Becoming a Category 1 hurricane Friday afternoon, Ida continues to gain momentum. Originally forecast to become a Category 4 with 140 mph before hitting Lousiana later Sunday, it defied expectations.
“Ida is poised to strengthen further and based on recent satellite images it appears that strengthening is imminent,” The National Hurricane Center told CNN earlier this morning.
However, now Ida has wind speeds exceeding 150 mph. Southeast Louisiana is reporting gusts of up to 93 mph. Currently 60 miles southwest of the Mississippi River, Ida is moving northwest at 15 mph.
Tragically, the storm will make contact the same day Hurricane Katrina did 16 years ago. Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, notes the need to take cover and remember Katrina.
“August 29 is an important date in history here. A lot of people remember what happened 16 years ago. It’s time to hunker down tonight and be where you need to be.”
Katrina was responsible for the deaths of 1,800 people and $100 billion in damage. In contrast, let’s hope Ida is much more merciful.
Hurricane Ida Causes Sports And Concert Cancellations
Given Ida’s severity, it’s no surprise sporting events and concerts in the area canceled their events.
On Friday, for example, the New Orleans Saints canceled their third preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. In an official statement, the Saints reveal John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s governor, requested the game’s cancellation because of Ida.
“Due to the intensification of the hurricane throughout the day and after the most recent tropical update, the team’s leadership has made the decision in the best interests of all personnel that may have been directly and indirectly affected by the storm.”
“The team encourages all residents of the region to take precautionary measures to remain safe throughout the impending hurricane.”
Additionally, Jason Aldean rescheduled a recent Alabama concert due to the hurricane. Originally slated to perform at Wharf Amphitheatre in Orange Beach, Alabama last night, Aldean decided to cancel Friday evening. Aldean took to Twitter to update everyone and wish them well.
“Due to the impending Tropical Storm, Jason’s concert originally scheduled for Saturday at @TheWharfOBA will be rescheduled to 10/31/21. All tickets will be honored for the new date. For refund info or questions fans can reach out to your point of purchase. Please stay safe!”
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for 27 counties yesterday in the coastal and western parts of the state. Like Louisiana, it warns against strong winds, flooding, and tornadoes that may damage property, as well as cause power and utility outages.