New Orleans Casinos Closed in Hurricane Ida’s Aftermath
Casinos in New Orleans remained closed Monday in Hurricane Ida’s wake, as the city and surrounding region experienced a massive power outage. East of New Orleans, in Biloxi, Mississippi, the storm surge swamped a casino garage and flooded streets along that state’s Gulf Coast.
In New Orleans, a regional power outage expected to last for days blanketed the city in darkness Sunday as the hurricane roared through the area.
The outage occurred as a utility tower near Avondale collapsed into the Mississippi River, according to nola.com. Avondale is southwest of downtown New Orleans, on the opposite side of the river.
Transmission lines failed throughout the area, shutting down power in four Southeastern Louisiana parishes. Across the region, one million people were left without electrical power early Monday, one day after Category 4 Hurricane Ida barreled ashore.
With sustained winds of 150 mph, the hurricane slammed into Louisiana at Port Fourchon south of New Orleans just before noon on Sunday. It is the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to hit the mainland US. It blew ashore on the same day as deadly Hurricane Katrina 16 years earlier.
Churning through South Louisiana at only 10 mph, Hurricane Ida’s fierce winds pounded the region, ripping off roofs and toppling power lines. Heavy rainfall flooded an already saturated Gulf Coast, forcing residents to flee their homes and swamping businesses.
In Ascension Parish, one man was killed when a tree struck his home in the Duplessis area between Gonzales and Prairieville, according to nola.com. This area is just east of Baton Rouge.
As emergency crews fanned out along the coast on Monday, a more complete picture of the overall damage was expected to emerge.
New Orleans Closures
Early Monday, casinos in the New Orleans area remained closed.
On its website, Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel and Casino announced it was closed because of the hurricane. The resort did not list a date it expected to begin operating again.
We look forward to welcoming you back once it’s safe to do so,” the Harrah’s website states. It is Louisiana’s only land-based casino.
The Treasure Chest and the Boomtown riverboat casinos also remained closed on Monday. The Treasure Chest is at Lake Pontchartrain in Kenner, northwest of downtown New Orleans. Boomtown is south of downtown New Orleans, on the opposite side of the Mississippi River in Harvey.
The Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in New Orleans announced on its website that it would be closed Monday, but “anticipated reopening on Tuesday.”
In Baton Rouge, the Louisiana State University campus remained closed through Tuesday. The LSU football team, preparing for its season opener in Southern California against UCLA on Sept. 4, relocated to Houston to practice for the game.
The NFL’s New Orleans Saints moved some practice sessions to Dallas in preparation for the team’s Sept. 12 season-opening game in the Caesars Superdome against the Green Bay Packers.
Mississippi Resorts Open Tuesday
In Biloxi, the parking garage at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino was one of several casino sites that took on water, according to the Biloxi Sun Herald.
In addition to the high water at the Golden Nugget in Biloxi, ankle-deep water surrounded Harrah’s Gulf Coast Hotel and Casino, the Sun Herald reported.
Mississippi is home to 26 commercial casinos. Of those, 12 are along the Gulf Coast. Eight are in the Biloxi area. The casinos along the coast were closed from Saturday through Monday. Most planned to reopen on Tuesday.
Last year, casinos along the Gulf Coast in Mississippi and Louisiana were damaged in hurricanes.
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