Hurricane Ida Sunday blog: Flood warnings across region
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For continuing updates, click here to check out Monday's live blog with the latest news about Ida's impact in Louisiana.
The weather service warned residents on the north side of Lake Ponchartrain that a rapid rise in storm surge is possible through the night. It urged residents of Madisonville, Mandeville, Ponchatoula or Killian to "stay alert as water quickly rises."
Ongoing flooding is expected by the weather service in locations across the region tonight, the result of ongoing storm surge and up to 14 inches of rain in some places with as much as another 2-8 inches possible.
Ida was downgraded to a Category 1 after midnight but continues to dump punishing winds and rain on to the region, with sustained winds of 75 mph and a storm surge warning stretching along the Gulf Coast to the Florida border.
More than 12 hours after landfall, Hurricane Ida's sustained wind speeds are blocking rescue crews from reaching area residents trapped in their homes.
"There's not a captain that would agree to go in the water right now," said Tim Kerner, Jr., mayor of Jean Lafitte, around 11 p.m. on WWLTV.
WWLTV interviewed officials in St. Tammany Parish and St. John Parish who echoed Kerner's concerns that conditions are currently too dangerous to begin widespread rescues, despite hundreds of calls from residents trapped in homes.
Kerner said Jean Lafitte has a list of more than 150 residents who have called for evacuation assistance, with officials ready to begin evacuations as soon as conditions are safe.
"We have 50 boats that are ready to come here at a moment's notice as soon as the weather breaks," Kerner said. "As soon as the weather breaks, we're going to send an army to get to those people."
CrowdSource Rescue, a Texas-based disaster nonprofit, reported boats were on the way to Laplace late Sunday evening to attempt rescues, but later said on social media high winds were threatening to flip rescue boats.
Shortly after midnight, the group said teams were making another effort toward Lafitte and Laplace.
Kerner told WLLTV Sunday night he had yet to receive reports of casualties in the area, but he worried what daylight might bring.
"I'm very scared, of when we start rescuing people, what we're going to find," Kerner said. "... We got hit hard. We got hit long. I know it created a dangerous situation for a lot of people, that water rose so fast. I pray we don't find anything. But that danger was there."
The Amite River at Highway 22 near Maurepas in Livingston Parish is expected to reach a record height overnight, according to The Weather Service. Their forecast calls for the river to reach a height of 8.2 feet.
At 10:48 p.m., the National Weather Service said local law enforcement in central Jefferson Parish reported a levee failing around Lafitte and Jean Lafitte, with more than 200 people in imminent danger. "Heavy rain and surge are leading to a failure of the levee," the Weather Service stated in its flash flooding emergency advisory.
A flash flood emergency has also been issued for eastern Livingston and southern Tangipahoa parishes, The weather service says 5-9 inches of rain has fallen, with another 4-8 inches of rain possible. "Flash flooding is ongoing and will continue to get worse," the warning stated. The locations affected by the flood emergency included Hammond, Ponchatoula and Livingston, as well as Interstate 55 between mile markers 23 and 38 and Interstate 12 between mile markers 20 and 52.
President Joe Biden approved a "major disaster" declaration for Louisiana Sunday night as Hurricane Ida continues to batter the state. Biden had previously approved a Federal Declaration of Emergency on Friday.
Gov. John Bel Edwards requested the major disaster declaration on Sunday, writing in a letter to Biden the majority of households in 25 parishes will likely be displaced from their homes for an "extended period of time" and will require financial assistance.
The parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana are included in the disaster declaration.
Officials in St. John the Baptist Parish said in a Facebook post just after 9:30 Sunday that they are receiving calls from residents regarding emergency assistance with evacuations.
They are asking residents to remain in their homes and stated first responders would deploy as soon as it is safe to do so. The parish is among at least six parishes still under a National Weather Service flash flood emergency.
9:55 p.m. Sunday updates: First confirmed death
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is reporting that a victim has died after a tree fell on a Prairieville home.
Deputies responded about 8:30 p.m. Sunday to a home off Highway 621 in Prairieville, which is about 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge, after reports that a tree fell on the home, according to the sheriff's office Facebook page.
Deputies confirmed the victim had died.
