Hurricane Ida has hit Cuba, but is now headed towards the United States. The storm is expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday morning.
Here’s what you should be aware of:
Ida wreaks havoc on the Caribbean with torrential rain.
On its approach to Cuba and the Gulf Coast of the United States, the storm strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. It is anticipated to hit the United States on Sunday.
Take a peek at these downpours. Rains that were quite heavy and very strong.
On its approach to Cuba and the Gulf Coast of the United States, the storm strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. It is anticipated to hit the United States on Sunday. CreditCredit… The New York Times’ William Widmer
Hurricane Ida made landfall in the Cayman Islands at tropical storm intensity less than 12 hours after it formed. It had strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it made landfall in Cuba later on Friday.
The hurricane is now in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening Louisiana. On the 16th anniversary of Storm Katrina, Ida may hit the state as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.
Last year, Louisiana was hit by numerous hurricanes, including Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from Intracoastal City, La., to the mouth of the Pearl River, an area that includes New Orleans, on Saturday. Storm surge warnings have also been issued. According to the center, depending on the tides, the surge in Morgan City, La., may reach 15 feet and up to 7 feet in Lake Pontchartrain.
“When it approaches the coast of Louisiana, Hurricane Ida is anticipated to be a very hazardous major hurricane,” the center warned, adding that “actions to preserve life and property in the warning region should be hurried to completion.”
After departing Cuba, Ida experienced continuous winds of 80 miles per hour. For homeowners and emergency responders along the Gulf Coast, the most pressing issue is how much stronger it will grow before reaching landfall in the United States.
In the 24 hours before landfall, the storm may intensify dramatically, becoming a major hurricane — classified as a Category 3 or higher storm with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour — according to the hurricane center.
Storms are becoming more intense on average over the last decade, according to research, in part because the seas, which supply the energy for hurricanes, are becoming warmer as a consequence of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Ida, on the other hand, will rapidly intensify since the Gulf, as is typical at the end of the summer, is extremely warm.
Rapid intensification is defined as a sustained wind increase of at least 35 mph in less than 24 hours, according to the hurricane center. In the highly active 2023 season, Hurricane Laura strengthened by 45 m.p.h. in the 24 hours before making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm in late August.
Ida, according to the National Hurricane Center, is expected to bring heavy rain from southeast Louisiana to coastal Mississippi and Alabama late Sunday and into Monday. According to the National Weather Service, tropical storm-force winds will reach along the coast as early as Saturday night, before the storm makes landfall on Sunday afternoon or evening. After moving inland, the storm may cause flooding in Tennessee, where 20 people were killed by flash floods last weekend.
On Twitter, Chip Kline, executive assistant to the governor of Louisiana for coastal activities, stated, “Based on the current course and intensity of Ida, this storm will test our hurricane protection systems in a manner they haven’t been tested before.” “It’s moments like this that make us realize how critical it is to continue to preserve south Louisiana.”
The date has been changed to August 27, 2023. A previous version of this page misrepresented the position of Tropical Storm Ida due to an editing mistake. Early Friday, it was in the Caribbean Sea, not the Gulf of Mexico.
Earlier this month, medical staff in the critical care unit of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Louisiana kept an eye on a Covid-19 patient. Credit… Getty Images/Mario Tama
In Louisiana, where daily Covid fatalities hit an all-time high this week, overburdened hospitals are having to alter their usual intensive preparations for Hurricane Ida’s impending arrival.
Dr. Joseph Kanter, Louisiana’s medical director, urged residents on Friday to avoid needless emergency department visits in order to maintain the state’s hospital capacity, which has been severely harmed by the pandemic’s most severe Covid spike.
While preparations exist to move patients from coastal regions to inland hospitals in the event of a storm, Gov. John Bel Edwards stated at a press conference that “evacuations are just not possible” this time.
“The hospitals are full,” he said. “Neither in-state nor out-of-state, we have no place to bring such patients.”
Officials had ordered hospitals to check generators and store more water, oxygen, and personal protective equipment than normal in case of a storm, according to the governor. He said that the consequences of a Category 4 storm striking when hospitals were already at capacity were “beyond what our usual preparations are.”
Mr. Edwards said that he had informed President Biden and Deanne Criswell, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, that Covid-related emergency needs, such as oxygen, would be expected.
The state’s latest wave of Covid hospitalizations has surpassed its previous three peaks, necessitating assistance from federal and military medical teams due to personnel constraints. On Friday, a total of 2,684 Covid patients were admitted to hospitals throughout the state. Covid claimed the lives of 139 people in Louisiana this week, the greatest single-day death toll in the state’s history.
