Traffic moves to a bumper along I-10 West as residents evacuate to Texas before Hurricane Ida arrives in Vinton, Louisiana.
Adris Latif | Reuters
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, the strongest to hit the region since Hurricane Katrina. One of the storms.
The Hurricane Center warned at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday that a deadly storm surge of nine feet or more was expected from Burns Point, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and could potentially strike local dikes.
Hurricane-force winds began to reach the southeastern coast of Louisiana on Sunday morning before the storm made landfall, according to the Hurricane Center.
Ida made landfall on the anniversary of Katrina, the dangerous Category 3 hurricane that devastated Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years ago, killing more than 1,800 people and causing $ 125 billion in damage.
Ida’s strength and path would be an important test of New Orleans’ post-Katrina flood protection, including levees, flood walls, and gates that were built to provide protection from the floods. hurricanes. Katrina caused dike ruptures and catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.
Iida also raised concerns about the city’s hospitals, which are already overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients and have little space for evacuated patients. Shelters in Louisiana will operate at reduced capacity due to the pandemic, although state officials are working to secure hotel rooms for evacuees.
Ida escalated so quickly that authorities did not have time to order a mandatory evacuation. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has ordered the mandatory evacuation of a small area of town outside the levy system, but said there was no time to issue one. for the whole city.
New Orleans Airport said on Saturday that all Sunday flights were also canceled due to the oncoming storm.
A resident takes sandbags home from a city-run sandbag distribution point at the Dryads YMCA along Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard on Friday, August 27, 2021, in New Orleans, as residents are preparing for Hurricane Ida.
Max Becherer | The Times-Picayune | AP. via The New Orleans Advocate
President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency for Louisiana and Mississippi, a move that allows Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said on Saturday the storm would be one of the most powerful tornadoes in the state since at least the 1850s.
“National Weather Service forecasters are extremely confident about the current track and intensity of Hurricane Ida, and you don’t really hear them talk about that level of confidence very often,” Edwards told the conference. afternoon press release. Eh.”
Noxious winds will spread across southwestern Mississippi through Sunday evening and early Monday, causing widespread tree damage, power outages and heavy rainfall, the hurricane center said.
According to the Hurricane Center, as the storm moves inland, severe flooding is forecast for parts of lower Mississippi, the Tennessee Valley, the Upper Ohio Valley, the central Appalachians and from the mid-Atlantic.
Ida is the first major hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active on record, with 30 named storms, of which 13 were hurricanes.
Scientists warn of an increasingly dangerous hurricane season as climate change favors more frequent and destructive storms. NOAA expects the 2021 season to see 15 to 21 named hurricanes, including seven to 10 hurricanes.
This story is developing. Please check for updates.