No power, no clean water, no cell service, downed trees and flooding are just some of the challenges that people in Louisiana are facing one day after a devastating hurricane carved a path of destruction across the state.

Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, slammed into Louisiana with winds in excess of 150 mph and inches of rainfall that continued unabated for hours on end. At least one person has been reported killed and many more are thought to be in dire need of rescue from some of the hardest-hit areas.

“Things here are pretty rough,” said Rabbi Mendel Rivkin of Chabad Lubavitch of Louisiana. “Nobody has power, and a lot of people are without plumbing. It looks like it will be a while until things are able to be repaired. We are trying to assess the immediate future here.”

Speaking from the Chabad House in New Orleans, where he is helping to coordinate emergency needs for the Jewish community, Rivkin told that he is trying to arrange for generators as local officials on Sunday night called the power outage “catastrophic.”

Rivkin said that at this point, “We are just trying to assess if there is any value of staying or leaving. If it’s going to be three weeks with no power we are going to encourage people to leave. It’s not livable here with no access to ice, air conditioning, power, etc.”

In the short term, though, residents are being urged to stay put. In a Tweet Monday morning, the New Orleans Police Department wrote, “Now is not the time to leave your home. There is no power. Trees, limbs, and lines are down everywhere. It is not safe to leave your home right now. Please remain sheltered in place.”

“If you have evacuated out of NOLA, we request that you do not return until further notice,” said city officials on Twitter. “There is widespread debris, power remains out, and emergency services are working to respond to those in the city. We will let you know when it is safe to come home.”

Among the areas with no plumbing is Metairie, La., where residents have no drinking water and cannot flush their toilets.

Early yesterday afternoon, before the worst of the storm blew through Metairie, Rabbi Yosef Nemes of Chabad of Metairie posted a photo on social media that showed some minor damage. “Lost my gutter, parts of my shed and roof, and my fence ... Not feeling G‑d’s wrath … Feeling His closeness in a very personal way... .”

Those wishing to assist in the recovery efforts can do so here.

Rabbi Mendel Rivkin sets up a small generator outside his Chabad House in New Orleans.
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin sets up a small generator outside his Chabad House in New Orleans.