August 29, 2021

Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana


What you need to know now

  • Hurricane Ida: Ida has made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, as an extremely dangerous, Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. 
  • Track the storm: You can follow Ida’s path here.
  • Are you in Ida’s path?

By Fernando Alfonso III, Mike Hayes, Judson Jones and Adrienne Vogt,

Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana

From CNN’s Dave Hennen

Hurricane Ida has made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, as an extremely dangerous, Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

Lousiana’s St. John the Baptist Parish enacts curfew ahead of Hurricane Ida

From CNN’s Paul Murphy

St. John the Baptist Parish has enacted a parish-wide curfew starting tonight, according to an emergency alert.

The curfew starts tonight at 6 p.m. p.m. local time, and lasts until 7 a.m.

The parish is located two parishes west of New Orleans and is bordered by three lakes: Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lac des Allemands.

Video shows deteriorating conditions on Grand Isle, Louisiana, as Ida approaches

From CNN’s Amanda Jackson

Grand Isle, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021.
Grand Isle, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021. Joshua Legg

Joshua Legg stayed on Grand Isle, Louisiana, to ride out Hurricane Ida and witness the worsening conditions as the storm approaches.

“We’re losing roofs right now,” Legg, who is a former police officer, told CNN over Facebook.

Legg said his home is safe and he is in a “cat5 rated structure.” He said he was a police officer for 15 years and still works with SAR (Search and Rescue) to help his community. 

Here’s what it looks like inside the eye of Hurricane Ida

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plane captured video from inside the eye of Hurricane Ida on Sunday morning.

Energy provider says some residents could be without power for weeks due to Hurricane Ida

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

As Hurricane Ida approaches the coast of Louisiana, Energy Louisiana said Sunday some of its customers could be without power for weeks.

“The extremely dangerous storm is expected to make landfall in southeastern Louisiana in the early afternoon today and move through Mississippi. Those in the hardest-hit areas could experience power outages for weeks,” the company said in a statement

The company warned that while 90% of customers will likely have their power restored in a timely manner, flooding and storm damage may prevent crews from accessing certain areas. 

The company said it expects to deploy around 16,000 restoration personnel once the storm passes. 

“Crews are standing by to assess damages and quickly and safely restore power as conditions allow. With the additional requested resources, we anticipate mobilizing a storm team of about 16K to support restoration efforts,” Energy Louisiana tweeted.

According to its website, Entergy delivers electricity to 3 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Entergy Louisiana serves approximately 1.1 million electric customers in 58 parishes, the company says.

There are nearly 77,000 customers without power throughout the state currently, according to

Ida’s extremely dangerous eyewall is moving onshore in southeast Louisiana

by CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen

The very dangerous northern eyewall of Hurricane Ida is moving onshore along the southeast Louisiana coast, according to the 12 p.m. EDT update from the National Hurricane Center. 

The eyewall is the most dangerous part of a hurricane, which contains the highest winds. 

The storm continues to pack winds of 150 mph with higher gusts and is still an extremely dangerous, Category 4 hurricane.

The center of Ida was located around 25 miles from Grand Isle, Louisiana. A wind gust of 104 mph was recently reported at Southwest Pass, Louisiana. 

Ida will be making landfall over the next hour or so when the center of the eye is halfway over the coast. Extreme winds and surge will accompany landfall over the next several hours.

More than 65,000 customers without power as Ida bears down on the Louisiana coast

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

There are more than 65,000 customers without power in the state of Louisiana as a powerful Category 4 Hurricane Ida approaches the coast.

There are 65,535 customers without power as a result of Hurricane Ida, according to

Jackson Public Schools in Mississippi cancels school due to Hurricane Ida

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos 

The Jackson Public School District in Mississippi announced Sunday it is canceling school and extracurriculars Monday as the state braces for Hurricane Ida. 

“All schools, offices, and departments in the Jackson Public School District will be closed Monday, August 30, due to the threat of severe weather conditions resulting from Hurricane Ida,” the school district said on its website. “All extracurricular activities and practices will also be canceled.”

According to its website, JPSD is the second-largest school district in the state and serves around 21,000 students.

JPSD said its personnel will continue monitoring the situation and provide updates through its website and social media platforms.1 hr 17 min ago

Home security cameras show water rising in Louisiana

From CNN’s Amanda Jackson

Grand Isle, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021.
Grand Isle, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021. Sharlette Landry

Louisiana resident Sharlette Landry’s home security cameras captured footage of water quickly rising in her home before it lost power ahead of Hurricane Ida.

