Communities along the US Gulf Coast brace for a potential major hurricane over the weekend as Tropical Storm Ida heads toward the US and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) She warned of the increased risk of life-threatening weather conditions From Sunday evening to Monday morning.
Hurricane warnings were issued across coastal communities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, along with the city of New Orleans Same Thursday night as Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency ahead of Ida’s expected upgrade to a hurricane with potential winds of up to 110 mph.
Ida became the ninth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season on Thursday as it formed in the Caribbean Sea and is expected to hit western Cuba as a tropical storm Friday afternoon. It could lead to life-threatening torrential rain, flash floods and mudslides in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands on Friday morning.
The center warned that the storm is likely to intensify quickly before it reaches the United States over the weekend and could bring 8 to 15 inches of rain.
“Unfortunately, the entire coast of Louisiana is currently in the forecast cone of Tropical Storm Ida, which is getting stronger and may come ashore in Louisiana as a major hurricane because Gulf conditions are favorable for rapid intensification,” Edwards said. In a statement Thursday evening.
This type of threat has additional problems because the preparation window is very short. By Saturday evening, everyone should be in the place where they intend to weather the storm.”
Sunday also falls 16th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Landing in Louisiana, which wiped out New Orleans and other coastal communities in 2005.
Current models suggest Ida could make shore as a Category 2 hurricane, with the NHC warning of an increased risk of a life-threatening storm. By late Thursday evening, the storm was moving at 12 mph (19 kph) with strong winds of 40 mph (64 kph).
Last year there was 30 named Atlantic storms, including seven major hurricanes, a record. Experts link the climate crisis and global warming Increased frequency of more powerful and destructive weather systems.
The storm arrives on the heels of a summer of extreme weather events in the United States, including severe wildfires on the West Coast and deadly flooding in Tennessee earlier in the month.