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article imageLouisiana Anxious, Watchful for Hurricane Ida

By Carol Forsloff     Nov 8, 2009 in Environment
Since the terrible Hurricanie Katrina of four years ago, Louisiana is cautious when hurricanes are predicted. Ida is said to have regained strength as a hurricane, with the potential of reaching Louisiana. Residents are watchful again this season.
According to the Times Picayune Online at 6 p.m. Sunday Ida was stronger, and a hurricane watch remained for the northern Gulf Coast from Grand Isle to Mexico Beach, Fla.. The watch, however, doesn't include the City of New Orleans but the storm does threaten to reach the mouth of the Mississippi by Monday afternoon. It is then predicted to turn east and move towards Mobile, Alabama as a low pressure, extra tropical storm.
Still New Orleans is watchful. Plaquemines Parish closed its public schools for Monday. A flood watch has been issued for the metropolitan area. Heavy rains are expected to reach 3 to 5 inches on Monday, with some areas expected to have higher rainfall. Flooding is of special concern because of high tides that can increase pressure on streams and bayous.
Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to declare a state of emergency late Sunday in order to get assistance for the parishes that might be hit hard and require special help. The Governor's crisis team and [url= t=_blankOffice of Homeland Security are already in a state of preparedness. The Louisiana National Guard and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel are under special alert status, with the State Police now put on standby for southeastern Louisiana. Residents have been urged to review their emergency preparations.
According to the National Weather Service and local emergency officials, Ida was packing 100-mph winds when it moved across the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning. It is expected to remain at a Category 2 strength until the end of Sunday with a warning to remain in effect for the Yucatan Peninsula as well as the Gulf Coast of the United States. The storm is expected to weaken as it crosses through cooler water and cooler air masses in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical storm-force winds, less than 74 mph, are expected in the metropolitan New Orleans area from Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning. Flooding is expected to be from 3 to 5 feet outside hurricane protection levees.
The levee system ends at the community of Verret so special emergency preparedness is being undertaken in that area.
According to the Associated Press Hurricane Ida, is the first hurricane in the Atlantic anticipated to hit the United States this year. It threatens flooding and storm surges across 200 miles of the coast, extending across southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Louisiana has been plagued with storm threats, including tornados for much of the storm season. North Central Louisiana residents, including Natchitoches Parish, have seen tornado watches since the late spring as even now farther south Louisiana residents worry about a hurricane, hoping Ida doesn't pack the type of devastating blow its predecessor, Hurricane Katrina did four years ago
More about Hurricane ida, Hurricane Katrina, Gulf coast
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