A transmission tower in Jefferson Parish fell into the river, WWL radio in New Orleans reported. The tower helps supply power to Jefferson Parish and New Orleans' east bank.
The historic Karnofsky Tailor Shop in New Orleans has collapsed, according to social media reports. The long-unoccupied downtown building on South Rampart Street once belonged to the Jewish family that offered a second home to the young Louis Armstrong. The building was on the National Register of Historic Places.
Also in Uptown New Orleans, a two story house collapsed with a man inside, according to the New Orleans Fire Department.
On Houma's Main Street, the historic building next to the Lumiere Blues and Jazz Bistro appears to have been destroyed.
A generator failure late Saturday afternoon has been fixed at Thibodaux Regional Health System. It previously forced staff to transfer patients to other parts of the hospital.
Officials in St. Bernard Parish are monitoring 22 barges that broke loose from their mooring and are drifting in the Mississippi River, WWL in New Orleans reported.
The barges broke loose when Hurricane Ida hit and officials are concerned they could damage the water intake system or oil refineries.
St. Bernard Parish Emergency Operations Director John Rahaim Jr. told WWL that because of the weather conditions, no one could go out and secure the barges. Rahaim said he wasn't sure what was in the barges or how they broke loose.
Earlier on Sunday, the Chalmette Ferry and a Regional Transit Authority passenger ferry broke free but have since been secured.
Eight hours after Ida made landfall, she remained a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. It is about 55 miles southeast of Baton Rouge and 25 miles west-southwest of New Orleans. The storm is moving northwest at 10 mph.
Videos and pictures posted on social media showed widespread damage in Houma.
Entergy New Orleans confirmed that all of New Orleans is without power because of "catastrophic transmission damage."
New Orleans Councilman Joe Giarusso said Entergy does not know when power will be restored. Even without power from Entergy, he said, the Sewerage and Water Board had sufficient power from turbines to run the pumps that drain floodwaters from the city.
Jefferson Parish, which neighbors New Orleans, issued a boil water advisory for the entire East Bank of the parish because of a loss of pressure in the distribution system. Customers will need to boil their water until the advisory is lifted.
Jefferson Parish officials are advising any residents who are still in Lafitte not to attempt to drive on the Kerner Swing Bridge. It was hit by a barge, the parish tweeted. "We do not believe it is structurally safe."
Jefferson Parish Schools announced Sunday night that all schools and administration buildings will be closed Monday and Tuesday. The closure also applies to remote learning on those days.
St. Charles Parish has also issued a parish-wide boil water advisory.
More than 550,000 Louisiana customers were without electricity Sunday evening, largely impacting those serviced by Entergy.
As of about 5:30 p.m., 564,718 were without electricity. Of that, about 508,000 were Entergy customers – representing nearly half of the provider’s clientele. The second-most impacted provider was Cleco Energy, with nearly 44,000 customers without power.
Entergy customers can report outages by texting REG to 36778. They should include their account number, followed by their ZIP code.
A generator failure at Thibodaux Regional Health System forced staff to transfer patients to other parts of the hospital late Sunday afternoon.
State Reps. Jerome Zeringue and Tanner Magee both confirmed the generator issue. In a Facebook post, the Thibodaux health system said it was "a temporary issue with one of our backup generators."
Thibodaux representatives have not yet returned request for comment.
Magee said the hospital had to move patients to "other parts of the hospital with power."
"It's a very scary situation," Magee said.
Those in the Braithwaite area, between the Parish Line and White Ditch on the Eastbank, were warned to seek higher ground immediately by the Plaquemines Parish government just before 5 p.m.
“We have received reports of the levee overtopping at White Ditch,” a tweet shared by the New Orleans National Weather Service stated.
Researchers were alarmed to note dangerous mesovortices in satellite images of Ida’s eyewall Sunday.
Sharing a tweet with a short satellite video of four of the rotating structures that looked like tornadoes swirling around the eye, NOAA scientist Dan Lindsey expressed surprise to count that many even after the eye moved completely over land.
The National Weather Service New Orleans shared Lindsey’s tweet and said: “This is not what you want to see.”
Mesovortices are “very dangerous,” said James Franklin, who retired from the National Hurricane Center as a senior hurricane specialist, but still works with the center on its hurricane forecast improvement project. “They’re kind of like big tornadoes, not technically, but with similar effects.”
