Good morning. It's Monday, Aug. 30, and the city of New Orleans is in the dark after Hurricane Ida pummelled Louisiana yesterday and overnight. Have feedback? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hurricane Ida made landfall along the Louisiana coast yesterday as a Category 4 storm, arriving with sustained wind speeds of 150 mph and dumping almost 13 inches of rain in some locations. As of this early this morning, at least one person had been reported dead—a number expected to rise as rescue crews assess the storm's aftermath.
More than 1 million people were without power this morning, including the entire city of New Orleans, where all eight transmission lines into the city were knocked down. Officials say it could take days or weeks to entirely restore power.
Ida arrived on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which caused more than 1,800 deaths and an estimated $125B in damage. Meteorologists say Ida is stronger but smaller than Katrina, and lacks the extensive storm surge that resulted from the 2005 storm.
The storm is expected to pass through the Mid-South tomorrow morning (see trajectory), eventually bringing heavy rains to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast through the end of the week.
See photos of the damage here, and watch the storm peel the roof off a hospital.
The US military killed two leaders of an ISIS splinter group in Afghanistan and injured a third, officials said. The targeted strike follows a deadly bombing at the Kabul airport Thursday that killed 13 US troops and injured at least a dozen others, while killing at least 170 Afghans. Yesterday, officials said a second strike destroyed an explosives-laden truck headed toward the airport.
Defense officials released the names of the 13 service members killed in the airport attack (see bios). Victims included 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, who was expecting a child in three weeks, and Sgt. Nicole Gee, whose earlier photo holding an Afghan baby set to be evacuated went viral.
ISIS-K, short for
ISIS-Khorasan Province, is an offshoot of the broader ISIS jihadi organization (see overview). While the Taliban and fellow extremist group al-Qaida have close ties, ISIS-K and the Taliban have clashed over which group is the preeminent Islamist authority in the region. Analysts say ISIS-K may pose a threat to the Taliban government after the US withdrawal; the group was linked to at least 77 attacks across the country, including the targeting of civilians, in the first four months of 2021 (paywall, The Dispatch).
US officials have warned Americans who are not through the checkpoints to avoid heading to the airport. It is unclear how those remaining Americans will be evacuated by tomorrow's deadline.
California firefighters began setting up camp over the weekend at Echo Summit in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, anticipating the approach of the Caldor Fire as it moves toward Lake Tahoe. As of yesterday, the fire's eastern edge had advanced to under 8 miles from the resort town of South Lake Tahoe, where most of the residents have reportedly already evacuated (see map). The fire was at 13%
containment as of this morning.
The fire has burned through more than 168,000 acres, making it the second-largest wildfire currently burning in the state, ahead of the Monument Fire (163,000 acres) and behind the Dixie Fire (765,000), but is closer to highly populated areas. The Dixie Fire, which has burned since mid-July in Northern California, is the largest single-source fire in the state's history.
The cause of the Caldor Fire is
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