Louisiana begins evacuations before Hurricane Ida, locations may be ‘uninhabitable’ for months πŸ’₯πŸ‘©πŸ’₯

Hurricane Ida is gathering strength as it barrels toward the US Gulf Coast – cars are piling up on roadways out of New Orleans, while residents weathering the storm are boarding up their homes and stocking up on supplies.

The storm could reach a Category 4 designation on the Saffir-Simpson scale by the time it makes landfall Sunday afternoon or evening – the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina – generating winds up to 140 miles per hour and submerging a mass of Louisiana shoreline under several feet of rainfall.

Traffic on Interstate 10 out of New Orleans was heavy, sometimes at a standstill, on Saturday morning. Roads became congested as early as 4 am, according to The Independent.

‘Expect heavier than normal congestion in New Orleans and the surrounding areas due to Hurricane Ida evacuations,’ the Louisiana Department of Transportation and development advised in a 7:38 am post to Twitter.

After battering Cuba on Friday with 80 mile per hour winds, Ida began churning northwest this morning, the National Hurricane Center said. The agency expects the storm to escalate sharply before reaching US shores on Sunday.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city did not have sufficient time to mandate evacuations inside the levee system, or to open up additional lanes of traffic, known as contraflow, to allow more people to evacuate.

Today, city emergency preparedness director Collin Arnold said in a 12:30 pm press conference that residents intending to leave need to ‘do so now,’ because there is a ‘small window of time for evacuation.’

‘Be where you need to be, either on the road or in your home, by midnight,’ he urged.

‘Hundreds of thousands’ of Louisiana residents are attempting to flee, according to Jacob Lanier of local television news station WJTV.

After battering Cuba on Friday with 80 mile per hour winds, Ida began churning northwest this morning, the National Hurricane Center said. The agency expects the storm to escalate sharply before reaching US shores on Sunday

'Expect heavier than normal congestion in New Orleans and the surrounding areas due to Hurricane Ida evacuations,' the Louisiana Department of Transportation and development advised in a 7:38 am post to Twitter.

‘Expect heavier than normal congestion in New Orleans and the surrounding areas due to Hurricane Ida evacuations,’ the Louisiana Department of Transportation and development advised in a 7:38 am post to Twitter.

New Orleans ordered residents living in the vicinity of the city's levee system to evacuate and encouraged those living in the rest of the parish to do so voluntarily - since the storm quickly escalated in intensity, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said it wasn't possible to order a mandatory evacuation for the entire city. Pictured are barely-moving vehicles along Interstate 610, packed with evacuating drivers

As hundreds of thousands of residents attempt to evacuate New Orleans, highways are seeing gridlock traffic

New Orleans ordered residents living in the vicinity of the city’s levee system to evacuate and encouraged those living in the rest of the parish to do so voluntarily – since the storm quickly escalated in intensity, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said it wasn’t possible to order a mandatory evacuation for the entire city. Pictured are barely-moving vehicles along Interstate 610, packed with evacuating drivers

Westbound I-10 traffic on the Bonnet Carre Spillway (pictured) is slow near Kenner, Louisiana as residents evacuate ahead of Hurricane Ida

Westbound I-10 traffic on the Bonnet Carre Spillway (pictured) is slow near Kenner, Louisiana as residents evacuate ahead of Hurricane Ida

Cloud are looming over the Central Business District in New Orleans before Hurricane Ida's projected landfall on Sunday. Residents along the Louisiana coast are stocking up on supplies today, and many are evacuating in preparation for what the National Weather Service called a 'life-altering' storm

The storm is expected to bring winds as high as 140MPH

Cloud are looming over the Central Business District in New Orleans before Hurricane Ida’s projected landfall on Sunday. Residents along the Louisiana coast are stocking up on supplies today, and many are evacuating in preparation for what the National Weather Service called a ‘life-altering’ storm

The storm could reach a Category 4 designation on the Saffir-Simpson scale by the time it makes landfall, forecasters warned, generating winds up to 140 miles per hour and submerging a mass of Louisiana shoreline under several feet of rainfall

The storm could reach a Category 4 designation on the Saffir-Simpson scale by the time it makes landfall, forecasters warned, generating winds up to 140 miles per hour and submerging a mass of Louisiana shoreline under several feet of rainfall

‘We are not calling for a mandatory evacuation [inside the city’s protective levee system] because the time simply is not on our side. We do not want to have people on the road, and therefore in greater danger,’ she said.

