Ida aims to hit New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina anniversary

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Ida struck Cuba connected Friday arsenic a rapidly intensifying tempest that could velocity crossed lukewarm Gulf waters and slam into Louisiana arsenic a Category 3 hurricane connected Sunday, the National Hurricane Center warned.

“The forecast way has it headed consecutive towards New Orleans. Not good,” said Jim Kossin, a elder idiosyncratic with The Climate Service.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered the evacuation of everyone surviving extracurricular the levee strategy that protects the country from flooding. She did not accidental however galore radical lived there, but urged residents with aesculapian conditions and different peculiar needs to get retired early.

“Now is the time,” Cantrell said.

Ida became a hurricane with maximum winds of 75 mph Friday day close earlier making its archetypal landfall connected the land disconnected Cuba’s confederate coast. The Cuban authorities issued a hurricane informing for its westernmost provinces, wherever forecasters said arsenic overmuch arsenic 20 inches of rainfall could autumn successful places, perchance unleashing deadly flash floods and mudslides.

An adjacent greater information volition past statesman implicit the Gulf, wherever forecasts were aligned successful predicting Ida volition fortify precise rapidly into a large hurricane, reaching 120 mph earlier landfall successful the Mississippi River delta precocious Sunday, the hurricane halfway said.

If that forecast holds true, Ida would deed 16 years to the time since Hurricane Katrina landed arsenic a Category 3 tempest with 125 mph winds adjacent the riverside assemblage of Buras successful Plaquemines Parish, conscionable down the Mississippi from New Orleans.

Katrina is blamed for an estimated 1,800 deaths from the cardinal Louisiana seashore to astir the Mississippi-Alabama authorities line. A monolithic tempest surge scoured the shores and wiped houses disconnected the map. In New Orleans, failures of national levees led to catastrophic flooding. Water covered 80% of the metropolis and galore homes were swamped to the rooftops. Some victims drowned successful their attics. The Superdome and New Orleans Convention Center became scenes of sweltering misery arsenic tens of thousands were stranded without powerfulness oregon moving water.

Memories of Katrina inactive haunt galore who scrambled to hole for Ida connected Friday, lining up for groceries, state and ice, and the metropolis was offering sandbags.

Traffic snarled astatine entrances to a New Orleans Costco, wherever dozens of cars were backed up astatine the state pumps and shoppers wheeled retired carts stacked with cases of bottled h2o and different essentials.

Retired constabulary serviceman Wondell Smith, who worked connected the constabulary unit 16 years agone erstwhile Katrina hit, said helium and his household were readying to stay, but were besides getting acceptable to caput farther inland if the forecasts worsened. He loaded water, breadstuff and sandwich nutrient into his SUV.

“I cognize what that looks like,” Smith said, referring to the imaginable devastation. “This is my archetypal clip being location successful 34 years of service,” helium added. “And I privation to beryllium prepared.”

Kickoff for Saturday’s preseason crippled betwixt the Arizona Cardinals and the Saints astatine the Superdome was moved up 7 hours to debar the weather, to a noon Central Time commencement aft consultation with metropolis and national officials and the National Weather Service.

“Ida surely has the imaginable to beryllium precise bad,” said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher astatine the University of Miami. “It volition beryllium moving quickly, truthful the trek crossed the Gulf from Cuba to Louisiana volition lone instrumentality 1.5 days.”

A hurricane ticker for New Orleans and an exigency declaration for the authorities of Louisiana were declared. Category 3 hurricanes are susceptible of causing devastating damage.

“Unfortunately, each of Louisiana’s coastline is presently successful the forecast cone” for the storm, said Gov. John Bel Edwards.

“By Saturday evening, everyone should beryllium successful the determination wherever they mean to thrust retired the storm,” the politician added.

A hurricane ticker was successful effect from Cameron, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama borderline — including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and metropolitan New Orleans.

Dangerous tempest surge was besides imaginable on the Gulf Coast. If it pushes a tempest surge astatine precocious tide, Ida could overlap immoderate levees, with 7 to 11 feet of h2o predicted from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

“There is an expanding hazard of life-threatening tempest surge, damaging hurricane-force winds, and dense rainfall Sunday and Monday, particularly on the seashore of Louisiana,” the hurricane halfway said.

The politician of Grand Isle, a Louisiana municipality connected a constrictive obstruction land successful the Gulf, said a voluntary evacuation precocious Thursday would go mandatory connected Friday.

By the clip it reaches the cardinal Gulf Coast Sunday, it could dump 8 to 16 inches of rain, with 20 inches successful isolated areas, from southeast Louisiana to coastal Mississippi and Alabama done Monday morning. More dense rains are apt crossed Mississippi erstwhile Ida moves inland, causing “considerable flash, urban, tiny stream, and riverine flooding,” the hurricane halfway said.

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