Rate this post
August 30, 2021 @ 07:40 +03:00
Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast on Sunday, packing winds more powerful than Hurricane Katrina and a devastating storm surge that threatens to inundate New Orleans with mass flooding, power outages and destruction. The Category 4 storm roared ashore at 11:55 a.m. local time near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with top winds of 150 miles (240 kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. It comes on the 16th anniversary of Katrina’s landfall, which left the region in ruins and killed more than 1,800 people.
Ida, so sprawling that its tropical-force winds extend 140 miles, will be a bruising test for the region’s levees and infrastructure rebuilt after Katrina. It arrives on the heels of a United Nations scientific report warning that weather will only grow more extreme as global warming intensifies. Six tropical cyclones have now struck the U.S. this year. Floods killed 20 people this month in Tennessee. And drought- and heat-wave-fueled wildfires are raging in California, Minnesota, Greece and Turkey.
Ida hits Louisiana at a particularly vulnerable moment. The state’s hospitals are already overwhelmed with more than 2,600 coronavirus patients. Just 41% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Oil explorers bracing for the storm have already halted the equivalent of more than 1.2 million barrels of daily crude production. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and others are shutting offshore platforms and evacuating crews.
The Gulf is home to 16% of U.S. crude production, 2% of its natural gas output, and 48% of the nation’s refining capacity. After Ida comes ashore, it could also flood cotton, corn, soybean and sugarcane crops, said Don Keeney, a meteorologist with commercial forecaster Maxar.
In addition to Ida, the hurricane center is tracking three more potential storms in the Atlantic and Hurricane Nora which is raking Mexico’s Pacific coast.
Ida Makes Landfall in Louisiana With Winds Stronger Than Katrina, Bloomberg, Aug 30