hurricane ida storm path

Ida is forecast to track into the extremely warm sea waters in the Gulf of Mexico and is very likely to enter rapid intensification and become the 4th hurricane in the Atlantic Basin this year.
Ida is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday when it hits the Gulf Coast with maximum winds of 140 mph, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

Mandatory evacuations are being ordered in Louisiana on Friday as Ida gains strength in the gulf.

The center of Ida was located over western Cuba around 8 p.m. ET on Friday. Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and western Cuba will face heavy rains, flash flooding, and mudslides throughout Friday evening.

hurricane ida 2021 louisiana
© Reuters
A satellite image shows Tropical Storm Ida after forming in the Caribbean, about 75 miles north-northwest of Grand Cayman, August 27, 2021
"Steady to rapid strengthening is expected when Ida moves over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, and Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it approaches the northern Gulf coast on Sunday," the National Hurricane Center said in its Friday night advisory.

President Biden declared a state of emergency in Louisiana on Friday afternoon, directing the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards also declared a state of emergency earlier in the week and warned residents Friday to spend their weekend preparing for the storm.

"While we're going to have lots of people, lots of boats and helicopters, and we're going to do urban search and rescue just as soon as we possibly can, everyone is encouraged to have three days worth of supplies on hand," Gov. Edwards said at a press conference Friday. "That's the rule of thumb. The first 72 hours are on you."

In a Facebook post, the Plaquemines Parish Government urged all residents to begin personal preparations warning that the mandatory evacuation would take effect at 3 p.m. ET for its entire East Bank and the West Bank from Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery to Venice.

"In addition, a Voluntary Evacuation from the community of Oakville to Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery," the local government said.

The National Hurricane Center said Ida - which is pointed directly at New Orleans - will reach 140 mph before making landfall in the Mississippi River delta late Sunday.

Projected to become a Category 4 hurricane, the storm would strike 16 years to the day since Hurricane Katrina made landfall there as a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds near the riverside community of Buras in Plaquemines Parish.

The Emergency Operations Center at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is monitoring the storm and coordinating with FEMA and local parish emergency preparedness offices, the release said.

"Right now we know conditions are primed for this system to strengthen," GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom said in a statement. "We also know the reality of this impact all too well. That means we all must remain aware of the potential of this severe weather threat, finalize your emergency plans and be ready to adjust those plans due any changes in the forecast or due to potential weather alerts being issued."
gas lines hurricane Ida
© Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP
Long lines crisscrossing at a Race Track gas station on Jefferson Highway in Jefferson, La., as people prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Ida on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

People were seen lining up for groceries and filling sandbags in New Orleans on Friday and some schools in the area closed or moved to virtual classes.

A voluntary evacuation order was issued for Lafourche Parish and there was a recommended order for Port Fourchon, according to Houma Today.

The mayor of the Gulf town of Grand Isle said its Thursday voluntary evacuation order would become mandatory on Friday.

The National Hurricane Center said the hurricane's maximum sustained winds are estimated to be 80 mph with higher gusts.

A hurricane watch was in effect from Cameron, La., to the Mississippi-Alabama border, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.

Dangerous storm surge and the tide are forecast to cause normally dry coastal areas to be flooded and the hurricane center warned that Ida could overlap some levees.

Ida is also projected to produce a total rainfall accumulation of 8 to 16 inches, with 20 inches in isolated areas from southeast Louisiana to coastal Mississippi and Alabama through Monday morning.

Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches are possible later Monday across southern and central Mississippi - with the potential for considerable flash, urban, small stream and riverine flooding - as Ida turns northeast and moves inland.