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Category 4 Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana on Katrina anniversary

August 29, 2021

Hurricane Ida made landfall in the US near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, shortly before 1 p.m. ET Sunday as an extremely dangerous, Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Ida, striking on the 16th anniversary of the historically devastating Hurricane Katrina, tied as the state’s most powerful storm ever with Laura from last year and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856.

Landfall is when the eye is halfway over the coast. Extreme winds and surge will accompany landfall over the next several hours.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday he expects Ida to be “a big challenge for us.”

Edwards told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that his state “is as ready as we can be,” but he expects Ida to be “a very serious test of our levy systems, especially in our coastal Louisiana.”

The state invested significantly in shoring up the levy system after the catastrophic fail after Katrina. Edwards said Ida “will be the most severe test,” but he expects the levees to hold. “The next 24, 36 hours are just going to be very, very critical for us here in Louisiana.”

Ida became a Category 4 storm early Sunday morning, rapidly intensifying to sustained winds of 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Ronald Dufrene, a commercial shrimper, plans to stay on his 100-foot shrimp boat in Jean Lafitte, Louisiana, with his wife. He said he’s stayed on his boat for every storm for the last 42 years.

“I rode out three of them last year. Don’t get me wrong. This is a buzz saw we have coming,” he said. “Mother Nature’s a beast.

“I feel it’s the safest place for me and my family is on that boat. You get on the highway and you drive 10 to 15 hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic. … I’ve got enough food and water for months.”

Joshua Legg, another hurricane veteran, stayed on Grand Isle, Louisiana, to ride out Ida. He posted video on Facebook.

“We’re losing roofs right now,” Legg told CNN.

Legg told CNN his home is safe and he is in a Category 5-rated structure. He said he was a police officer for 15 years and still works with search and rescue efforts to help his community.

Sharlette Landry evacuated Grand Isle, Louisiana, and watched her security camera feeds, which showed water quickly rising before her home lost power Sunday.

“I did prepare, but you can never be prepared for this magnitude of a storm,” Landry, who posted a video on Facebook, told CNN. “I was very surprised at how fast it rose. I’ve never seen it that high and I’m sure it’s higher now at my place.”

On Twitter, Wyatt Northrup wrote from Alabama, “Wind and waves really starting to pickup with #Ida in Fort Morgan.”

A tornado watch is in effect until 8 p.m. ET for parts of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Quick-moving, brief tornadoes will be possible throughout Sunday.

There is also a danger of life-threatening storm surge Sunday in areas along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

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