Ida’s powerful message to Baton Rouge 

    Though Category 4 Hurricane Ida largely spared East Baton Rouge Parish, parts of the Capital Region were badly damaged and without power for more than a week, while New Orleans’ entire power grid was knocked offline and coastal communities suffered catastrophic damage from which some may never recover. 

    In Baton Rouge, many businesses were shuttered—or working under limited capacity—and schools were closed for a week as 75% of the parish was initially without power. Traffic was a challenge as motorists navigated roads with inoperable traffic signals and gas shortages prompted lines not seen since the 1970s energy crisis.

    Louisiana, already the poorest state in the nation, faces mounting challenges to its aging infrastructure and fragile coastline. As storms and severe weather in the era of climate change become more frequent, unpredictable and intense, the state’s resilience will be pushed to the limit and its vulnerabilities will be exposed. Among them are the fossil fuel infrastructure, the electric grid, and the regional economy.

    Read the full Big Story from the latest edition of Business Report, which looks into all the ways the storm impacted the area, and what we could see going forward. Send comments to