According to Warner L. Thomas, the group’s chief executive, Oschner Health, one of the biggest local medical systems, notified the state that it had limited capacity to handle storm-related transfers, particularly from nursing homes. Many of Oschner’s institutions, which on Friday were caring for 836 Covid patients, had put in backup power and water systems to avoid having to evacuate, he added.
The epidemic has also made it more difficult to release more patients than normal before the storm. “Going home isn’t really an option” for many Covid patients who need oxygen, according to Stephanie Manson, chief operating officer at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, which had 190 Covid inpatients on Friday, 79 of whom were in critical care units.
The governor expressed concern that the influx of tens of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of evacuees may lead the state to lose ground gained in recent days as the number of new coronavirus infections started to decline. Residents on the move were advised to wear masks and maintain social distance, according to Dr. Kanter. Many of the state’s testing and immunization centers were set to shut for the time being.
Residents of New Orleans prepared to flee as the mayor requested voluntary evacuations in advance of Hurricane Ida. Credit… NOLA.com/Max Becherer, via The Advocate/Associated Press NEW ORLEANS (CBSNewYork) – Residents of New Orleans faced a familiar choice: leave or bunker down for the length of Hurricane Ida, which was expected to deliver strong winds and heavy rain to their city.
By late Sunday, the hurricane was anticipated to reach landfall, and authorities were already preparing for the worst.
The fact that Sunday will commemorate the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,833 people, caused more than $100 billion in damage, and submerged major parts of New Orleans, was not lost on anybody.
For New Orleans residents like Victor Pizarro, a health advocate, the poor timing was simply one more psychological weight to endure. Mr. Pizarro and his spouse opted to wait out the storm at their Gentilly Terrace home on Friday afternoon, but they said they would leave town if they lost power for a long period of time.
Mr. Pizarro said in a phone interview while driving across town in search of a spare component for his generator, “It’s certainly upsetting to even have to think about this and make these choices.” “At this point, being a New Orleanian and a Louisianian is exhausting.”
In preparation for Ida’s arrival, Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency on Thursday, noting that the storm’s quick approach — it developed in the Caribbean on Thursday — meant that people, especially those in low-lying and vulnerable coastal regions, needed to act quickly.
“There are extra issues with this kind of danger since the time to prepare is so limited,” he said. “By Saturday evening, everyone should be where they plan to ride out the storm.”
For some local residents, the choice to remain or leave was made on Friday when New Orleans municipal authorities ordered mandatory evacuations for people residing beyond the levee system, mirroring similar orders given by surrounding parishes.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned Friday that “now is the time” for voluntary evacuations.
Andy Horowitz and his family had already decided to leave their house in the Algiers Point area, which is immediately across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter, by the time Ms. Cantrell spoke. Mr. Horowitz is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Katrina: A History, 1915-2015,” and he is one of the many academics and Louisiana residents concerned that the city’s new flood protection system, as large as it is, may prove insufficient for a sinking city in the path of more frequent and powerful storms as a result of climate change.
Mr. Horowitz said, “Every summer, New Orleans plays a game of Russian roulette, and every summer, we pull the trigger.”
Many hoped Ida would do her worst fast and then move on in a situation where she was expecting a severe thrashing. Scooter Resweber, the police chief of Grand Isle, a barrier island south of New Orleans, said, “The quicker it goes, the better it is for us because it doesn’t give the storm time to pound, beat, beat, beat on a roof to the point where it falls apart.”
Mr. Resweber claimed that, with the exception of a few tough old-timers, everyone on Grand Isle, a tiny hamlet of shrimpers, oil industry employees, and fish camps, was preparing to leave by Saturday, when authorities intended to shut Louisiana Highway 1, the island’s sole route in and out.
Anxiety was running high in Livingston Parish, near Baton Rouge, according to Brandi Janes, the homeland security director. She claimed the town had avoided the worst of the 2023 storms, but a slow-moving storm in 2016 had caused disastrous flooding, and now residents are afraid of even ordinary rains.
“It’s simply dread and worry,” Ms. Janes said, as Ida becomes stronger and closer.
Hurricane Laura struck Lake Charles, Louisiana, in October of last year. The New York Times’ William Widmer is to thank for this image.
Officials said there were indications that Hurricane Ida might be as strong as Hurricane Laura as it approached the Gulf Coast, evoking sad memories of the damage Laura caused last year and the ways many people are still dealing with the aftermath.
Laura made landfall on Aug. 27, 2023, at Lake Charles, La., a city of roughly 76,000 people, and the one-year anniversary on Friday was a somber reminder of how long many residents were forced to live in motels, camper trailers, or houses that were barely livable due to the storm’s toll. Elected leaders also mentioned the city’s continued need for federal assistance.
Nic Hunter, the mayor, said on his Facebook page, “Thank you for being tougher than you should have to be.”
