Hurricane Ida, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, batters Louisiana

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Hurricane Ida, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, batters Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS – Hurricane Ida lashed Louisiana on Sunday with powerful winds and dangerously high hurricane waves, cursing coastal communities, battering New Orleans and resisting devastating flooding in the biggest test since Hurricane Katrina. For put the city system.

For 16 years after that storm devastated New Orleans, Hurricane Ida sent residents fleeing east and west on its way onto jam roadways in Louisiana. Those that remained – by choice or by the circumstance of a fast-approaching storm – endured maximum winds that reached 150 mph, just shy of Category 5 intensity.

The storm made landfall shortly before noon, earlier than expected and only a few days after becoming a designated storm. Its rapid strengthening stunned meteorologists and left officials and Gulf Coast residents little time to prepare.

“This is one of the strongest storms to hit here in modern times,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said at a briefing Sunday afternoon.

Speaking at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters on Sunday, President Biden said the “catastrophe is very likely” and promised that “as the storm passes, we are going to put the full force of the nation behind rescue and health.” the profit.”

White-shaded waves appeared on the Mississippi River as winds uprooted trees, tore down the roofs of buildings and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands across the state. Storm surges in flooded areas of the coast from Burns Point west of New Orleans to Biloxi, Miss. floodwaters, threaten inland communities such as Greater Baton Rouge in Louisiana.

Winds of 82 mph, with gusts of 138 mph, spread inland throughout the afternoon.

“It’s been an experience, the hardest I’ve ever seen it,” said Anthony Rodrigue, 62, who has never evacuated his house in Haumea, LA for a hurricane. I can’t even see across the street.”

The National Hurricane Center said that by Monday, the storm would have drenched the Gulf Coast by eight to 16 inches and in some places perhaps 20 inches.

heavy rains and floods expected in many states As the week progressed, the storm and its remnants moved to the northeast.

In a sign of hurricane strength, water moved above at least one levee by midday in Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans. Officials expected some water to rise above the levees, warning that this was not a sign of their failure. Nevertheless, the local authorities urged the nearby residents to “Immediately seek higher ground.

Hurricane Ida presented a second serious crisis for the state in what is already one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country.

The Covid-19 death toll in Louisiana has reached its highest level since the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals already overcrowded or near capacity with a surge of Covid-19 patients scrambled to manage operations during the storm on Sunday as evacuation was no longer possible. The storm blew up parts of a hospital roof outside Lady of the Sea General Hospital in New Orleans, New Orleans.

New Orleans suspended its emergency medical services shortly before noon due to high winds, saying in a statement that operations would resume “once it’s safe

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“No one should expect that tonight the first responder will be able to answer the call for help,” the governor said, underlining that residents who had not already visited need to stay in their homes. Is.

Officials have expressed confidence that efforts to tighten flooding and flooding systems around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina will be enough to stop the storm’s waves. But, the governor said, this may not be the case in other areas of the state, where the infrastructure “has not been built to the same standard.”

Inside the French Quarter, Keisha Shorter hoped the storm would dissipate quickly, even as the wind was blowing outside.

“It’s been real humiliating,” she said of the air. “Even though I had my storm shutters closed, it was shaking and blowing.”

Ms. Shorter, who lives above the bar, was hopeful she could open the bar late on Sunday after the storm passed. “We’ll see how it goes,” she said.

Even before they arrived, the hurricane stirred up painful reminders in New Orleans of the death and devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which left psychological scars that still run deep in the city. The storm killed 1,833 people, caused more than $100 billion in damage and inundated large parts of New Orleans, bringing about scenes of grief that terrified the nation and stunned the world.

The trajectory and strength of Hurricane Ida presented a high-stakes test of reinforced levees, flood walls, pumps and gates around New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The city is now covered by a storm-surge barrier so large that it can be seen from space, and a network of drainage canals has gates to Lake Pontchartrain that prevent water from entering. The soil was also removed along a 50-mile span, mixed with cement and put back, reinforcing each protective wall.

Officials believe that hundreds of thousands of people had already left the metropolitan area before the storm, but many took refuge in their respective places.

Carl Duranslet recalls spending three days stranded in an overpass in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Still, he said, he decided to stay as Hurricane Ida approached his home in New Iberia, La.

“I’ve been surviving hurricanes for 51 years,” said Mr Durnslet. “I’d rather avoid that.”

The storm intensified in large part because the waters in the Gulf of Mexico are very warm, and the warmer waters provide more energy to the storms. The Gulf is generally warmer in late summer, but research over the past decade suggests that climate change also plays a role in the increasing frequency of increasingly intense Atlantic hurricanes.

Meteorologists said the path taken by the storm, which was hovering over an area where the wind was not strong enough to carry ocean heat, created a characteristically fast-worsening storm condition. “It would have been difficult to forge a more favorable path for this rapid strengthening than in Ida,” said independent meteorologist and Yale Climate Connections journalist Robert Henson.

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Studies have shown that oceans are generally warming as a result of human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases, making hurricane intensities more frequent. In the case of Hurricane Ida, it became a Category 4 hurricane just an hour after it first reached Category 3 status.

The impact of this storm underscored the continuing threat facing coastal communities as the changing climate helps to intensify the destructive force of storms that have always been a seasonal part of life in the region.

Louisiana was already struggling to make its way into 2020 after a particularly active and devastating hurricane season. Governor Edwards has said $3 billion in recovery needs hasn’t been met since last year.

Hurricane Ida significantly disrupted energy infrastructure along the coast, forcing oil and gas companies to shut down more than 90 percent of production in the Gulf of Mexico. Workers were evacuated from offshore platforms. Colonial Pipeline, which transports transportation fuel from Texas to New York, said on Sunday that it has temporarily closed some of its networks.

In New Orleans, the force of the winds ripped boats from their ferries along the coast and on the Mississippi River.

“A boat broke down on the river,” Kelly Chandler, regional director for the Southwest Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East, said Sunday afternoon after an emergency call arrived. Her crews called the US Coast Guard and checked river cameras to see where the ferry was. He located it downriver from New Orleans near Jackson Barracks.

Although there was no traffic on the Mississippi River, unmanned ships could be damaged during a storm, causing damage. As the winds drop below storm level, a tug will be sent to bring the yacht back to safety. But for the time being it became free on Sunday.

As night fell, many people in New Orleans lit their homes with candles or flashlights.

Samantha Igana was amazed that she still had electricity at her home in the genteel neighborhood of New Orleans, hours after the storm struck. “Nobody else has the lights on,” said 56-year-old Ms. Agana. “My daughter uptown, no light. My other daughter in the east, no light.”

In 2005, Ms. Egana went to her chest to hail boats in water to come to her home to rescue her grandson Moses, who was only 3 months old at the time, including her children and her grandson Moses.

“It’s not Katrina,” she said, looking out her window. He considered rain and wind to be tolerable, adding that the water was “falling down but it was not forming.”

“It’s going to pass,” she said. “It’s going to be all right.”

Reporting was contributed by Henry Fountainhandjob Richard Fawcetthandjob Rick Rosahandjob Tariro Mezewalhandjob Edgar Sandovalihandjob Giulia Haywardhandjob eduardo medinahandjob Sophie Kasakovhandjob E. Justin Swanson And jesus gymnezu.

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