A rampaging Hurricane Ida ripped off a portion of the roof from the Lady of the Sea General Hospital in Galliano, Louisiana, on Sunday.
Authorities said they had no immediate reports of injuries. Video posted to Twitter showed a large section of the roof peeling off and shredding as Ida’s winds whipped through Galliano, about 30 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and Port Fourchon, where Ida made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
Authorities said the hurricane’s winds are as strong as a tornado in the area, and warned of further “catastrophic” wind damage and flooding as the storm moves inland toward more populated areas.
Lafourche Parish Emergency Preparedness Director Chris Boudreaux told the USA TODAY Network that “a few” patients and staff were inside at the time. Hospital administrators told local media that patients had been moved to lower levels of the building before the damage occurred.
Boudreaux said damaged homes and downed trees have also been reported in that area of Lady of the Sea, a brick 25-bed acute-care hospital. Hospital CEO Karen Collins confirmed the damage to the Lafourche Gazette.
Ahead of the storm, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was particularly worried about the damage Ida could cause to hospitals that are already struggling with COVID-19 patients. As of Sunday, only about 41% of the state’s eligible population had chosen to be fully vaccinated, leading to many hospitals seeing heavy usage as sick, unvaccinated people sought care.
Contributing: Emily Enfinger, USA TODAY Network