The city’s emergency planners, simultaneously traumatized and prepared for the worst by Hurricane Katrina, have promised a ‘very robust, very quick, post-storm evacuation.’

‘That’s the biggest lesson learned, Katrina,’ Arnold said on Friday. ‘That is on everybody’s mind.’

Expecting heavily-impacted electrical infrastructure, New Orleans has arranged for 125 coach buses to pull out residents after the storm has settled.

The National Hurricane Center warned Saturday morning that Ida is will bring heavy rainfall from southeast Louisiana to costal Mississippi on Sunday and Monday, resulting in ‘life-threatening flash and urban flooding’ and ‘significant river flooding impacts.’

‘Extremely life-threatening inundation of 9 feet or greater’ has been predicted from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi coast. ‘Potentially catastrophic wind damage’ is forecasted, too, and the NHC said today that ‘actions to protect life and property should be rushed to completion today in the warning area.’

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, 70 percent of homes were damaged to some degree, and more than 1,500 people died.

Ten to 15 feet of water is expected to collect around the mouth of the Mississippi River, the NHC said, and lower levels of flooding could extend as far east as the coastlines of adjacent Mississippi and Alabama.

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon West Broome signed an emergency disaster declaration, and said her city had preemptively stationed sand and sandbags at eight strategic locations as the storm approached.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards told residents to begin preparation and hunker down – he was prompted by the approaching storm to declare a state of emergency on Thursday.

‘Now is the time to finish your preparation,’ he told a news conference on Friday. ‘By nightfall tomorrow night, you need to be where you intend to ride out the storm.’

‘The people of Louisiana have been tested time and time again, and while it is my hope and prayer that this storm will not bring destruction to our state, we should be prepared to take the brunt of the severe weather,’ he said.

Likewise, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon West Broome signed an emergency disaster declaration, and said her city had preemptively stationed sand and sandbags at eight strategic locations as the storm approached.

'Now is the time to finish your preparation,' Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards told a news conference on Friday. 'By nightfall tomorrow night, you need to be where you intend to ride out the storm'

‘Now is the time to finish your preparation,’ Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards told a news conference on Friday. ‘By nightfall tomorrow night, you need to be where you intend to ride out the storm’

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon West Broome signed an emergency disaster declaration in preparation for Hurricane Ida's landfall

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon West Broome signed an emergency disaster declaration in preparation for Hurricane Ida’s landfall

Broome said her city had preemptively stationed sand and sandbags at eight strategic locations as the storm approached

Broome said her city had preemptively stationed sand and sandbags at eight strategic locations as the storm approached

City officials said residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages, and asked elderly residents to consider evacuating. Collin Arnold, the city's emergency management director, said the city could be under high winds for about ten hours

City officials said residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages, and asked elderly residents to consider evacuating. Collin Arnold, the city’s emergency management director, said the city could be under high winds for about ten hours

Terrebonne Parish officials also told everyone to evacuate, WWL-TV reported.

‘If you can leave on your own, please leave on your own,’ Parish President Gordon Dove said. ‘We are the bullseye by every indication, of everything we have found.’

Heavy rainfall and flooding have already began to affect Mississippi ahead of Ida’s suspected landfall.

President Joe Biden approved a federal emergency declaration for Louisiana ahead of the storm. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said FEMA plans to send nearly 150 medical personnel and almost 50 ambulances to the Gulf Coast to assist strained hospitals.

Hailey DeLaune of Gulf told Reuters today that she and her fiancΓ©e spent Friday evening amassing provisions and boarding up the windows of his house in Gulfport, Mississippi.

