New Orleans police have, reportedly, arrested numerous people who had taken advantage of the disaster caused by Hurricane Ida. Those that were arrested had looted businesses and homes in the city after residents were asked to evacuate due to extended power outages.
Police Chief Shaun Ferguson said Monday during a news conference that they had made "numerous looting arrests" since the weekend. Ferguson said they expect to make more arrests as they are still receiving reports of looting.
Ferguson and other city officials attending the public safety update conference did not disclose how many arrests had been made. Last week, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman had told reporters that they had arrested more than 40 people connected to looting in the city.
Some officials have pushed back on reports that there is now widespread looting in the city. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantre denied that there was widespread looting, stating that people in the community are actually working together and helping each other.
Police officials have assured the public that they will do everything they can to deter further looting. Officials said they are working with the National Guard and other government agencies to immediately respond to reports of looting, particularly in parts of the city that are still without power and essential services.
According to local reports, some residents and business owners have reported looting and burglaries after they returned to their homes and establishments.
Police officials said that if the city lifts its 8 p.m. curfew, they will be deploying additional law enforcement officers and Guard soldiers to areas that still do not have power.
Residents were told to evacuate their homes Friday, nearly a week after Hurricane Ida slammed into the Gulf Coast. The storm caused widespread outages in the city, which forced officials to order voluntary evacuations for the city's most vulnerable. Utility companies have laid out a timeline for when power might be restored in some areas. However, most will likely remain without power and utilities throughout the week.
The powerful hurricane has destroyed homes and flooded hundreds of neighborhoods in its wake. According to initial reports, at least 66 people may have been killed by the devastating floods and wind.