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Hurricane Ida Heads Towards Louisiana With New Orleans In Its Crosshairs!

By Team Morecast

On the eve of the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida is churning in the Gulf of Mexico with its eye set on Louisiana. Ida, now a Category 2 storm with winds of 105 mph (169 kph) is forecasted to rapidly strengthen overnight into a dangerous Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph (209 kph) before pummelling the coast of Louisiana on Sunday afternoon. Ida will be the fourth hurricane to strike the state within a year. The state is still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta of 2020.

Louisiana is no stranger to hurricanes, but with so many hurricanes effecting the state back to back, many residents are experiencing hurricane fatigue. These residents have been scrambling to prepare for the storm throughout the day on Saturday, with many of them ordered to evacuate. Roads were snarled with traffic as a mass exodus out of New Orleans ensued.

Although landfall is expected to occur to the southwest of New Orleans, the city is bracing for devastating impacts, since the effects of Ida will extend well inland. Ida is likely to be the strongest storm to directly impact the city since Hurricane Katrina devastatingly flooded it in 2005. In the years post Katrina, billions of dollars have been spent on repairing infrastructure and upgrading the city’s levee system, which failed epically during that storm. A true test of the new system will be underway tomorrow once Ida bares down.

The aforementioned damaging winds, will be accompanied by other extreme hazards, such as torrential rain and catastrophic storm surge. Rainfall from Ida is forecasted to range from 8-16 inches (203-406 mm) across most of eastern Louisiana, then spreading into Mississippi by Monday. A storm surge of up to 15 feet (4.5 m) is expected to occur from Morgan City, Louisiana all the way to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Before departing Cuba, Ida drenched western parts of the island with up to 5 inches of rain (127 mm).