New Orleans Casinos Still Closed After Ida Knocks Out City’s Electricity
Posted on: September 1, 2021, 01:49h.
Last updated on: September 1, 2021, 03:06h.
Casinos in the New Orleans area remained closed on Wednesday, three days after destructive Hurricane Ida toppled utility lines, knocking out power in the city.
The four New Orleans-area major gambling halls still were closed during the middle of the week because of local power outages, said Lt. Robert Fontenot of the Louisiana State Police. He told Casino.org the four properties reported no significant structural damage.
Louisiana is home to 13 riverboat casinos, a land-based casino in New Orleans, and four racinos — horse tracks with slot machines. Dozens of places that only offer video poker machines are scattered throughout the state.
Several Gulf Coast casinos shut down their operations last weekend as the hurricane approached landfall.
Packing sustained winds of 150 mph, the Category 4 hurricane slammed into the Louisiana shoreline south of New Orleans just before noon on Sunday. The storm’s fierce winds destroyed homes and businesses in the hard-hit region, and disabled power lines that provide electricity to New Orleans.
The New Orleans-area resorts that remained closed Wednesday include Harrah’s New Orleans, the state’s only land-based commercial casino. Also closed are the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in New Orleans and two riverboat casinos, the Treasure Chest in Kenner and Boomtown in Harvey. Kenner and Harvey are cities near downtown New Orleans.
Mississippi Casinos Reopen
In other parts of South Louisiana, some riverboat casinos were expected to open soon.
The Amelia Belle riverboat casino near Morgan City was closed over the weekend. By the middle of the week, it was attempting to reopen, Fontenot told Casino.org.
In Baton Rouge, the Hollywood and Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat casinos planned to open Wednesday, Fontenot said. The third riverboat in the area, L’Auberge Casino Hotel, remained closed.
East of there in Mississippi, the casinos that closed over the weekend already have reopened, or will be open by Thursday, said Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
Of the 26 commercial casinos in Mississippi, 12 are along the Gulf Coast. Eight are in the Biloxi area.
Some Mississippi casinos experienced minor flooding in lower-level garages, “which is not unusual” during hurricanes, Godfrey told Casino.org.
Ida is the fifth-most powerful hurricane ever to hit the mainland US. By Wednesday, the number of deaths from the storm reached four, though authorities said that number could go higher as crews work through the wreckage and debris.
Power, Water Outages
In addition to knocking out electricity for more than one million utility customers, the hurricane left 441,000 people in 17 Louisiana parishes with no tap water, according to the Associated Press. An additional 319,000 people were under a boil-water order.
Without electricity and water, many people in the hurricane’s wake were suffering from the oppressive heat and humidity, adding an extra layer of misery. Weather forecasters said the combined heat and humidity made area temperatures feel like 105 degrees on Tuesday and 106 on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said power could be restored to some parts of the city by Wednesday. However, officials have stressed that a widespread fix is a long ways off.
“We know it’s hot,” the mayor said. “We know we do not have any power, and that continues to be a priority.”