Hurricane Ida is anticipated to make landfall Sunday, threatening to carry harmful wind, storm surge and rain to the Gulf Coast precisely 16 years after the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, one of the crucial pricey pure disasters in American historical past, which left greater than 1,800 useless and produced greater than $100 billion in damages.
The general impression of storm surge from Ida is predicted to be much less extreme than throughout Katrina. As a result of that storm started as a Class 5 hurricane within the Gulf of Mexico earlier than weakening because it approached landfall, it generated huge storm surge, which introduced over 20 ft of water to elements of the Mississippi coast. Present projections put the storm surge of Ida at 10 to fifteen ft.
“Fifteen-foot certain can do plenty of harm,” stated Barry Keim, a professor at Louisiana State College and Louisiana State Climatologist. “Nevertheless it’s going to be nothing as compared with Katrina’s surge.”
Enhancements to the levee system following Katrina have higher ready the New Orleans metro space for the storm surge.
Nevertheless, the areas more likely to obtain probably the most extreme surge from Ida could also be much less outfitted to deal with it than the world hit by Katrina, stated Dr. Keim.
Ida is anticipated to make landfall to the west of the place Katrina struck, bringing probably the most extreme storm surge impacts to the Louisiana coast west of the Mississippi River reasonably than east of the river alongside coastal Mississippi, as Katrina did.
“We’re testing a unique a part of the flood safety in and round southeast Louisiana than we did in Katrina,” stated Dr. Keim. “A few of the weak hyperlinks on this space possibly haven’t been fairly as uncovered.”
Whereas the impacts of Ida’s storm surge are anticipated to be much less extreme than Katrina’s, Ida’s winds and rain are predicted to exceed those who pummeled the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Ida is anticipated to make landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Class 4 storm with peak winds of 130 mph, whereas Katrina made landfall as a Class 3 with peak winds of 125 mph.
“It could possibly be fairly devastating — particularly a few of these excessive rise buildings are simply not rated to maintain that wind load,” stated Jamie Rhome, performing deputy director of the Nationwide Hurricane Heart.
The extreme harm from Hurricane Laura, which struck southwest Louisiana final 12 months as a Class 4 storm, was triggered primarily by excessive winds peaking at 150 mph. The storm triggered 42 deaths and harm costing greater than $19 billion.
Ida’s rainfall additionally threatens to exceed Katrina’s highs.
The Nationwide Hurricane Heart estimates that Ida will drench the Gulf Coast with 8 to 16 inches of rain and maybe as a lot as 20 inches in some locations. Katrina introduced 5-10 inches of rain with greater than 12 inches in probably the most impacted areas.
“That’s plenty of rainfall,” stated Mr. Rhome. “Completely the flash flood potential on this case is excessive, very excessive.” Particularly mixed with storm surge, he stated, such intense ranges of rainfall may have a “large and devastating impression to these native communities.”