Laura was the first in a series of storms that have ravaged Lake Charles and the southwestern part of Louisiana in the last year. Six weeks later, Hurricane Delta made a similar route across the state. Then came a winter storm that raced across the area, bursting pipes in houses and knocking down water systems. Then, in May, severe rains caused flooding.
Residents in the city were stocking up on supplies and keeping a close eye on the forecast on Friday, waiting to see whether Ida might veer their way. Some petrol stations were completely depleted.
The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance’s president and chief executive, George Swift, stated, “We’re just sort of taking a careful look here at the weather.” “I’ve seen people preparing all around town.”
He said that, as bad as another hurricane would be, it is a part of life on the Gulf Coast. Mr. Swift replied, “It’s simply something you have to cope with.”
Following Hurricane Laura, homes in Lake Charles, Louisiana, were covered with blue tarps. Then Hurricane Delta hit, toppling trees and spreading debris left behind from the last storm. Credit… The New York Times’ William Widmer
Hurricane Ida is expected to be the first big storm to reach the Gulf Coast in the 2023 season, wreaking havoc on a region still reeling from the physical and emotional toll of last year’s hurricane season.
With 30 named storms, 13 of which reached hurricane status, the Atlantic hurricane season of 2023 was the busiest on record. Because there were so many storms, forecasters had to go through the alphabet and take the unusual step of referring to storms by Greek letters.
Louisiana took the worst of the storms, including Hurricane Laura, one of the most severe hurricanes to strike the state, followed six weeks later by Delta, which was weaker than Laura but followed a virtually similar course, wreaking havoc on towns already reeling from the previous storm’s destruction.
The state is still fighting to regain its footing. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said that the state’s unmet recovery requirements totaled $3 billion. Local officials in Lake Charles, which was ravaged by direct hits from both hurricanes, followed by a deadly winter storm and flooding in May, recently renewed a plea for federal aid as the city has yet to recover; much of it has yet to recover, and many residents have fled due to a lack of adequate or affordable housing.
The threat posed by Hurricane Ida highlights the ongoing threat to coastal communities, as a changing climate threatens to amplify the devastating power of storms that have long been a part of life.
When President Biden proposed a substantial increase in financing to repair and strengthen infrastructure in areas most likely to be hit by severe weather in May, he highlighted the increasing risk.
On Friday, homeowners in New Orleans closed the storm shutters on a 100-year-old property as part of Hurricane Ida preparations. Credit… Associated Press/Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune & The New Orleans Advocate
Hurricane Ida was predicted to “rapidly strengthen” on Saturday as it made its way toward the United States’ Gulf Coast, with experts predicting it would hit the coast as a life-threatening Category 4 storm on Sunday, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
The storm had moved away from Cuba and was on its approach to the southern Gulf of Mexico, with sustained wind gusts of 85 miles per hour, the center said in an alert issued at 11 a.m. Eastern on Saturday.
According to the center’s tracking model, the storm’s core may hit Louisiana late Sunday or early Monday as a hurricane, with maximum winds of 110 mph and gusts of up to 130 mph.
Forecasters predicted that Ida would then move northward and weaken as it passed across Louisiana and western Mississippi.
“When it makes landfall on Sunday, Hurricane Ida is anticipated to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane,” the National Hurricane Center warned on Saturday morning, adding that portions of Louisiana may see life-threatening flooding.
The National Weather Service in New Orleans warned on Twitter that tropical storm-force winds may reach as early as Saturday night. The center warned that life-threatening storm surges of up to 15 feet may hit parts of the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines on Sunday.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards encouraged residents to utilize Saturday to prepare for the storm. On Friday, before of Ida’s arrival, he proclaimed a state of emergency.
On Friday night, he added, “Take it seriously.” “This is going to be a very bad storm.”
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued an evacuation order for all residents beyond the city’s levee system on Friday morning. The city’s Lake Catherine, Venetian Isles, and Irish Bayou neighborhoods were all under the evacuation order, according to the mayor.
Local roads were congested as residents raced to leave New Orleans, according to traffic camera video. Authorities in Lafourche Parish, farther south, imposed a 6 p.m. curfew on Saturday.
A hurricane watch has been issued for the New Orleans metropolitan region as well as the area between Cameron, Louisiana, and the Mississippi-Alabama border.
Exxon Mobil said it was evacuating its workers from an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday in preparation for the hurricane, according to a spokeswoman.
The 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in Louisiana is Sunday. That storm brought devastating floods and scorching winds, making it one of the country’s most expensive catastrophes ever.
Ida may bring life-threatening flash floods, mudslides, and rip currents, according to forecasters. Through Monday morning, Ida is forecast to dump up to 16 inches of rain over southeast Louisiana, coastal Mississippi, and Alabama, with isolated totals of up to 20 inches.
