away from the hurricane could see the effects in other ways.

New Orleans resident and Racine native Sandra O’Clare evacuated to Jackson, Mississippi. The storm knocked out power within the entire City of New Orleans.

“Right now, it looks like it's going to be a month before we get electric back,” O’Clare said.

She was just in Racine last week visiting family, but scrambled back to New Orleans to prep for the fast-developing Category 4 hurricane.

"Try to get everything off the first floor, pack up six cats, my husband and we came here,” O’Clare said.

She sent TMJ4 News a picture of her home she hopes is intact when she returns. She also sent images of the surrounding neighborhood, covered in flood waters.

Poster image - 2021-08-30T171939.404.jpg
Poster image - 2021-08-30T171945.234.jpg

"It is very surreal because it's areas you're so familiar with and suddenly you see them twisted and in a mess. It doesn't seem like it's reality,” O’Clare said.

Red Cross of Wisconsin confirms it sent three volunteers ahead of the storm to help set up some of the sheltering infrastructure.

They didn't rule out the possibility of sending more as damage is reported.

“A little bit of a wait-and-see thing right now, but it'll be a lot clearer as we see it move from the sheltering phase to the response phase over the coming days,” said Justin Kern of Wisconsin Red Cross.

Another impact the storm may have here in southeastern Wisconsin could be gas prices.

According to AAA, nine oil refineries were in the path of the storm. Four are believed to be shut down temporarily due to storms. How that will impact gas prices in Wisconsin remains up in the air.

“We still don't know the impact IDA has had on all the pipelines. So, there's work being done to access the damage, so we are doing work to see what falls and what will happen to the gas prices,” said AAA spokesperson Molly Hart.

O’Clare says she may continue north to Wisconsin as power outages linger in Louisiana.

“I think it's very likely because it's also 100 degrees in New Orleans right now,” she said.

O’Clare said she is staying connected with her neighbors, who opted to stay back. She plans to assess things in New Orleans Tuesday to determine if, in fact, they will come back up to Wisconsin.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip