LUCEDALE, Miss. — Two people were killed and at least 10 others were injured late Monday night, Aug. 30, when their vehicles plunged into a deep hole where a Mississippi highway collapsed after Hurricane Ida blew through.
Meanwhile, Interstate 10 between New Orleans and Baton Rouge was open only to emergency traffic. Officials announced Tuesday afternoon that the state’s interstate system was completely reopened to traffic.
Torrential rain may have caused the highway collapse in Mississippi, and the drivers may not have seen that the roadway in front of them had disappeared Monday night, Mississippi Highway Patrol Cp. Cal Robertson said.
“Some of these cars are stacked on top of each other,” he said. Seven vehicles were involved, including a motorcycle. A crane was brought in to lift them out of the hole.
WDSU-TV reports that state troopers, emergency workers and rescue teams responded to Highway 26 west of Lucedale, Mississippi, about 60 miles northeast of Biloxi, to find both the east and westbound lanes collapsed. Robertson said the hole is 50 to 60 feet long and 20 to 30 feet deep.
The identities and conditions of the of those involved in the accident have not yet been released.
More than 8 inches of rain fell in the area during Ida, according to the National Weather Service.
Between 3,100 and 5,700 vehicles drive along the stretch of two-lane highway on an average day, according to Mississippi Department of Transportation data.
Back in Louisiana, the state’s department of transportation said that I-10 exit ramps at Highway 51 in LaPlace are closed due to flooding. I-55 northbound is also closed from Hammond to the Mississippi state line due to fallen trees blocking the road.
Hurricane Ida blasted ashore Sunday as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful ever to hit the U.S. mainland. It knocked out power to much of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi, blowing roofs off buildings and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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