Hurricane Ida strengthened rapidly into a Category 4 storm overnigh targeting New Orleans on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina devastated Northern Gulf city during the last week of August in 2005, killing an estimated 1,800 people. Ida “is not going to generate the huge storm surge like Katrina did”. Sustained winds have intensified to 150 mph. Only two hurricanes on record , since 1851, have made landfall in Louisiana with sustained winds that strong: Last Island in 1856, and Hurricane Laura in 2020. The National Weather Service has issued an extreme wind warning for far southeast Louisiana. All flights scheduled for Sunday, August 29 from and to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport have been cancelled.
A hurricane warning is posted from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, eastward to the mouth of the Pearl River, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and the New Orleans metro area. A tropical storm warning is posted from Cameron, Louisiana east to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, and from the Pearl River in Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border. Tropical storm warnings are also in effect as far inland as northeast Louisiana and central Mississippi. Downed trees, widespread power outages and structural damage will impact a large portion of southeast Louisiana into southwest Mississippi, including parts of the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas. Power outages in some locations could last for days or even weeks. Flood watches have been issued by the National Weather Service for this dangerous heavy rainfall threat from the eastern half of Louisiana into parts of southeast Arkansas, Mississippi, western Alabama, the western Florida Panhandle and western and middle Tennessee.