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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Hurricane Ida intensified. “We are terrified”

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Ida, a second-class hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, has forced some Louisiana residents to flee their homes. The element brings with it strong gusts of wind and heavy rain. It is to hit the US coast on Sunday.

Ida picked up on Saturday and became a category 2 hurricane on the five-point ascending Saffir-Simpson scale. According to experts from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), it is expected to hit the US coast on Sunday night as an “extremely dangerous” element. Just before reaching land, it could become a Category 4 hurricane, generating a wind speed of 225 kilometers per hour. It carries heavy rainfall which may lead to flooding. The Louisiana coast can go under water. The hurricane is currently about 170 kilometers southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

“We are concerned that Ida may become stronger shortly before it reaches land,” said Jim Foerster, a meteorologist at DTN who provides weather advice to oil and shipping companies.

Evacuation of people

On Saturday, Louisiana authorities issued an evacuation order for residents of low-lying and coastal areas. People fleeing the hurricane stood in traffic jams on the highway for hours.

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“I left Fourchon at 8pm on Saturday and this is a ghost town,” said Andre LeBlanc, a Louisiana resident. “We were one of the last to get out of there,” he added.

Scott Pierce, 32, has evacuated to Florida to escape Ida. “We’re terrified,” said Pierce, worried about his home on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards said Saturday Ida may be the worst hurricane to hit Louisiana since the 1850s.

Hurricane Ida forecast routeNHC, NOAA

Louisiana still feels the effects of Hurricane Laura last year. In 2005, Katrina hit the state and killed over 1,800 people. During this tragic event, 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded.

Satellite image of Hurricane Ida NOAA

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / DAN ANDERSON, NOAA

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