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Ida Hits as One of Strongest Storms to Ever Strike Louisiana

Hundreds of thousands are without power as powerful storm hit New Orleans
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2021 3:26 PM CDT
Ida Makes Landfall
A news crew reports on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain ahead of approaching Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – Hurricane Ida has made landfall. The storm hit as a Category 4 hurricane at about noon local time on the 16th anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. It’s one of the strongest storms ever to hit Louisiana, the New York Times reports. And it’s going to stay that way for a while. “This is not the kind of storm that we normally get. This is going to be much stronger than we usually see and, quite frankly, if you had to draw up the worst possible path for a hurricane in Louisiana, it would be something very, very close to what we’re seeing,” Gov. John Bel Edwards told the AP. President Biden said his administration will put "the country's full might" behind rescue and recovery efforts. More:

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  • How strong? Ida, a Category 4 storm, is producing sustained winds of 150 mph.
  • Storm surge. The Mississippi River rose 7 feet and its flow stopped and even reversed for a while, which is "extremely uncommon," a United States Geological Survey official told CNN.
  • As bad as Katrina? Ramsey Green, an infrastructure official for New Orleans, was optimistic, telling the AP the city is in a “very different place than it was 16 years ago."
  • It’s going to last. The storm is forecast to slow down a little now that it’s on land, but it will still be a tropical storm when it makes it to Mississippi on Monday.
  • Hunkering down. 400,000 residents don’t have power. Many evacuated their homes, but with little warning, a sizable proportion of residents had to stay put. There are 40 people in Grand Isle, La., who defied the evacuation order, and some have now called to be rescued, but can’t be reached by first responders.
  • What to watch for. Louisiana is home to refineries and chemical plants, and experts will watch those for leaks and spills. Also, once the storm clears, residents will still have to cope with power outages, summer heat, and damage.
(Read more Hurricane Ida stories.)

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