New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Ida to hit New Orleans on Katrina anniversary
Hurricane Ida struck Cuba on Friday and threatened to slam into Louisiana with far greater force over the weekend, prompting New Orleans’ mayor to order everyone outside the protection of the city’s levees to evacuate.
Ida intensified rapidly Friday from a tropical storm to a hurricane with top winds of 80 mph as it crossed western Cuba. The National Hurricane Center predicted it would strengthen into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with top winds of 140 mph before making landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast late Sunday.
Residents along Louisiana’s coast braced for Ida to bring destructive wind and rain on the exact date Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast exactly 16 years earlier. Capt. Ross Eichorn, a fishing guide on the coast about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans, said he fears warm Gulf waters will “make a monster” out of Ida.
“With a direct hit, ain’t no telling what’s going to be left — if anything,” Eichorn said. “Anybody that isn’t concerned has got something wrong with them.”
A hurricane warning was issued for most of the Louisiana coast from Intracoastal City to the mouth of the Pearl River. A tropical storm warning was extended to the Mississippi-Alabama line.