Wind speeds can be up to 10% higher inside them. They also can spawn rotation in individual thunderstorms, which can lead to tornadoes as the mesovortices encounter friction on the ground when a hurricane moves over land.
Scientists are still trying to learn more about them. After observing mesovortices in Hurricane Laura’s eye last summer, John Schroeder, director of the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University, said there’s “a lot of unknowns about their impact.”
Scientists want to understand more about their role in the hurricane’s “engine” and their connection to the extreme damage that can occur with winds in the eyewall.
The storm is starting its more northward turn and is projected to keep moving through Louisiana today and Monday, National Weather Service Meteorologist Kevin Owens said Sunday just before 5 p.m. Ida is still a Category 4 and is now moving at 10 mph.
“This is a very dangerous storm,” Owens said. “If you haven’t evacuated, you need to shelter in place.”
For those living in mobile homes, Owens advised staying away from outside walls if possible and if not, finding a small closet to shelter in.
“At this point, if they are in the path, it’s too late,” he said.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office announced shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday that its 911 phone lines are down as the storm continued north across southeast Louisiana.
Residents should call (985) 772-4810 or (985) 772-4824 to reach the sheriff's office only for emergencies, though emergency crews have stop responding to calls until conditions become safe enough for travel.
Terrebonne Consolidated Waterworks District 1 General Manager Mike Sobert issued a “boil water notice” immediately for those areas of the parish east and south of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The notice was issued in light of problems that occured because of Hurricane Ida and to ensure safe drinking water until system repairs can be made.
Consolidated Waterworks District No. 1 provides drinking water to all areas of Terrebonne Parish.
Albert Naquin, the Traditional Chief of Isle de Jean Charles Tribe, lives at Pointe-aux-Chênes and bunkered down with seven others through Hurricane Ida.
He said that the house has sustained a lot of wind damage, with a lot of shingles missing and the whole front side gone. He's unsure when he'll be able to fix the roof.
"I saw bits and pieces," Naquin said. "My neighbor's house broke in half."
Naquin doesn't believe that there will be much of the houses left. The Pointe-aux-Chenes levee has also held up so far with little water damage.
Naquin voiced concern for Isle de Jean Charles, which is not protected by the levee system.
"Not sure if there's anything left on the island," Naquin said. "Not sure of what else it could take."
Ochsner St. Anne Hospital, Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center, Ochsner St. Mary Hospital are locked in and have around 100 patients in the three facilities, Ochsner said in a press conference. All facilities had moved to generator power days before the hurricane.
St. Charles Parish Hospital was evacuated and patients have been transferred to other hospitals in the system.
"It's ironic that this is during the anniversary of Katrina," President and CEO Warner Thomas said. "But we did well during Katrina and we'll do better now."
As for COVID-19, they are down 200 patients to 764 across all markets.
The hospital system will be looking into how to reschedule 5,000 elective medical procedures in the upcoming days and weeks.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned during a 2 p.m. news conference that the state is "just getting started" with Hurricane Ida and the damage the state was seeing.
"We can expect devastating impacts to continue for the next 24 hours or so through the state," he said.
Edwards said those sheltering in place should find a secure place and that he couldn't say when first responders would be able to answer calls again.
More than 4,900 Louisiana National Guard members were activated for the storm, Edwards said.
"Our expectation is we'll be ready at first light tomorrow to go out to areas we know are suffering most damage," he said. "There's no doubt we'll see extreme devastation."
Hurricane Ida made second landfall southwest of Galliano, Louisiana at about 2 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm remained at Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds as it moved inland. Ida stretched about 408 miles wide.
New Orleans is reporting widespread power outages and is still expected to see stronger winds and rain as Hurricane Ida moves north.
2 p.m. Sunday update: Video from Houma shows wind, rain
United Houma Nation shares views outside of its administrative office of the wind and rain the city is experiencing as Hurricane Ida makes its way through Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Center's three-day track forecast error for Hurricane Ida verified at 2 p.m. Sunday at "a mere 19 nautical miles," said James Franklin, a retired hurricane specialist unit branch chief for the National Hurricane Center.
