‘Uninhabitable for Weeks or Months’ is the Hurricane Ida Forecast
On August 27, 2020, Hurricane Laura became the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall on the Louisiana coastline. The catastrophic Category 4 storm slammed into Cameron, Louisiana with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Cameron and surrounding inland areas such as Lake Charles, Westlake and Sulphur suffered devastating damage.
In may have only taken one year to tie or break that unenviable record.
Here we are, 7 am on August 29, 2021, and Hurricane Ida will be making landfall in just a few hours. Grand Isle, Louisiana appears to be ground zero. Ida's maximum sustained winds accelerated from 105 mph before bedtime last night, to 150 mph at sunrise today. A little more strengthening is still possible in the next few hours before Ida unleashes it's devastation upon southeastern Louisiana.
The New Orleans area, which is only 45 miles inland from Grand Isle, could expect wind gusts up to 100 mph. A storm surge of up to 12 feet is possible in coastline areas from the point of impact all the way over to the shores of Mississippi and Alabama. Lake Pontchartrain could see up to an 8 foot storm surge.
For the immediate area around Grand Isle...this could be the first Category 5 hurricane (winds at 157 mph or greater) to ever hit Louisiana at that level. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 reached maximum sustained winds of 175 mph before making landfall in Louisiana with top sustained winds of 125 mph. You remember what Katrina did to New Orleans and what the ferocity of Laura did last year to Cameron/Lake Charles. This is what the National Hurricane Center says a Category 5 Hurricane can do:
A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
The images this morning for Hurricane Ida are impressive and scary. Please set aside some time for silence this morning and say a prayer for our brothers and sisters in Louisiana and all in harm's way of this storm.