Hurricane Ida is just 7 mph below a category 5 hurricane, and is about to slam into the Louisiana coastline. It is currently located at latitude 28.5 North, longitude 89.6 West, which is 50 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory at 7:00 a.m. this morning. The NHC said the storm will cause catastrophic damage once it reaches land. Ida is expected to make landfall somewhere between Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and the Dulac areas.
New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Intercostal City and the mouth of the Mississippi River are all under Hurricane Warnings as the eye of Hurricane Ida is expected to hit within the next three hours, by 12:00 p.m. (noon) central time. According to the NHC, once Ida makes landfall, they expect rapid weakening as it moved inland and turns northeasterly into western Mississippi. Hurricane force winds extend 50 miles outward from the eye, the center of rotation. Strong bands have already crossed most of southern Louisiana and the New Orleans metro area, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
Today is the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that struck New Orleans.
Unlike when Katrina struck New Orleans and few people evacuated, this time, the evacuations have completely jammed Interstate 10 going west towards Texas and east going towards Mobile, Alabama. The airport yesterday was jammed with people hoping to get a flight out of New Orleans, the ticket counters and airport entry were completely full of people, so much that few people could move.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has already declared a state of emergency and President Biden has declared all of southeast Louisiana a disaster area clearing the way for federal assistance. FEMA has staged workers just outside the expected path of the hurricane and has been bringing in truck loads of water, food, medicine, and began planning emergency shelters for thousands of people or tens of thousands.