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Deaths from Hurricane Ida rise to 26 in Louisiana; many heat-caused

Deaths from Hurricane Ida rise to 26 in Louisiana; many heat-caused
Damage from Hurricane Ida is seen in the French Quarter of New Orleans, La., on August, 29. The storm arrived as a Category 4 hurricane and is responsible for at least 26 deaths, officials said. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The death toll in Louisiana from Hurricane Ida last week has risen to 26 after nearly a dozen more victims were added to the list, authorities said Wednesday.

Louisiana's health department reported 11 additional deaths -- nine of whom died from "excessive heat" during extended power outages in Orleans Parish. The dead ranged in age from 64 to 79.

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More than 242,000 customers are still without power in Louisiana, now more than a week after the hurricane made landfall on Aug. 29. Close to 2 million lost electricity immediately after the storm.

"Those at greatest risk for heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, and people who are ill or on certain medications," the health department said in a statement.

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Restoring power to some parts of Louisiana will take longer, officials said, because of extensive damage done to electrical infrastructure. Officials said the process could last until the end of September.

"Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness, occurring when the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down," the department added.

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Six of the dead succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning, while running generators inside their homes.

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After days of temperatures in Louisiana higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a cold front is expected to bring some relief to the region. Highs are expected to reach 88 degrees Thursday before dipping into the upper 60s by nightfall.

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