Life-threatening storm surges, heavy rainfall, and hurricane-force winds are expected to hit Louisiana’s coastline Sunday or early Monday, the National Hurricane Center warned.
Tropical Storm Ida was barreling toward the Gulf Coast, and was forecast on Thursday to hit Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane this weekend. The National Hurricane Center also issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida border.
State officials in Louisiana are warning residents to prepare for Ida to make landfall as a hurricane.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned residents Thursday to get ahead of potentially serious impacts to the gulf area. Gov. Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency ahead of the storm’s arrival.
“Now is the time for Louisianans to prepare for impacts from Tropical Storm Ida, which is expected to become a major hurricane,” Bel Edwards said on Twitter Thursday. He warned the state is likely to start feeling Ida’s effects this weekend.
The storm is expected bring rainfall amounts of eight to 12 inches with some areas getting 15 inches of rain along the central Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
“The people of Louisiana have been tested time and time again, and while it is my hope and prayer that this storm will not bring destruction to our state, we should be prepared to take the brunt of the severe weather,” Bel Edwards said.
Ida serves as the state’s most serious weather threat of the 2021 hurricane season. Last year was the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record with 30 named storms, four of which hit Louisiana, NOLA.com reports.
The expected landfall of Ida also hits around the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest storm in U.S. history.
Ida arrives at the tail end of a summer filled with extreme weather events in the U.S.–including deadly floods in Tennessee and several wildfires in the West Coast.