It's "a result of many years of work by a lot of people to improve hurricane observations and modeling," said Franklin, who remains at the center in a part-time contractor position on the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project.
The Salvation Army is prepared to distribute food, clean-up kits and other necessities, officials said Sunday as they waited for the worst of the storm to pass.
“From what we’ve seen so far, we expect the damage from Ida to be widespread,” said Emergency Disaster Services Director of The Salvation Army’s Southern Territory, Jeff Jellets. “We are positioned to provide immediate assistance to those in need and have access to a substantial network of resources which can be activated as soon as it is needed. Right now, the best way to support response efforts is by making a financial contribution. This allows necessary items to be purchased and ensures disaster survivors receive assistance quickly.”
The Terrebonne Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness announced the following fire stations have suspended service in Terrebonne Parish: Bayou Black Fire Department, Houma Fire Department, Coteau Fire Department, Little Caillou Fire Department, Dularge Fire Department, Grand Caillou Fire Department, Village East Fire Department and Bourge Fire Department.
The Bayou Cane Fire Department can only respond to fire alarms. Acadian Ambulance Service has also suspended service. All of these first responders will resume service when it is safe to do so.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office and Terrebonne Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness parishes warned on their social media pages it was no longer safe for emergency operations to respond.
"Conditions are rapidly deteriorating in Lafourche Parish. If you have an emergency, call 911, and emergency services will attempt to respond when it's safe," the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office said. "Otherwise, we'll see you on the other side of this storm."
The Terrebonne Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said EMS was no longer operating because of the high winds. It asked residents to remain indoors and away from windows.
As Hurricane Ida comes ashore and slams Grand Isle with the outer eyewall, Police Chief Scooter Resweber could only stay on the call for less than a minute.
"We're still in the middle of this thing," Resweber said. "We're losing the roof to the police station, the lower floor and all of the police cars are flooded."
Around 75 Grand Isle residents remained, along with several emergency responders.
The City of New Orleans expressed confidence Sunday morning in its flood protection system, which underwent a $14 billion upgrade since failing 16 years ago during Hurricane Katrina. The threat to New Orleans from Hurricane Ida will be flooding from the projected 15 to 20 inches of rain, said Deputy City Administrator Officer Ramsey Green.
City residents are asked to conserve water, due to an electrical outage affecting the sewer system. Entergy New Orleans has provided extra generators and is working to find the cause of the outage. The power outage, however, does not affect the pumping system that clears the city of flood waters. That system is full operational.
"It's an incredibly fragile system. That system can change at any point," Green said.
New Orleans officials urged residents who did not evacuate to remain sheltered until the city can assess the storm damage. That assessment will likely be completed Monday morning.
"Be calm in this midst of this storm," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "You have everything you need. We will get through this together."
Hurricane Ida's eye officially made landfall near Port Fourchon, the National Hurricane Center said.
The hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 150 mph and is 45 miles away from Houma.
Lafourche Parish is stopping all emergency medical services as first responders are sheltering in place until after Hurricane Ida passes, the parish tweeted.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office tweeted that conditions are rapidly deteriorating in the area.
"If you have an emergency, call 911, and emergency services will attempt to respond when it's safe," the office tweeted. "Otherwise, we'll see you on the other side."
The United Houma Nation's six-parish service area is under a State of Emergency and the tribe is looking to respond to citizens as safely and as soon as possible after Hurricane Ida passes.
Principal Chief August Creppel declared the State of Emergency. All United Houma Nation offices are closed, and the administration is urging tribal citizens living in potentially impacted areas to complete a form at https://unitedhoumanation.org/.
The United Houma Nation is urging tribal citizens to send any photos or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org that may help in the aftermath.
The Flood Protection Authority said in a release that all gates in the levee system are closed.
"As we await the landfall of Hurricane Ida, the FPA is confident that the system will perform as designed," the FPA said in a release. "The FPA will continue to provide updates as Hurricane Ida moves through."
The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Ida's eyewall is moving onshore along the Southeast Louisiana coast in its 11 a.m. advisory.
The storm is about 25 miles from Grand Isle and 60 miles from Houma. It is moving northwest at 13 miles per hour.
