Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Residents in these states are bracing for the storm’s impact. The winds were said to be at 150 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Ida, striking on the 16th anniversary of the historically devastating Hurricane Katrina, tied as the state’s most powerful storm ever with Laura from last year and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856.
Multiple weather sources are predicting there could be 15-20 inches of rain in some areas and winds from 105 to 140 miles per hour during the storm’s impact. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) warned that it could be “one of the strongest” since the 1850’s. It was also reported by weather sources that schools in Louisiana have shut down and hospitals are already at capacity due to the coronavirus.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned in a press conference Saturday, “If you’re going to leave, you need to do that now or shelter in place.” She also told locals staying to “brace for damaging wind, heavy rain and tornadoes and that she was told the storm in no way will be weakening.”
The National Hurrican Center (NHC) issued a warning Saturday that “preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion today” (Saturday) for areas under a hurricane warning.
On Saturday morning, Ida crossed over western Cuba and entered the southern Gulf of Mexico, where it is expected to begin rapid intensification as it careens toward the Louisiana coast according to the NHC.
Currently, Ida is moving northwest at 16 mph and its center is located about 240 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana. Forecasts show Ida coming ashore late Sunday afternoon.
Officials warned that Louisiana is much more prepared for Ida than it was for Katrina in 2005. Cantrell said she is very confident in a levee protection system that wasn’t in place back then. Although it hasn’t been tested by a store of this magnitude, with predictions of level of 14 feet in some areas. It was also assumed that power loss was certain.
It was reported there are huge traffic concerns, with highways jammed with traffic, as residents are fleeing north to get out of the storm’s path.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information is available.