Hurricane Ida hit the beaches of the US state of Louisiana local time on Sunday afternoon. On the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, a four-point hurricane made landfall on the shores of the southern state of the Gulf of Mexico with winds gusting more than 240 kilometers per hour, according to the US Hurricane Center (NHC).
“Ida is one of the deadliest storms to hit Louisiana in modern times,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Sunday. The governor asked residents to stay home and be patient because authorities don’t know how quickly to respond to emergency calls.
“They should be prepared to stay home without assistance for at least 72 hours after the storm has passed. We will do everything we can to get there as soon as possible, with all possible resources,” he added.
The governor also reported that 4,900 National Guard personnel were alerted, and that 195 rescue vehicles, 73 boats and 34 helicopters were at their disposal to assist residents.
According to PowerOUGE.us, which was set up to track blackouts in the United States, there were no more than 285,000 consumers in Louisiana at 3 p.m. local time.
President Joe Biden called on residents on Sunday afternoon to listen to the authorities and stay in a safe place until Hurricane Ida passes. In a speech at the Federal Disaster Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Center, Biden described the possibility that the devastation caused by the hurricane would be enormous. He promised to bring all the tools needed for backup and recovery, which could take weeks in some places.
Class IV Ida threatens nearly a million homes in coastal areas of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, according to a US news portal called Business Insider, which could even be destroyed. The expected damage was summarized by California-based CoreLogic. They estimate damages from the hurricane will exceed $220 billion.
Ida is the ninth tropical storm of this year’s hurricane season and the fourth to increase in intensity to become a hurricane.
Sixteen years ago, on the same day in August, Hurricane Katrina hit the southeastern United States, killing more than 1,800 people. The storm at the time caused the most damage in New Orleans, after 80 percent of the city was submerged due to deficiencies in the protective barrier system. Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating hurricanes recorded in United States history. The damage caused by the disaster was estimated at more than $108 billion.