Belle Chasse’s Mississippi river gauge shows the mighty waterway’s current in positive velocity. For the past 3 hours of Hurricane Ida, however, it’s been showing negative numbers.
In combination with data from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the negative numbers show that the Mississippi River is reversing. This is the impact of Hurricane Ida so far.
Specifically, the USGS cites the flow of the Mississippi in New Orleans is being pushed back due to the strong storm surge and winds, CNN confirms Sunday.
The river’s gauge sits in Belle Chase outside central New Orleans. There, it shows the surface velocity of the Mississippi. On Sunday morning as Ida made landfall, the gauge began slowing significantly from 2-feet-per-second… Down to a standstill at hard zero by 10 a.m. Central.
Then, the impossible would follow as the flow rate became negative. It remains so as this article is written, at a peak negative velocity of -0.21 feet-per-second.
Even though this confirms the monumental, devastating power of Hurricane Ida, some locals refuse to abandon their homes. Even in the face of death.
Louisiana Man ‘Riding Out’ Hurricane Ida’s Mississippi-Reversing Force on Boat
One such NOLA man is Josh Welch. Who, as CNN reports, is “riding out” Hurricane Ida on his boat via Grand Isle, Louisiana.
“A lot of wind and rain right now. I mean, you can’t even see the dock or nothing,” Welch tells CNN Sunday. “It used to be a dock over, I guess, but it ain’t no more…”
As of speaking with the network, Welch cites four other men are present on the boat with him.
“It’s pretty bad right now,” he continues. But surviving the storm onboard a small boat wasn’t the initial plan.
“We realized we was trapped,” Welch says of Hurricane Ida’s immense onset. He’s seen other hurricanes before, but “this is the first time I’ve actually been in one,” he adds, citing his shock over the cell tower still being up amidst the hellish display.
His cellphone is going “in and out of service” mid-Sunday. With any luck, a rescue is imminent. Godspeed, Josh.
Hurricane Ida also ‘Giving Birth’ to Tornadoes Across Southeast
And if the reversing of the Mighty Mississippi isn’t enough, Ida is also spawning tornadoes across the Southeastern U.S.
According to further reports from CNN, tornadoes are set to follow the hurricane’s wrath as she moves inland. Tornado watches are currently in effect for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. As the storm moves further into the continent this evening, it will only get worse. More watches and warnings are expected to follow in these and other states.
“Hurricanes and tropical storms that make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico are more likely to produce tornadoes compared to storms in the Atlantic,” explains CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
Miller says the tornado watches and warnings are as important as Hurricane Ida itself because they’re not limited to the coastline. Nor will they only be limited to the day of landfall. In many cases, the day after landfall will produce more tornadoes than the day of.
Be safe out there, fellow Outsiders.