As residents flee to Texas, traffic moves along I-10 West bumper-to-bumper as they move in a rush to get away from Hurricane Ida.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana on Sunday as a Category-4 storm with winds up to 150 mph. It was one of the most powerful storms to hit the region in a decade since Hurricane Katrina.
Sunday, September 11, 2011 was a warning from the National Hurricane Center. ET warns that a life-threatening storm surge of at least nine feet is possible from Burns Point (Louisiana) to Ocean Springs (Mississippi), and could cause damage to local levees.
On Sunday morning, hurricane-force winds reached the coast of southeastern Louisiana. The storm was just a short distance from Port Fourchon in Louisiana.
At Lakefront Airport, New Orleans, sustained winds reached 43 mph and gusts to 67 mph were reported in the last hour. According to the Hurricane Center, Ida was approximately 15 miles southwest from Grand Isle, Louisiana and 45 miles southeast from Houma, Louisiana.
Ida arrived in the United States on the 16th anniversary of Katrina. This was the deadly Category 3 hurricane that decimated Louisiana and Mississippi 16 year ago. It killed more than 1,800 people, and caused $125 billion worth of damage.
New Orleans' flood defenses will face significant challenges from Ida's strength and direction. This includes flood walls, gates, and levees that were constructed to protect against storms. Katrina caused severe flooding and levee breaches in New Orleans.
Concerns have been raised about Ida's impact on the city's hospitals. They are already overloaded with Covid-19 patients and don’t have enough room for evacuated people. Louisiana's pandemic will cause shelters to be reduced in capacity, but state officials are trying to secure hotels for the evacuees.
Ida grew so fast that officials couldn't order mandatory evacuations. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a mandatory evacuation order for a portion of the city that was not within the levee system. However, she said it wasn't possible to issue one for the entire city.
The New Orleans Airport announced Saturday that Sunday's flights had been canceled because of the approaching storm.
President Joe Biden declared a state of emergencies for Louisiana and Mississippi. This authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana Governor, stated Saturday that the storm would be the most powerful to hit the state since at minimum the 1850s.