Twelve people in New Orleans were hospitalized Wednesday due to another suspected carbon monoxide poisoning incident involving an improperly operated generator, with hundreds of thousands of state residents still without power after Hurricane Ida ravaged the state.
The New Orleans Emergency Medical Services tweeted Wednesday morning that it was responding to “multiple patients with carbon monoxide poisoning at a residence.”
⚠️Happening now: #NOEMS responding to multiple patients with carbon monoxide poisoning at a residence.— New Orleans EMS (@NewOrleansEMS) September 1, 2021
Current patient count: 11
The agency later said it had taken seven children and five adults, to nearby hospitals.
“This was a portable generator related carbon monoxide poisoning,” the agency added in a follow-up tweet, warning residents that the “colorless, odorless gas” is “deadly” and that generators should only be operated outdoors.
The conditions of the 12 people were not immediately clear.
Final:#NOEMS resources responding:— New Orleans EMS (@NewOrleansEMS) September 1, 2021
2 sprint cars
1 rescue truck
1 high water truck (Area not flooded. Unit responded to assist)
This was a portable generator related carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is a DEADLY colorless, odorless gas. Only operate generators outdoors.
The latest incident follows news Tuesday that nine people from St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana were taken to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from a generator operated in a garage.
Jason Gaubert, public information officer for St. Tammany Fire District No. 1, said in a statement to The Hill at the time that the individuals, who ranged from an infant to middle aged, were all stable and were expected to recover.
Emergency responders across Louisiana have ramped up their warnings on the proper use of generators, with the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness tweeting Wednesday that generators should be placed at least 20 feet away from homes and away from open windows, doors or vents.
The agency also said among its safety recommendations that residents should turn their generator off and allow it to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before refueling, and that generators should not be operated in wet conditions.
City officials also tweeted that residents should have a fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide monitor at their homes, and that people should “never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet.”
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal has provided generator safety tips as Louisianians prepare for the effects of Hurricane Ida. If you find yourself in need of a generator after losing electricity, please follow the tips below to safely get power in your home:— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) September 1, 2021
Have a fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide monitor for your home— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) September 1, 2021
Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet
As of Wednesday early afternoon, more than 983,000 customers in Louisiana remained without power, days after Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us.
Louisiana energy company DEMCO said this week that restoring power to Louisiana households could be a "weeks long process,” as workers must first attempt to conduct repairs to transmission and transformer poles damaged by the storm.