“I did prepare, but you can never be prepared for this magnitude of a storm,” said Landry, who had evacuated her home in Grand Isle ahead of the storm. “I was very surprised at how fast it rose. I’ve never seen it that high, and I’m sure it’s higher now at my place.”

Lousiana’s St. Tammany Parish issues parish-wide curfew starting at noon

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

St. Tammany Parish has issued an executive order declaring a parish-wide curfew, effective at noon (1 p.m. ET) today, including all municipalities, parish president Michael Cooper said.

The curfew will be in effect until the danger of Hurricane Ida has passed, the parish president said. 

While the curfew is in effect, the only vehicles allowed on the streets within the parish will be those necessary to address life-threatening emergencies, and those under the direction of first responders and utilities, Cooper said.

Landfall of Hurricane Ida is expected shortly, as the parish prepares for 10 inches or more of rain and the possibility of tornadoes. Local roadways are expected to be inundated and impassable because of high water, downed trees and downed power lines, Cooper said.

The parish is planning for widespread power outages, with current reports of over 7,500 power outages already, Cooper said.

2,400 FEMA personnel deployed throughout Southeast to assist with hurricane impacts 

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Sunday it has deployed more than 2,400 personnel in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to assist with the response to Hurricane Ida.

“FEMA is working with its federal, state and local partners as well as non-governmental agencies to support needs of areas affected by Ida. The agency positioned supplies such as meals, water, and generators to assist states with impacts from this storm,” the agency said in a news release Sunday.

FEMA has deployed Incident management assistance teams and liaison officers and set up incident support bases throughout the region.

Deployed assets include 12 urban search and rescue teams in Alabama and Louisiana and a US Army Corp of Engineers power restoration team. 

More than 90 ambulances and emergency medical providers are on stand-by and will assist with evacuations, the statement said. FEMA has deployed air-born ambulances as well, including eight fixed-wing and seven rotary models.

FEMA said 2.5 million meals and 3.1 million liters of water are staged and ready for distribution.

Additional federal assistance teams have been deployed from other agencies as well.

CNN’s Catherine Carter contributed to this report

Extreme wind warning extended in Louisiana

From CNN’s Brandon Miller

The extreme wind warning remains in effect for southeastern parts of Louisiana now until 1:30 p.m. CDT. 

The National Weather Service is warning people in the area to treat the situation as if a “tornado was approaching.”

Ida is a Category 4 hurricane. Here’s why that is bad news

Meteorologists use the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to measure a hurricane’s strength. The scale also estimates potential property damage.

Storms reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes “because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage,” the National Hurricane Center stated.

The system divides storms into five categories:

  • Category 1: Winds 74 to 95 mph (minor damage)
  • Category 2: Winds 96 to 110 mph (extensive damage — can uproot trees and break windows)
  • Category 3: Winds 111 to 129 mph (devastating — can break windows and doors)
  • Category 4: Winds 130 to 156 mph (catastrophic damage — can tear off roofs)
  • Category 5: Winds 157 mph or higher (the absolute worst and can level houses and destroy buildings)

Strong wind and heavy waves seen in Alabama as Hurricane Ida approaches

From CNN’s Amanda Jackson

Fort Morgan, Alabama, on August 29, 2021.
Fort Morgan, Alabama, on August 29, 2021. Wyatt Northrup/@CoffeeBrewBBQ/Twitter

Water could be seen rising in Fort Morgan, Alabama, on Sunday due to Hurricane Ida.

Wyatt Northrup recorded the following video showing the approaching storm.

Eye of Hurricane Ida nearing Louisiana coast, hurricane-force winds moving onshore

From CNN’s Jackson Dill and Brandon Miller

Storm surge is seen by Louisiana Route 1 in Golden Meadow, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021.
Storm surge is seen by Louisiana Route 1 in Golden Meadow, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021. Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Hurricane Ida is beginning to move onshore with maximum sustained winds still at 150 mph, according to the 11 a.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center.

“Catastrophic storm surge and hurricane-force winds [are] moving onshore,” says the NHC, meaning the worst of the weather is beginning near the southeastern Louisiana coast.

The center of Hurricane Ida should make landfall in Southeast Louisiana in the next couple of hours, and the center will make its closest pass to New Orleans later this evening.

“Ida is an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some slight additional strengthening is still possible before Ida moves onshore along the Louisiana coast,” added the NHC.

The updated forecast is for the storm to have winds up to 150 mph at landfall, but regardless of category, it will still be very impactful.

Hurricane-force winds extend up to 50 miles from Ida’s center and the tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 150 miles outward. A recent wind gust from an elevated weather station at Southwest Pass has measured a 121 mph wind gust.

