Ida Becomes Hurricane, Makes Landfall in Cuba

Hurricane Ida roared into Cuba Friday and could hit the southern U.S. state of Louisiana as a Category 3 storm Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“The forecast track has it headed straight toward New Orleans. Not good,” said Jim Kossin, a senior scientist with The Climate Service.
Evacuations have been ordered in the city for those who live outside the city’s protective levee system.
Ida became a hurricane Friday with maximum winds of 120 kph just before coming ashore in Cuba.
Forecasters fear the storm could quickly intensify when it enters the Gulf of Mexico. They say it could pack winds of 193 kph when it makes landfall over Louisiana late Sunday.
From southeast Louisiana to coastal Mississippi and Alabama, total rainfall could be 8 to 16 inches, with up to 20 inches in some areas. Heavy rain and storm surge could cause widespread flooding in the area.
Should Ida make landfall around New Orleans on Sunday, it would be on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina – a Category 3 storm that caused widespread damage and flooding in addition to about 1,800 deaths.
“Ida certainly has the potential to be very bad,” said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami. “It will be moving quickly, so the trek across the Gulf from Cuba to Louisiana will only take 1.5 days.”
Hurricane watches have been issued for New Orleans and the entire Louisiana coastline. The governor has declared a state of emergency.
”Unfortunately, all of Louisiana’s coastline is currently in the forecast cone” for the storm, said Governor John Bel Edwards.
“By Saturday evening, everyone should be in the location where they intend to ride out the storm,” the governor added.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.

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