Hurricane Ida is not letting up.
In fact, it has just been classified as a Category 4 storm early this morning as it travels toward Lousiana. It has sustained winds of 150 mph, which means it’s actually only 7 mph away from becoming a Category 5 storm. Experts are saying that this will be one of the biggest storms in Louisiana since the 1800s. The storm will cause extremely dangerous high-speed winds, heavy downpours, as well as a tidal surge that will leave the shoreline a few feet underwater.
Hurricane Ida has slowly been intensifying over the last couple of days. According to CNN, it is said to be an “extremely dangerous hurricane” when it will make its disastrous landing on the Lousiana coast this afternoon.
There is a hurricane warning in effect from Intracoastal City to the mouth of Pearl River in the state. States like Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi will all see tornado watches as well today.
Traffic Jams Due to Hurricane Ida
As an obvious effect of the hurricane, there are major travel disruptions.
The storm is set to hit the Golf Coast today. That means thousands of people are fleeing in order to get somewhere safer. People are trying to travel inward and this has resulted in clogged highways.
According to Daily Mail, the New Orleans airport has also canceled all inbound and outbound flights for Sunday in order to keep people safe. The city is preparing to be hit hard by Hurricane Ida. Shop owners, businesses, and homeowners are all boarding up and preparing for the Category 4 hurricane.
The storm is also hitting exactly 16 years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Lousiana area. It caused 1,800 deaths, flooding, and left the state with years worth of recovery. Officials continue to prepare to a very high degree this time around. There are National Guard troops in 14 different parishes ready for search and rescue missions. There are also people on standby in order to respond to different electrical outages.
Evacuation Orders for the State
Mayor LaToya Cantrell has issued an evacuation order that includes all areas that are outside of the flood protection system in place. The rest of the New Orleans area is under voluntary evacuation orders. Evacuation traffic continues as a major concern for public safety officials.
CNN also reported that there will be no new additional mandatory evacuations. This is because both the National Weather Service and Governor John Bel Edwards have said that there isn’t time for contraflow traffic patterns to go into place.
The biggest issue is those evacuating face the risk of being stuck on the road. This is the last place anyone should be when Hurricane Ida hits. “If you are going to evacuate, you know that’s a responsibility that you take on — do so as soon as possible. You do not want to be stuck on the road, when the storms impacts arise,” Collin Arnold, the director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said to the news outlet.
President Joe Biden has already approved an emergency declaration for Louisiana and is offering up federal help.