Hurricane Ida Does the Unthinkable in New Orleans

Not only did the Category 4 Hurricane Ida hit that weather-beaten city 16 years to the day and with more ferocity than did during Hurricane Katrina which was Category 3, the 150 mile plus winds actually reversed the flow of the Mississippi River.

Hurricane Ida blasted ashore Sunday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., and the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana since 1877, nearly one million residents have been without power since Sunday afternoon.

The Category 4 storm hit on the same date Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years earlier, coming ashore about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of where Category 3 Katrina first struck land. Ida’s 150-mph (230 kph) winds tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever hit the mainland U.S. It dropped hours later to a Category 3 storm with maximum winds of 115 mph (193 kph) as it crawled inland, its eye 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of New Orleans.

But the levees held.

Ida comes at a time when the New Orleans region grapples with a strong resurgence of COVID-19 infections, which adds complications due to hospitals near capacity and the risk of spreading the virus at temporary shelters


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