Storm surge is also beginning to increase rapidly as Ida nears the coast. Shell Beach, Louisiana is reporting a storm surge of about 5.8 feet above the normal high tide.

FEMA approves Mississippi’s request for pre-disaster emergency measures declaration

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said Sunday that FEMA has approved the state’s request for a pre-disaster emergency measures declaration.

According to a press release, the approval authorizes FEMA to provide assistance including emergency measures and direct Federal assistance to 24 counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

Ida is the strongest test for state’s storm risk reduction system, Lousiana governor says

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said incoming Hurricane Ida will be the strongest test yet for the state’s current Hurricane and Storm Risk Reduction System.

“All of our modeling shows that we feel very good about what’s inside the Hurricane Risk Reduction System. We have lesser systems of protection built along the coast, where the levees aren’t as high, and they’re not fortified and we’re very concerned there,” Edwards said.

Lousiana governor says Hurricane Ida will “be a very serious test for our levee systems”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021. CNN

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Hurricane Ida “is going to be a very serious test for our levee systems.”

Edwards said that the pandemic is further complicating the state’s efforts to deal with the hurricane.

He told CNN that Ida, “comes at a time that, quite frankly, it presents some very challenging difficulties for us with the hospitals being so full of Covid patients.”

Nearly 39,000 power outages reported in Louisiana as Hurricane Ida approaches

About 39,000 power outages have been reported across Louisiana, reported as Hurricane Ida bears down on the region Sunday morning.

As of 10:18 a.m., 38,759 power outages have been reported.

National Weather Service: “We can’t bear to see this on satellite”

The National Weather Service New Orleans tweeted a grim warning to residents of Louisiana as Hurricane Ida descends on the region today.

“As meteorologists at the National Weather Service Slidell office, we can’t bear to see this on satellite,” tweets the NWS. “We have hard times ahead, but we will all persevere. Take all messages we, public officials and broadcast media are saying SERIOUSLY. Stay tuned for more frequent updates.”

New Orleans has received over 65 inches of rain so far this year

New Orleans has received over 65 inches of rain so far this year, their second wettest on record to this point of the year. This will make flooding in the region worse as Hurricane Ida approaches.

New Orleans is expecting 15-20 inches of rain with Ida.

Some more context: New Orleans averages 62 inches of rain in a year, so they have already totaled more than that with four more months to go.

 Landfall will occur on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in Louisiana.

United Cajun Navy activates all states chapters as Ida approaches the coast

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

The United Cajun Navy said Sunday it has activated all state chapters as Hurricane Ida, now a Category 4, continues to rapidly intensify.

The volunteer search and rescue and disaster relief organization said it will be sending out specialty teams during the storm and will deploy more teams once the storm has passed.

The UCN said it has deployed the first round of response teams to New Orleans. According to a Facebook post, the teams departed Denham Springs and will assist with medical and elderly evacuations. 

The UCN issued an urgent request for more volunteers.

“THIS IS ALL HANDS ON DECK CALL OUT,” the post says and urged members to check social media over the next few days for rendezvous points.

According to the group’s website, the UCN is a “nationally registered 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides Search and Rescue, Disaster Relief, and much more.”

Infrastructure administrator says New Orleans is a different city than it was during Hurricane Katrina

From CNN’s Chris Boyette

Few motorists travel on the 1-10 ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021.
Few motorists travel on the 1-10 ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021. David Grunfeld/The Advocate/AP

When Hurricane Ida makes landfall later today, it will be coming in contact with a different-looking New Orleans.

“This is a different city than it was Aug. 28, 2005, in terms of infrastructure and safety,” Ramsey Green, New Orleans deputy chief administrative officer for infrastructure told reporters Saturday at a News Conference ahead of Hurricane Ida’s landfall. 

Ida is rapidly intensifying over the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, the same date Hurricane Katrina made landfall 16 years ago.

Green called the city’s levee system “an unprecedentedly powerful protection for the city,” which has three lines of defense: the coast, the wetlands and the levee system. “I think from that perspective, we need to be comfortable and we need to know that we’ll be in a much better place than we were 16 years ago,” Green said.

Green added: “That said, if we have 10 to 20 inches of rain over an abbreviated period of time, we will see flooding. We don’t know at this moment, we see 15 to 20 inches over 48 hours or less, and we can handle it, depending on the event.”

How Hurricane Ida compares to Hurricane Katrina and Zeta

As Hurricane Ida approaches the coast of Lousiana, comparisons are already being made to Hurricane Katrina and Zeta.

