Ida Now a Mean Cat 5

August 29, 2021

CNN:

New Orleans has received over 65 inches of rain so far this year, their second wettest on record to this point of the year. This will make flooding in the region worse as Hurricane Ida approaches.

New Orleans is expecting 15-20 inches of rain with Ida.

Some more context: New Orleans averages 62 inches of rain in a year, so they have already totaled more than that with four more months to go.

 Landfall will occur on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in Louisiana.

AP:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Ida rapidly grew in strength early Sunday, becoming a dangerous Category 4 hurricane just hours before hitting the Louisiana coast while emergency officials in the region grappled with opening shelters for displaced evacuees despite the risks of spreading the coronavirus.

As Ida moved through some of the warmest ocean water in the world in the northern Gulf of Mexico, its top winds grew by 45 mph (72 kph) to 150 mph (230 kph) in five hours. The system was expected to make landfall Sunday afternoon, set to arrive on the exact date Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years earlier.

The hurricane center said Ida is forecast to hit at 155 mph (250 kph), just 1 mph shy of a Category 5 hurricane. Only four Category 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the United States: Michael in 2018, Andrew in 1992, Camille in 1969 and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Both Michael and Andrew were upgraded to category 5 long after the storm hit with further review of damage.

Ida threatened a region already reeling from a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, due to low vaccination rates and the highly contagious delta variant.

2 Responses to “Ida Now a Mean Cat 5”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    For New Orleans, the issue is always water.

    The angle of approach for Ida is almost as bad as Katrina in terms of pushing water up through Lake Borgne and into Lake Pontchartrain. This time they’ve reinforced the lake levees and cut off the interior canals (which breached last time) from the lake.

    The other aspect is flooding from excessive rainfall.

    Even if the rain-based water levels reached the same as the breach-based water levels of Katrina, it’s still not as bad, because you can keep pumping the water out (and it’s not as damaging as brackish water).

    I don’t think the river levee is at any risk from surge up the Mississippi River because the river levee gets frequently tested by the river itself.


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