‘Hurricanes have always been part of my life,’ said Delaune, a high school theology teacher who was born during 1992’s Category 5 Hurricane Andrew. ‘You just run through your list and hope for the best.’

Shelves were seen low on stock at a Walmart on Tchoupitolas in New Orleans, Louisiana ahead of Hurricane Ida on Friday. Breads, meats, snacks, canned meats, cases of water, chips and fans are in short supply.

Shoppers at Costco in New Orleans stocked up on supplies like bottles of water and toilet paper ahead of Hurricane Ida. Lines at gas stations flowed into the streets and an Exxon in New Orleans has already closed its pumps because it is out of gas.

City officials said residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages, and asked elderly residents to consider evacuating. Collin Arnold, the city’s emergency management director, said the city could be under high winds for about ten hours.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards told residents to begin preparation and hunker down - he was prompted by the approaching storm to declare a state of emergency on Thursday. Here, a business owner on Bourbon Street boards up the windows of his restaurant

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards told residents to begin preparation and hunker down – he was prompted by the approaching storm to declare a state of emergency on Thursday. Here, a business owner on Bourbon Street boards up the windows of his restaurant

A St. Charles Parish man boards up his home on Saturday as Hurricane Ida approaches New Orleans. The storm is predicted to cause 'catastrophic' damage to infrastructure and buildings

A St. Charles Parish man boards up his home on Saturday as Hurricane Ida approaches New Orleans. The storm is predicted to cause ‘catastrophic’ damage to infrastructure and buildings

Bars, businesses and restaurants are all boarding up in New Orleans' French Quarter ahead of Hurricane Ida's projected landfall on Sunday

'The people of Louisiana have been tested time and time again, and while it is my hope and prayer that this storm will not bring destruction to our state, we should be prepared to take the brunt of the severe weather,' said Governor John Bel Edwards on Friday

Bars, businesses and restaurants are all boarding up in New Orleans’ French Quarter in preparation for Hurricane Ida’s projected Sunday landfall

Lines at gas stations flowed into the streets and an Exxon in New Orleans has already closed its pumps because it is out of gas

Lines at gas stations flowed into the streets in New Orleans

Lines at gas stations flowed into the streets and an Exxon in New Orleans has already closed its pumps because it is out of gas

Gas is running out at many stations throughout Louisiana and areas in the projected path of Hurricane Ida

Gas is running out at many stations throughout Louisiana and areas in the projected path of Hurricane Ida

The entrance to the Pontchartrain Causeway in New Orleans displays a high winds warning ahead of Hurricane Ida's projected Sunday arrival - winds are expected to exceed 130MPH

The entrance to the Pontchartrain Causeway in New Orleans displays a high winds warning ahead of Hurricane Ida’s projected Sunday arrival – winds are expected to exceed 130MPH

City officials said residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages, and asked elderly residents to consider evacuating. Collin Arnold, the city's emergency management director, said the city could be under high winds for about ten hours. A Walmart in New Orleans is pictured here with nearly-depleted stocks

City officials said residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages, and asked elderly residents to consider evacuating. Collin Arnold, the city’s emergency management director, said the city could be under high winds for about ten hours. A Walmart in New Orleans is pictured here with nearly-depleted stocks

Shelves were seen low on stock at a Walmart on Tchoupitolas in New Orleans, Louisiana ahead of Hurricane Ida on Friday

Breads, meats, snacks, canned meats, cases of water, chips and fans were in short supply on Friday at a Walmart on Tchoupitolas in New Orleans

Shelves were seen low on stock at a Walmart on Tchoupitolas in New Orleans, Louisiana ahead of Hurricane Ida on Friday. Breads, meats, snacks, canned meats, cases of water, chips and fans are in short supply

A mandatory evacuation for those living outside the city's protective levee system has been ordered by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and those within the levees have been encouraged to do so voluntarily if they are able

packs her vehicle full as she prepares to evacuate to Texas before the arrival of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans as residents are urged to evacuate if possible

