Hurricane touches down in Louisiana, slamming region with 150 mph winds
Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana, slamming region. The monster Category 4 storm hit struck near Port Fourchon around 11:55 a.m. local time, the National Hurricane Center said.
Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday as one of the most powerful storms in US history, slamming the region with monster winds just shy of a Category 5 ‘cane, forecasters said.
The colossal Category 4 hurricane stormed ashore around the barrier island of Grand Isle, officially making landfall in the offshore-oil town of Port Fourchon around 11:55 a.m. local time — only about 40 miles west of where Hurricane Katrina struck exactly 16 years earlier, the National Hurricane Center said.
At the time of Sunday’s landfall, Ida had maximum sustained winds of about 150 mph. A storm is considered Category 5, the most powerful, at 157 mph.
The storm has preliminarily tied for the fifth strongest hurricane to come ashore in the country based on wind speed. Based on central pressure, it is also tied for ninth strongest US landfall.
The ferocious hurricane coincided with the exact day that Category 3 Katrina made landfall in Louisiana in 2005, when it left at least 1,833 dead and millions homeless along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
“Ida will most definitely be stronger than Katrina, and by a pretty big margin,’’ said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. “And, the worst of the storm will pass over New Orleans and Baton Rouge, which got the weaker side of Katrina.”
The National Weather Service said a “life-threatening storm surge” was already impacting most of the state’s coastline, with the seawater predicted to rise as high as 15 feet in Port Fourchon.
Kevin Gilmore, a NWS meteorologist for the New Orleans/Baton Rouge office, said the storm, with its rain and destructive winds, was “just absolutely inundating” the island community of Grand Isle.
“There are reports of roofs being peeled off,” Gilmore said.