Three days after Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on Louisiana, parts of the state showed little recovery signs on Wednesday. Power was restored for a fortunate few, some stores managed to open their doors and debris and fallen trees were cleared from a number of roadways - signs that progress was being made. The task is far from over though. The damage inflicted by Hurricane Ida could take weeks to repair.
Several low-lying communities are still submerged in water. Nearly a million homes and businesses are having to make do without electricity. Over 600,000 residents are lacking running water, health officials said on Wednesday.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said he was pleased that power had returned for some people, saying it was "critically important to show progress" after the storm. But he also acknowledged that much more work lay ahead.
"I'm very mindful that it's a start, and only a start," he told a news conference.
The death toll rose to at least six after a coroner confirmed a 65-year-old woman had drowned in her Louisiana home and police in Maryland said a 19-year-old man was found dead in an apartment complex flooded by heavy rain from Ida's remnants. And the staggering scope of the disaster began to come into focus, with a private firm estimating total damage from Ida could exceed $50 billion.
In New Orleans, nearly house of the population has been evacuated. But the town showed some signs of recovery with flags hanging from power lines to help cars avoid them.
In some parts of the town, streets have been completely cleared of debris. Others still remain cluttered with obstacles.
Louisiana's transportation department announced that all interstate systems across the state had reopened and been cleared of debris. AT&T, which faced widespread cellphone outages after Ida, said it was currently operating at more than 90% of normal capacity.
(with AP inputs)