August 29, 2021

SUNDAY UPDATES: Mississippi braces for impact as Ida makes landfall in Louisiana

Therese Apel

Hurricane Ida makes landfall at 11:55 AM as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane near Port Fourchon, Louisiana with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.

Original post is beneath the updates. We will be updating this story to keep you informed of all the latest developments.

 

UPDATE 3 P.M. SUNDAY:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers tips for safety in the midst of the hurricane conditions. The following is from a FEMA release:

  • If you did not evacuate, find a safe location to ride out the storm. Avoid enclosed areas where you may become trapped, such as an attic.
  • Stay informed. Individuals in Louisiana can text IDA to 67283 for storm updates from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness or visit GOHSEP > GOHSEP (la.gov). Individuals in Alabama should follow the guidance of local officials or visit ema.alabama.gov/. For storm updates in Mississippi, visit Hurricane Ida – MEMA (msema.org).
  • Stay put. Stay off the roads. Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way. If you evacuated, do not return home until local officials say it is safe.
  • Gather supplies. Have enough supplies for your household. Include medication, disinfectant supplies, face maskspet supplies and a battery-operated radio with extra batteries. After a hurricane, you may not have access to these supplies for days or weeks.
  • Don’t drive through flood waters. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas at bridges and at highway dips. As little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Check on friends and family. If you are able, please check on your neighbors, friends, and family some may need more help than others. You can help by sharing emergency alerts, and real-time safety notifications.

 

 

UPDATE 2:45 P.M. SUNDAY:

AT&T says they are waiving overage charges to provide unlimited talk, text, and data for postpaid and prepaid customers due to Hurricane Ida. The waiver affects customers with billing addresses in 388 zip codes across Louisiana and Mississippi from August 29 through September 4.

Rain bands from Hurricane Ida are beginning to move over the Pine Belt. A tornado watch is in effect for Lamar, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Jones, Covington, and Marion counties.

Linemen can be seen throughout the state, staging to be ready to restore power in areas affected by the storm.

UPDATE 2:15 P.M. SUNDAY:

Tornado warnings have begun on the coast for Harrison, Hancock and Pearl River Counties.

More than 2,000 FEMA employees are deployed to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, including seven FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams in Louisiana and Mississippi.

In addition, 13 Urban Search and Rescue teams are deployed. Through mutual-aid agreements, FEMA activated 200 ambulances and emergency medical service providers for post-storm evacuation support, as needed. Mobile Emergency Response Support is deployed for temporary mobile communications in Louisiana and Mississippi.

President Joe Biden emphasized in a press conference that Ida will be devastating and life threatening.

“Please all you people in Mississippi and Louisiana, take precautions, treat this very seriously. The whole government is ready to get to work,” he said. “We’re here to help the Gulf Coast region get through this as long as it takes.”

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards holds a press conference to update and reminds viewers that the storm is rapidly changing, and to please stay updated. Please don’t approach debris, downed powerlines, or standing water, they say. If you lose electricity and you decide to use a generator, make sure it is not inside, but somewhere that it is well ventilated.

Edwards says he expects to see extreme damage in the areas where the storm has hit, but that a response may not be feasible until morning.

No Tier One hospitals have been evacuated in Louisiana, he said. Four mental hospitals, 22 nursing homes, 18 assisted living facilities have been.

UPDATE 1:30 P.M. SUNDAY:

Reports from the Gulf Coast say the surge is down a little but the wind has definitely picked up. Gulfport Police Department says that once sustained winds hit 45 miles per hour, officers will shelter in place and won’t respond to routine calls unless there is an extreme emergency.

“Please respect the curfew and do not attempt to drive through flooded streets,” Gulfport PD posted on Facebook. “This will prevent emergency personnel from having to respond to unnecessary traffic issues.”

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Pressley tweets that in response to Hurricane Ida, Entergy has requested an additional 500 linemen, 250 vegetation workers and assessment teams. Currently, all electric utilities are deploying all needed resources to restore power as quickly as possible.

 

UPDATE 1:15 P.M. SUNDAY:

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Stephen McCraney says now’s the time to be weather aware, make sure you have multiple ways to receive warnings. Calls Ida “a record breaking hurricane,” and says the state has learned a lot of lessons since Katrina and is ready for Ida. Check MSEMA.org throughout the storm for updates, he says.

 

UPDATE 12:50 P.M. SUNDAY:

Rankin Emergency Operations Center warns that the outer bands of Hurricane Ida will hit the area overnight.

“Please stay off the roads unless it’s absolutely necessary,” the warning reads. “We expect treehs down and power outages throughout the county for the next few days.”

Rankin County road crews, EOC employees, deputies, and others will be working to get the roads open as quickly as possible, the release said.

 

ORIGINAL POST, 12:30 P.M. SUNDAY:

Hurricane Ida, which has national attention as it begins to wreak havoc on Louisiana and South Mississippi, just made landfall on the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 storm.

Reports from NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft
indicated that Hurricane Ida has winds of 150 mph with stronger gusts, and hit first at Port Fourchon. It will continue to move inland Sunday, with conditions deteriorating across all of Southeast Louisiana and into Mississippi.

Governor Tate Reeves has declared a state of emergency as Ida approaches, and President Joe Biden approved emergency declarations for both Mississippi and Louisiana.

Forecasters say the storm will make landfall on the Mississippi gulf coast later Sunday.

According to WLBT, “by midday Saturday, Ida was centered 380 miles (610 kilometers) southeast of Houma, a city on Louisiana’s coast. It was traveling northwest at 16 mph (26 kph), forecasters said. It’s maximum sustained winds were 100 mph (155 kph) — Category 2 strength.”

In Mississippi, warnings are in effect, and began for many areas on Saturday. The NWS for New Orleans and Baton Rouge is warning that significant, life threatening impacts will occur because of the storm surge, damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and isolated tornadoes.

In the Southwestern part of the Magnolia State, officials said there is a significnt threat of winds up to 75 miles per hour, considerable and widespread tree and powerline damage, structural damage, power outages for up to two weeks, and some roads may be impassable for days.

Across most of the central part of the state, there is an elevated threat of winds up to 65 miles an hour, widespread downed trees and power lines, some structural damage, blocked roads, and power outages that could last several days. Central Mississippi should expect 4 to 8 inches of rain with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches, tonight through Monday night.

As you head toward the northern part of the state, winds could be up to 45 miles per hour with downed trees and power lines, a few roads blocked, and isolated power outages.

Authorities say a storm surge from 7-11 feet is possible in Hancock and Harrison counties, and 4-7 feet in Jackson County on the coast. The NWS says the deepest flooding will be along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, and the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the timing of the surge and the tide, and can vary greatly over short distances.

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