The maximum sustained winds remain at 150 miles per hour near the center of the storm, according to the NHC. On land, the NOAA station at Southwest Pass Southwest reported a sustained wind of 89 miles per hour and a gust of 104 miles per hour.
In the last hour, sustained winds of 44 miles per hour and a gust to 60 miles per hour was reported at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans.
Shell Beach has reported six feet of water above normal levels.
The winds began to whip around 10 a.m. in New Orleans as the outer edge of Hurricane Ida approached the city. At the time, more than 15,000 were already without power in Orleans Parish, according to Entergy energy company.
Aside from the gusting wind, the scene was eerily quiet on the city’s empty streets. During lesser storms, cars can be seen atop curbs or packed into the neutral grounds, the grassy medians that divide many of the roads. But ahead of Ida, few cars could be seen on higher ground, a sign of the mass evacuation that took place over the weekend.
Ida is expected to make landfall Sunday afternoon with winds approaching Category 5, which means sustained winds of 157 mph or more.
In New Orleans, the city is expected to see more than a foot of rain, prompting fears of street flooding.
Hurricane Ida is about 85 miles from New Orleans and 60 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to the National Hurricane Center's 10 a.m. advisory.
The maximum sustained winds are still at 150 miles per hour, just below the threshold of 157 miles per hour for a Category 5 storm.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told CNN on Sunday morning that the state is "as ready as we can be."
"This is going to be a very serious test for our levee systems, especially in coastal Louisiana and for our people," Edwards said. "And it comes at a time that, quite frankly, presents some very challenging difficulties for us with the hospitals being so full of COVID patients."
Dr. Catherine O'Neal, the chief medical officer for Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge, said on The Weather Channel that the hospital is swamped with COVID-19 patients and "there is not a lot of room in the hospital."
O'Neal said the hospital is encouraging people to stay safe to avoid injuries that may require a trip to hospital. She said she anticipates it will be difficult to get to the hospital for the next 24 hours.
"We know that we are already overfull," O'Neal said. "We know that many people will be waiting in halls if they come into the hospital waiting for a medical needs shelter that will happen. We'll pop those up tomorrow in coordination with the state."
In Caddo Parish, the sheriff's office is lending a helping hand to South Louisiana during Hurricane Ida, with the Caddo Correctional Center assisting in housing evacuated inmates from affected areas.
The inmates are expected to arrive Saturday afternoon.
“They will all quarantine 14 days upon arrival just like Caddo inmates,” Cindy Chadwick, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s office public affairs officer said.
The Cajun Navy Foundation is preparing to help clear roads in the Terrebonne Parish area once Hurricane Ida has passed.
“We feel an even greater sense of urgency to be prepared,” said Rob Gaudet, founder of the Cajun Navy Foundation. “And we went, actually last night, and purchased about three more chainsaws and kits.”
The nonprofit is planning to send its Cajun Navy Ground Force to Houma in Terrebonne Parish on Monday once it is safe. He estimates there will be more than 100 volunteers to descend to the area to help with cleanup and other related efforts.
Gaudet and volunteers, Jay Carter of Georgia and Charles Lambert of Mississippi, spent Saturday checking chainsaws and reorganizing supplies and kits. Gaudet said preparing additional chainsaw kits continued Sunday. The group will have 13 chainsaw kits, Gaudet said, which is enough equipment for roughly 100 volunteers to clear roads.
Carter told The Courier/Daily Comet on Saturday that his son texted him while he was on his way to Louisiana, expressing that he didn’t want Carter to leave and that he was scared.
“I basically told him that we all do this because one day if you’re ever in trouble, our kids, ourselves, then hopefully someone like Cajun Navy will come along help us as well,” Carter said.
Hurricane Ida's northern eyewall is approaching Louisiana's coast, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials have tracked gusts of up to 121 miles per hour on land, the National Hurricane Center said.
In its 9 a.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Ida is about 40 miles from Grand Isle and 90 miles from New Orleans.
The NHC also said there are records of sustained winds of 102 miles per hour and a gust of 116 miles per hour. At Pilot's Station, sustained winds reached 97 miles per hour with a gust of 121 miles per hour.
National Weather Service chief meteorologist Benjamin Schott told USA Today Network Hurricane Ida is continuing to strengthen Sunday morning and could become a Category 5 hurricane before it makes landfall Sunday afternoon in Jefferson or Lafourche parishes.