The Cayman Islands and portions of Cuba may get eight to 12 inches of rain, with isolated totals of up to 20 inches, according to the center. Jamaica was predicted to get six to ten inches of rain, with isolated totals of up to 15 inches.
On Friday, Hurricane Ida made her way through Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico. Credit…NOAA
For meteorologists, it’s been a whirlwind few weeks as they saw three named storms develop in rapid succession in the Atlantic, bringing severe weather, floods, and destructive winds to various areas of the US and the Caribbean.
The first was Tropical Storm Fred, which made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on August 16. Fred produced torrential rainfall and triggered numerous tornadoes as it traveled through the Southeast. In the aftermath of the storm, flash floods swept away houses in Western North Carolina, killing at least five people.
Grace developed in the eastern Caribbean on August 14, the same day that Haiti’s western peninsula was devastated by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake. As the nation battled to rescue those buried under debris, the storm proceeded west, dumping at least 10 inches of rain. Grace then hit the Yucatán Peninsula again, bringing additional severe rain, power outages, and hundreds of evacuations. A third landfall, on Mexico’s mainland’s eastern coast, killed at least eight people.
How to Understand Hurricane Season Terminology
Christina Caron and Karen Zraick The weather is being reported on.
The New York Times’ Emily Kask
What exactly is “landfall”? And what exactly are you up against while you’re in the midst of a storm?
During hurricane season, news coverage and predictions may be riddled with jargon. Let’s take a closer look at what they imply.
Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones may be discussed. So, what’s the difference between the two? Location.
In the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, “hurricane” is often used; in the Northwest Pacific, “typhoon,” and in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, “cyclone” is commonly used.
From June 1 to November 30, the Atlantic season, when hurricanes and tropical storms are most likely to strike the United States, begins.
How to Understand Hurricane Season Terminology
Christina Caron and Karen Zraick The weather is being reported on.
All of these storms have one thing in common: They’re circular low-pressure structures that develop over warm water. When winds reach 39 miles per hour, a system is classified as a tropical storm. It’s a hurricane with winds of 74 miles per hour.
Forecasters often refer to the eye, the eyewall, and the wall cloud as components of the storm:
- The circular region of comparatively low winds, even bright sun, in the heart of a storm is known as the eye. Within the eye, the situation may seem to be tranquil.
- The eyewall, a ring of cumulonimbus clouds also known as a wall cloud, is wrapped around it. It contains a hurricane’s greatest winds.
The New York Times’ Tamir Kalifa
A hurricane does not make landfall when its outer edge hits land, which may seem paradoxical.
Landfall, on the other hand, occurs when the eye crosses the coastline.
18 August 2023
The first of six items
And Henri developed as a tropical storm near the United States’ East Coast on August 16.
It developed into a Category 1 hurricane before weakening and made landfall in Rhode Island, avoiding the brunt of the storm’s effects. It battered the Northeast with strong winds and heavy rain, knocking out power to almost 140,000 homes from New Jersey to Maine. Some Connecticut towns were evacuated, and New York City’s rainfall records were broken.
Hurricanes and climate change are becoming more intertwined. Increased hurricanes and a greater incidence of the most severe storms may be expected as the world warms, but the total number of storms may decrease as factors such as stronger wind shear prevent lesser storms from developing.
Hurricanes are also getting wetter as the atmosphere warms, with experts claiming that storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 generated much more rain than they would have without human-caused climate change. Rising sea levels are also leading to greater storm surges, which are the most dangerous part of tropical storms.
A key UN climate study published in August warned that countries have waited so long to reduce their fossil-fuel emissions that they would be unable to prevent global warming from worsening over the next 30 years, resulting in more frequent life-threatening heat waves and catastrophic droughts. The study claims that tropical cyclones have grown more severe over the last 40 years, a change that cannot be explained only by natural variability.
On May 23, Ana became the season’s first named storm, marking the eighth year in a row that a named storm has formed in the Atlantic before the season’s official start on June 1.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in May that there will be 13 to 20 named storms in the Atlantic this year, with six to ten of them becoming hurricanes, and three to five major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher. They continued to warn in early August, in a midseason update to the prediction, that this year’s hurricane season will be above normal, implying a busy finish to the season.
According to Matthew Rosencrans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a revised prediction indicated that by the conclusion of the season on Nov. 30, there will be 15 to 21 named storms, including seven to ten hurricanes. Ida is the ninth named storm to hit the United States in 2023.
Last year, 30 named storms, including six significant hurricanes, forced meteorologists to use Greek letters for the second time after exhausting the alphabet.
It was the most storms ever recorded, exceeding the previous high of 28 in 2005, and featured the second-highest number of hurricanes ever recorded.
Reporting was provided by Neil Vigdor, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Christine Hauser, and Alyssa Lukpat.