A mandatory evacuation for those living outside the city’s protective levee system has been ordered by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and those within the levees have been encouraged to do so voluntarily if they are able

Gary Sullivan, of Gulf Hills, fills extra gas containers at Marathon Gas, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Ocean Springs, Miss., in preparation for Hurricane Ida. (Hannah Ruhoff/The Sun Herald via AP)

Gary Sullivan, of Gulf Hills, fills extra gas containers at Marathon Gas, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Ocean Springs, Miss., in preparation for Hurricane Ida. (Hannah Ruhoff/The Sun Herald via AP)

Shoppers at Costco in New Orleans stocked up on supplies like bottles of water and toilet paper ahead of Hurricane Ida

Shoppers in New Orleans are stocking up on supplies before Hurricane Ida hits the US coastline

Shoppers at Costco in New Orleans stocked up on supplies like bottles of water and toilet paper ahead of Hurricane Ida

Residents line up at the Dryades YMCA to pick up sandbags from a city-run sandbag distribution location in anticipation of Hurricane Ida's landfall in New Orleans. A state of emergency has been declared there, and residents have been urged to complete their preparations for the storm today

Children try to protect themselves from the rain near the Dryades YMCA in New Orleans, where a city-run sandbag distribution center is providing for queues of residents

Residents line up at the Dryades YMCA to pick up sandbags from a city-run sandbag distribution location in anticipation of Hurricane Ida’s landfall in New Orleans. A state of emergency has been declared there, and residents have been urged to complete their preparations for the storm today

A New Orleans resident hefts sandbags from a city-run distribution center as residents are told to hurry their preparations for the incoming hurricane

A New Orleans resident hefts sandbags from a city-run distribution center as residents are told to hurry their preparations for the incoming hurricane

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to begin preparation and hunker down - he was prompted by the approaching storm to declare a state of emergency on Thursday

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to begin preparation and hunker down – he was prompted by the approaching storm to declare a state of emergency on Thursday

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon West Broome signed an emergency disaster declaration, and said her city had preemptively stationed sand and sandbags at eight strategic locations as the storm approached. Pictured here are residents filling sand bags in Gulfport, Mississippi in preparation

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon West Broome signed an emergency disaster declaration, and said her city had preemptively stationed sand and sandbags at eight strategic locations as the storm approached. Pictured here are residents filling sand bags in Gulfport, Mississippi in preparation

Production cutbacks have exceeded those spurred on in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, the cataclysmic storm that devastated Louisiana, killed 1,800 and destroyed more than 850,000 homes. Preceding the earlier storm, supplies were cut by 1.53 million barrels per day; Hurricane Delta reduced the supply by 1.69 million each day

Production cutbacks have exceeded those spurred on in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, the cataclysmic storm that devastated Louisiana, killed 1,800 and destroyed more than 850,000 homes. Preceding the earlier storm, supplies were cut by 1.53 million barrels per day; Hurricane Delta reduced the supply by 1.69 million each day

After battering Cuba on Friday with 80 mile per hour winds, Ida began churning northwest this morning, the National Hurricane Center said. The agency expects the storm to escalate sharply before reaching US shores on Sunday

After battering Cuba on Friday with 80 mile per hour winds, Ida began churning northwest this morning, the National Hurricane Center said. The agency expects the storm to escalate sharply before reaching US shores on Sunday

At Governor Edwards’ request, President Joe Biden issued a pre-landfall federal emergency declaration on Friday. This authorized the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to begin coordinating disaster relief efforts.

‘Nobody was out there shrimping today, opening day of shrimp season,’ said George Barisich, a shrimper, to CBS News. ‘So that ought to tell you. When I got in this morning, late last night… about 75, 80 percent of the boats already left.’

Edwards authorized nearly 5,000 National Guardsmen for emergency deployments.

On Friday, Ida smashed into Cuba’s small Isle of Youth, off the southwestern end of the Caribbean island nation, toppling trees and tearing roofs from dwellings.

Jamaica was flooded by heavy rains, and there were landslides after the passage of the storm. Many roads were impassable, forcing some residents to abandon their homes.

