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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Hurricane Ida diverted the Mississippi River. “Extremely rare”

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The storm surge and strong winds associated with Hurricane Ida on Sunday caused a temporary reversal of the Mississippi River near New Orleans. A hydrologist at the United States Geological Survey called the situation “extremely rare”.

Ida as a hurricane of the fourth category in the five-point, ascending Saffir-Simpson scale hit Louisiana on Sunday around 12 p.m. local time (7 p.m. in Poland). The wind speed then reached 240 kilometers per hour. Local WWWL TV reported that at 9 p.m. local time, the hurricane had weakened to Category 2, and wind speed had dropped to 177 km / h. On Monday, however, the element lost enough strength to be able to describe it as a tropical storm, with gusts of wind up to 95 km / h.

The Mississippi River ran in the opposite direction

The storm wave and strong wind were strong enough to temporarily divert the Mississippi River from south to north on Sunday, CNN reported.

“I remember reversing the Mississippi River during Hurricane Katrina, but it’s extremely rare,” Scott Perrien, a hydrologist at the United States Geological Surve (USGS), told CNN. Katrina hit Louisiana on August 29, 16 years ago.

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According to data released by the USGS on Sunday at the Belle Chasse measuring station about 30 kilometers south of New Orleans, the river’s flow slowed from about nine thousand cubic meters per second to about one cubic meters per second in the opposite direction.

The hydrologist added that the course of the entire river is not measured, so it is possible that in deeper places this situation did not occur. As he indicated, due to a high storm wave, the level of the river at the local station rose by about two meters.

Satellite image of Hurricane Ida on August 30NOAA / NESDIS

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / RAMMB / NOAA / NESDIS HANDOUT

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