“Like snowflakes, no two storms are exactly alike,” CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said, “but there are similarities to Ida’s forecasted track.”

Here are some of the similarities and differences:

  • Hurricanes Katrina and Zeta both had tracks that passed near New Orleans, as Ida is expected to do. 
  • Katrina’s speed at landfall was 16 mph, whereas Zeta was much faster at 24 mph. Ida is currently moving at 15 mph. This is important because that slower movement with Katrina allowed for more time to dump a tremendous amount of rain.  
  • Katrina was so devastating largely due to the levees failing, which triggered large-scale flooding across New Orleans. The hope is that those engineering flaws have been fixed so that history will not repeat itself with Ida. 
  • Ida’s current speed is 16 mph, but it is forecast to slow down a bit by landfall.  
  • Katrina and Zeta were both Category 3 storms when they made landfall with winds of 125 mph and 115 mph, respectively.  
  • Ida is forecasted to maintain its Category 4 strength and maybe even strengthen before making landfall.

Rare extreme wind warning issued for Hurricane Ida

From CNN’s Jackson Dill

The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued an extreme wind warning for southeastern parts of Louisiana, as the strongest winds from Hurricane Ida start to move onshore.

This warning is in effect until 10:45 a.m. CT and includes Houma, Bayou Cane and Estelle in southeast Louisiana.

Wind gusts in some locations may exceed 150 mph from the eyewall of Ida.“This truly poses a very significant threat of casualties,” says the weather service. 

People in this warning are urged to shelter in place: “Treat these imminent extreme winds as if a tornado was approaching and move immediately to an interior room or shelter now,” the NWS office in New Orleans warned.

“This is a short-fused product that alerts in the final moments prior to the rapid onset of destructive winds associated with the inner rain-bands of major hurricanes,” the NWS said regarding the definition of this alert.

This alert is issued when sustained winds are of at least 115 mph.

Mississippi and Louisiana governors tell residents to prepare for Hurricane Ida impact

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

People drive through floodwaters in Gulfport, Mississippi, on August 29, 2021.
People drive through floodwaters in Gulfport, Mississippi, on August 29, 2021. Steve Helber/AP

The governors of Louisiana and Mississippi have warned residents to brace for impacts from Hurricane Ida.

“As conditions begin to deteriorate, stay in a safe place. Watch your local news, continue to heed the warnings of local officials, and do not put yourself in danger. Today is not the day to be outside,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted Sunday morning.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves warned his state could experience hurricane wind impacts and urged residents to stay vigilant.

“[Ida is] moving fast and landfall of the storm’s eye is expected [around] 1pm today in south Louisiana. Hurricane level winds [are] possible as [the] storm enters SW MS south of Natchez area in next 24 hours,” Reeves tweeted. “Please be weather aware, get prepared, and watch for updates!”

Hurricane Ida is now just 7 mph short of being a Category 5 hurricane, according to the 7: a.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center. Tornado warnings have been issued until 7 p.m. for multiple states in the Southeast as well.

Dave Hennen contributed to this report.

Hurricane Hunters find Ida as a strong Category 4 storm

From CNN’s Jackson Dill

Hurricane Ida now has maximum sustained winds of 150 mph based on data from the Hurricane Hunters flying into the storm, according to the 7 a.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center.  

That is just 7 mph shy of Category 5 intensity.

Ida is located 75 miles SSE of Grand Isle, Louisiana. Sustained, hurricane-force winds are also now being measured in extreme southeastern Louisiana. An elevated weather station at Pilot’s Station East near Southwest Pass, Louisiana recently reported a wind gust up to 107 mph.  

Further changes in intensity are possible, but Ida is expected to remain an extremely dangerous storm. Landfall is expected early this afternoon along the Louisiana coast.

How one Louisiana parish is handling the Covid-19 pandemic at hurricane shelters

From CNN’s Paul P. Murphy

The Plaquemines Parish government issued new rules for evacuees in their shelter to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 ahead of Hurricane Ida’s landfall.

The rules were issued ahead of a mandatory evacuation that went into effect on Friday for parts of the Parish.

“Each person that seeks shelter will always have their temperatures checked and will be required to wear facemasks at all times,” the Parish said in a Facebook post. “If you are a COVID-19 positive individual, you will be isolated with other COVID-19 positive individuals in the shelter.” 

Anyone that is symptomatic for Covid-19 is required to get tested.

“All cots will be placed further apart in accordance with the State of Louisiana COVID-19 guidelines,” the Parish said. 

Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, the Parish encouraged residents to, “find a means to evacuate on your own due to COVID-19 restrictions in public shelters.”

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