Ida, the ninth named storm and fourth hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, may well exceed the strength of Hurricane Laura, the last Category 4 storm to strike Louisiana, by the time it makes landfall, forecasters said.

A man using plastic against heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Ida in Cuba on Friday walks on a road leading to Batabano in the Mayabeque province. After battering Cuba on Friday with 80 mile per hour winds, Ida began churning northwest this morning - it is expected to reach the US this Sunday, 16 years to the date of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in 2005

A man using plastic against heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Ida in Cuba on Friday walks on a road leading to Batabano in the Mayabeque province. After battering Cuba on Friday with 80 mile per hour winds, Ida began churning northwest this morning – it is expected to reach the US this Sunday, 16 years to the date of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in 2005

An man rides on horseback in Cuba along a road leading to Batabano in the Mayabeque province on Friday as Hurricane Ida whips 80MPH winds through the country's western tip

An man rides on horseback in Cuba along a road leading to Batabano in the Mayabeque province on Friday as Hurricane Ida whips 80MPH winds through the country’s western tip

A car makes its way over a road in Cuba covered with rain by Hurricane Ida on Friday. The storm shows 'no signs of weakening' before it reaches US shores, according to the National Weather Service

A car makes its way over a road in Cuba covered with rain by Hurricane Ida on Friday. The storm shows ‘no signs of weakening’ before it reaches US shores, according to the National Weather Service

Cars traverse flooding roads in Cuba on Friday as Hurricane Ida passes through

Cars traverse flooding roads in Cuba on Friday as Hurricane Ida passes through

The region was devastated in August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people.

Many roads were impassable, forcing some residents to abandon their homes.

Hurricane Ida was 105 miles west of Havana and traveling northwest at 15MPH by late Friday night.

As the storm plowed into Cuba on Friday night, the National Weather Service issued a slurry of alarming tweets warning that Hurricane Ida shows ‘no signs on weakening.’

‘If Ida maintains a good inner core it will intensify quickly as it enters the Gulf. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THIS! If you are asked to evacuate, LEAVE or you’re putting your life in danger!’ the NWS asserted.

In another tweet, the NWS wrote: ‘The time to act is NOW. Hurricane Ida is now forecast to make landfall as a category 4 hurricane. This will bring SIGNIFICANT impacts to Southern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. No major changes to the track at this time, moved just a touch to the east.’

Hurricane Ida is expected to make landfall 16 years to the day of Hurricane Katrina. Pictured here, pumps put in place by the Army Corps of Engineers divert floodwaters from New Orleans' 17th Street Canal into Lake Pontcharta after the 2005 Hurricane

Hurricane Ida is expected to make landfall 16 years to the day of Hurricane Katrina. Pictured here, pumps put in place by the Army Corps of Engineers divert floodwaters from New Orleans’ 17th Street Canal into Lake Pontcharta after the 2005 Hurricane

‘Along with the change to a Category 4 landfall we also now have upgraded to a Hurricane WARNING for parts of southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. Damaging winds are expected with Ida and could reach the coast by Saturday night.’

The agency said that a storm surge warning is also now in effect for the likelihood of life-threatening storm surge in some areas of southeaster Louisiana and coastal Mississippi – while a storm surge watch is in effect for the potential of life-threatening storm surge for outer areas.

In its biggest weekly gain this year, oil prices shot up by two percent on Friday.

As the storm tore through the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday and Friday, energy companies halted the production of 1.6 million oil barrels and airlifted workers from 90 offshore facilities on Friday and the storm ground through the site of 17 percent of the nation’s oil production.

Production cutbacks have exceeded those spurred on in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, the cataclysmic storm that devastated Louisiana, killed 1,800 and destroyed more than 850,000 homes. Preceding the earlier storm, supplies were cut by 1.53 million barrels per day; Hurricane Delta reduced the supply by 1.69 million each day.

Louisiana begins evacuations before Hurricane Ida, locations may be ‘uninhabitable’ for months

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