The National Hurricane Center warned that Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the central Gulf Coast on Sunday as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane and bring heavy rainfall, catastrophic winds, flash flooding and life-threatening storm surge to the area. Actions to protect life and property should be “rushed to completion,” according to the NHC. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said on Saturday that residents planning to voluntarily evacuate the city should do so immediately. President Joe Biden approved a federal emergency declaration for Louisiana ahead of the storm. Keep it here for the latest.
The Atlantic hurricane season began on Tuesday, June 1, and ends on Tuesday, November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) encourages people residing in states along the Atlantic coast to download the FEMA mobile app and learn about how to prepare for hurricanes by visiting Ready.gov and Listo.gov. There is a 60% chance of an above-normal hurricane season this year, according to NOAA.
Ida, which became a Category 1 hurricane Friday afternoon has strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds.
The latest forecast track has Ida coming ashore in southeast Louisiana on Sunday late afternoon/early evening.
Ida will be a tropical storm nearing the border of Mississippi by Monday morning.
The storm is forecast to land the same day 16 years ago that Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm, ravaged the Gulf Coast. Katrinia unleashed a series of events, taking the lives of more than 1,800 people and leaving more than $100 billion worth of damage in its wake.