"I’m speechless," Schott said. "I’m sick to my stomach. It’s going to be a horrible day.
"All of the worst things we thought the storm could do I think are about to happen."
At least 400 people evacuated Terrebonne Parish to Monroe via buses on Saturday, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet said. Soignet said there is currently not a lot of activity on the roads.
At least 60-70% of the parish is evacuated, according to Soignet, and officers are checking locks and going through checkpoints along the Morganza to the Gulf of Mexico to monitor surge. In Pointe-aux-Chenes, they are starting to see water being pulled out the area.
"It's currently typical South Louisiana weather, but we'll start feeling the wind bands soon," Soignet said. "We're going to continue to monitor until it's unsafe and we'll come back out again after to assess the damage."
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office tweeted that Galliano was beginning to see conditions deteriorate.
The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued an extreme wind warning for Houma, Bayou Cane, and Estelle until 10:45 a.m.
"Treat these imminent extreme winds as if a tornado was approaching and move immediately to an interior room or shelter NOW," the NWS said in a tweet.
The storm is about 100 miles from New Orleans and 50 miles from Grand Isle, according to the National Hurricane Center's 8 a.m. advisory.
Hurricane Ida is about 50 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River and 100 miles from Houma, the National Hurricane Center said in a 7 a.m. advisory.
The advisory did not include any major changes. Maximum sustained winds are at 150 miles per hour, just under the mark of 157 miles per hour for a Category 5 storm. Hurricane Ida is moving northwest at 15 miles per hour, and is expected to make landfall late in the morning or early in the afternoon.
A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Louisiana, including New Orleans, Hammond and Bogalusa, as well as parts of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, according to the National Weather Service in New Orleans. The watch runs through 7 p.m.
The Weather Channel said that Grand Isle was already seeing gusts of up to 100 miles per hour. A meteorologist called the intensifying hurricane "very concerning."
Sustained winds are up to 150 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. A Category 5 hurricane has sustained winds of 157 miles per hour.
The National Hurricane Center said in its 6 a.m. update that Hurricane Ida's maximum sustained winds were up to 150 miles per hour with stronger gusts.
The storm is about 75 miles from Grand Isle and around 60 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River.
5 a.m. Sunday update: Hurricane Ida strengthens overnight
Hurricane Ida showed signs that it had rapidly strengthened in the Gulf of Mexico overnight and the storm could continue to grow stronger before it makes landfall Sunday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
The 4 a.m. Sunday update from the NWS indicated the storm was about 145 miles southeast of Houma and moving northwest at 16 mph.
A slight shift in Hurricane Ida's track to the east on Saturday had forecasters concerned about storm surge and rainfall in areas that can't handle heavy rain, particularly Barataria and Terrebonne bays.
Life-threatening wind could begin along the Louisiana coast as early as Saturday night "and then spread inland to the New Orleans, Houma and Baton Rouge metro areas on Sunday," the NWS forecast said.
If Hurricane Ida's path brought intense rain over New Orleans, forecasters feared it could lead to extremely dangerous flash flooding in the metro area
Hurricane Ida triggers New Orleans risk-reduction system
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Saturday that Hurricane Ida was expected to force officials to activate the still-new $15 billion hurricane risk reduction system in New Orleans for only the second time. The system, built after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was expected to be activated Sunday morning.
Edwards also detailed other rescue and recovery resources poised to respond to Ida:
- The Louisiana National Guard has staged rescue and recovery assets throughout the impact zone from Acadiana through southern Louisiana with 164 high water vehicles, 62 boats and 34 helicopters.
- More than 4,000 National Guard men and women have boots on the ground with 1,000 more on the way.
- 10,000 electricity linemen and women are also staged in state with another 10,000 out-of-state on hand when needed.
Almost all Gulf oil production shut down ahead of Ida
More than 90% of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil production was shut down Saturday as Hurricane Ida churned through the western Gulf of Mexico toward an expected landfall Sunday evening near Morgan City.
About 85% of the Gulf’s natural gas production had also been halted by midday, according to the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Workers had been evacuated from half of the 560 production platforms in the Gulf, according to the bureau.
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