Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana as a powerful Class 4 storm

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Visitors strikes bumper to bumper alongside I-10 West as residents evacuate in the direction of Texas earlier than the arrival of Hurricane Ida in Vinton, Louisiana.

Adrees Latif | REUTERS

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday as a Class 4 storm with winds of 150 miles per hour, one of many strongest storms to hit the area since Hurricane Katrina, the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mentioned.

The Nationwide Hurricane Heart warned on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET that life-threatening storm surge of 9 ft or extra is predicted from Burns Level, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and will probably topple native levees.

Hurricane-force winds began to achieve the coast of southeastern Louisiana on Sunday morning earlier than the storm made landfall close to Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

Within the final hour, sustained winds of 43 miles per hour and a gust to 67 miles per hour had been reported at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans. Ida was about 15 miles southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and roughly 45 miles southeast of Houma, Louisiana, the Hurricane Heart mentioned.

Ida made landfall on the anniversary of Katrina, the damaging Class 3 storm that devastated Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years in the past, killing greater than 1,800 individuals and inflicting $125 billion in harm.

The power and path of Ida might be a major take a look at of New Orleans’ post-Katrina flood defenses, together with levees, flood partitions and gates that had been constructed to supply storm safety. Katrina had induced levee breaches and catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.

Ida has additionally triggered issues concerning the metropolis’s hospitals, that are already overwhelmed with Covid-19 sufferers and have little room for evacuated sufferers. Shelters in Louisiana will run at lowered capacities due the pandemic, although state officers are working to safe resort rooms for evacuees.

Ida intensified so shortly that officers did not have time to order necessary evacuations. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered a compulsory evacuation for a small space of the town outdoors the levee system, however mentioned there wasn’t time to situation one for the entire metropolis.

All Sunday flights had been additionally canceled because of the approaching storm, the New Orleans Airport mentioned Saturday.

President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency for Louisiana and Mississippi, a transfer that authorizes the Division of Homeland Safety and Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA) to coordinate all catastrophe reduction efforts.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday mentioned the storm might be one of many strongest to hit the state since not less than the 1850s.

A resident takes house sandbags from a metropolis run sandbag distribution location on the Dryades YMCA alongside Oretha Fort Haley Blvd., Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in New Orleans, as residents put together for Hurricane Ida.

Max Becherer | The Occasions-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate by way of AP

Forecasters with the Nationwide Climate Service “are extraordinarily assured within the present observe and the depth as forecasted for Hurricane Ida, and you do not actually hear them talking fairly often about that degree of confidence,” Edwards mentioned throughout a day press briefing.

Damaging winds will unfold into southwestern Mississippi on Sunday evening and early Monday, possible inflicting widespread tree harm and energy outages, and heavy rainfall and is predicted throughout the central Gulf Coast, the Hurricane Heart mentioned.

Because the storm strikes inland, important flooding is forecast throughout parts of the Decrease Mississippi, Tennessee Valley, Higher Ohio Valley, Central Appalachians and the Mid-Atlantic via Wednesday, in accordance with the Hurricane Heart.

Ida is the primary main storm to hit the Gulf Coast in the course of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season of 2020 was the most active on record, with 30 named storms, 13 of which had been hurricanes.

Scientists warn of more and more harmful hurricane seasons as local weather change fuels extra frequent and catastrophic storms. NOAA expects the 2021 season to see between 15 and 21 named storms, together with seven to 10 hurricanes.

This story is creating. Please examine again for updates.