Hurricane Ida made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana on Sunday afternoon, slamming ashore with powerful gusts just shy of a wicked Category 5 storm, forecasters said.
The monster Category 4 storm hit struck near Port Fourchon around 11:55 a.m. local time, the National Hurricane Center said.
At the time of landfall, Ida had maximum sustained winds of about 150 mph. A storm is considered Category 5, the most powerful, at 157 mph.
The ferocious ‘cane is coinciding with the exact date that Hurricane Katrina devastated the region 16 years earlier, leaving at least 1,833 dead and millions homeless along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday warned that the storm “is going to be a very serious test for our levee systems.
“And it comes at a time that, quite frankly, it presents some very challenging difficulties for us with the hospitals being so full of COVID patients,” Edwards said on CNN.
Edwards said officials were working to find hotel rooms in order to provide safe shelter for evacuees amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. The state had secured rooms for 20,000 people during last year’s hurricane season.
“So we know how to do this,” Edwards said. “I hope and pray we don’t have to do it anywhere near that extent.”
Places such as Grand Isle, La., already had torrents of flooding afternoon, footage posted on Twitter shows.
Neighboring states were already feeling effects from Ida, too.
Parts of Gulfport in Mississippi were underwater by early afternoon, according to video on Twitter.
With Post Wires