After slamming Cuba, Hurricane Ida churns through the Gulf of Mexico where it’s expected to be Category 3 storm when it makes US landfall By Jason Hanna, Paul P. Murphy and Melissa Alonso, Updated 0643 GMT (1443 HKT) August 28, 2021 Hurricane Ida now forecast to be a Category 4 storm at landfall Hear statement from family of Marine killed in Kabul RFK’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan is granted parole Afghan woman: Forgive and forget is exactly what Biden did CDC speaks out on US gun violence epidemic after decades of near-silence Inside Mississippi hospital stretched to brink amid Delta surge ()Hurricane Ida whipped western Cuba on Friday and the Category 1 storm is expected to slam the US Gulf Coast as an even stronger cyclone Sunday, putting states from Louisiana to Florida on alert for fierce destruction. Ida briefly will reach Category 4 strength before striking the southern Louisiana coast Sunday evening as a Category 3 storm, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said. “Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it approaches the northern Gulf coast on Sunday,” the hurricane center noted. Sign up for email updates for significant storms Leaders in Louisiana and elsewhere issued mandatory or voluntary
evacuation orders Friday in anticipation of major damage. In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a mandatory evacuation of all city areas that are outside its flood protection system, as well as a voluntary evacuation alert for the rest of the parish. New Orleans is part of an area where a storm surge could combine with high tide to send 11 feet of water onshore Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. “We are activating every single resource at our disposal, so that we are prepared to respond,” Cantrell said Friday. The mayor urged residents to have hurricane preparations in place by Saturday afternoon. “Do not wait,” she said. Later she announced that the National Weather Service and Governor John Bel Edwards have indicated there is no time for implementing contraflow traffic so there won’t be new mandatory evacuations. “The situation is much more serious than it was six hours ago, and the hurricane, it represents a dramatic threat to the people of the city of New Orleans. Time is not on our side,” Cantrell said. Tropical Storm Ida forms in the Caribbean, could hit US as a hurricane According to Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the city is anticipating impacts from damaging
winds up to 110 miles an hour. “If you are going to evacuate, you know that’s a responsibility that you take on — do so as soon as possible,” he said. “You do not want to be stuck on the road, when the storms impacts arise.” If Ida makes landfall in Louisiana, it would be the fourth hurricane to do so since last August — and would be Louisiana’s third major hurricane landfall in that span. Ida, which formed as a tropical storm in the Caribbean on Thursday, made landfall Friday afternoon on Cuba’s Isle of Youth, or Isla de la Juventud, the US National Hurricane Center said. The center of the storm will cross the western portion of Cuba and could cause life-threatening flash floods there and the Cayman Islands, forecasters said. After that, it is expected to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a US landfall on Sunday night — 16 years to the day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. “Wind damage and storm surge will be life-threatening from Louisiana to the Florida Gulf Coast. Residents should also prepare for long-duration power outages,” meteorologist Chad Myers said Friday. President Biden on Friday approved an emergency declaration for Louisiana and ordered federal help for the state. TRACK IDA’S PATH >>> Evacuation orders posted across parts of Gulf Coast Evacuation orders and advisories were issued across parts of Louisiana and Mississippi on Friday ahead of the storm. Besides the alerts issued in New Orleans, similar orders
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