Louisiana governor issues Hurricane Ida emergency, say Louisiana governor issues Hurricane Ida emergency, saying coastline is in forecast co

Greg Hilburn
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Ida locks in on Louisiana, where it is forecast to make landfall late Sunday as a major Category 3 hurricane packing winds of 115 mph.

In its Friday morning advisory, the National Hurricane Center tweeted: "Significant intensification to a Major #Hurricane is now forecast in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane & Storm Surge Watches are in effect for parts of the LA, MS, and AL coast."

Edwards has scheduled a 4:30 p.m. Friday press conference to update the public on the latest on the storm.

TRACK THE STORM:Hurricane Ida threatens Gulf Coast: Follow the storm, spaghetti models

“Unfortunately, all of Louisiana’s coastline is currently in the forecast cone for Tropical Storm Ida, which is strengthening and could come ashore in Louisiana as a major hurricane as Gulf conditions are conducive for rapid intensification," Edwards said in a statement. "Now is the time for people to finalize their emergency game plan, which should take into account the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This type of threat contains additional problems because the window to prepare is so short. By Saturday evening, everyone should be in the location where they intend to ride out the storm."

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards discusses southern Louisiana flooding at a May 18, 2021 press conference.

MORE ON IDA:Tropical Storm Ida could become Category 3 hurricane, Louisiana in crosshairs

An emergency declaration frees up the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts. 

The Emergency Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is activated, monitoring the potential storm and coordinating with both FEMA and parish offices of emergency preparedness.

“Right now we know conditions are primed for this system to strengthen," GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom said.

For updates from the governor’s office, text "IDA" to 67283.

Spaghetti models: Track Ida here

Latest Ida updates

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.