Hurricane Ida hits Louisiana; New Orleans collapses
New Orleans, August 30 Hurricane Ida hit the coast as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the United States, blowing rooftops and reversing the course of the Mississippi River as it was rushing from the coast of Louisiana to New Orleans and one of the country’s most important industrial corridors.
The Category 4 storm struck on the same date as Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years earlier, crashing about 45 miles west of where Category 3 Katrina made landfall earth for the first time. Ida’s winds of 150 mph matched it for the fifth strongest hurricane to ever hit the Americas.
Over 2 million people at risk
The rising ocean submerged the barrier island of Grand Isle as the landing reached just west at Port Fourchon. Ida made a second landing about two hours later near Galliano. The hurricane swept through wetlands in far southern Louisiana, with more than 2 million people living in and around New Orleans and Baton Rouge under threat. “It’s going to be a lot louder than what we usually see and quite frankly if you were to chart the worst possible path for a hurricane in Louisiana it would be something very, very close to what we see,” said the governor. John Bel Edwards told The Associated Press.
Louisiana residents woke up to a monster storm after Ida’s strongest winds increased 45 mph in five hours as the hurricane moved through some of the warmest ocean waters in the world in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
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The wind tore the awnings and water poured from Lake Ponchartrain in New Orleans on Sunday, and the boats came loose from their moorings. Engineers have detected “negative flow” on the Mississippi River following a storm surge, US Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Ricky Boyette said.
Edwards said he watched live video of the Port Fourchon area as Ida disembarked. “The storm surge is just huge. We can see that the roofs of harbor buildings have been blown off in many places, ”Edwards told the AP.
Officials said Ida’s rapid escalation from a few thunderstorms to a massive hurricane in just three days left no time to organize a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans’ 390,000 residents. Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged residents remaining in the city on Sunday to “squat”.