Hurricane Ida nearing Cat 5 status as Louisiana braces

Preparations are finishing across the state as parish officials and residents scramble to get ready ahead of the storm.

NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane Ida is expected to make landfall in Louisiana Sunday as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane, bringing deadly weather conditions as it crosses over Southern Louisiana.

9 AM

Hurricane Ida is continuing its trek towards Louisiana’s coast, with an expected landfall somewhere near Port Fourchon. Landfall is expected sometime around noon.  

Winds are picking up throughout the coastal parishes, with gusts beginning to jump up further inland. The worst weather is still expected to be through Sunday afternoon. 

8:35 AM

Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove urged residents living in mobile homes of any kind to evacuate immediately ahead of winds up to 150 MPH expected in the parish Sunday night. 

if you live in a trailer, if you live in a motor home, you live in a travel trailer, get out,” Dove said. “Don’t even think, even if you’ve got straps, that’s not going to hold against that monster coming after us. This thing is bad and we are urging people to get out of these mobile homes because that’s nothing to play with. They’re going to blow apart.”

He urged any residents with nowhere to go to contact the parish for accommodations. Terrebonne Parish has partnered with a number of hotels to house those displaced ahead of the storm.

8:20 AM

St. Charles Parish has set up two areas as a refuge of last resort: 

Edward A Dufresne Community Center at 274 Judge Edward A. Dufresne Parkway (West Bank) 

Harry Hurst Middle School gym located at 170 Road Runner Lane in Destrehan (East Bank)

Those who are unable to shelter anywhere else should go to the nearest of those locations immediately. 

For a full list of shelters across Southeast Louisiana, click here: 

RELATED: List: Shelter locations open for Hurricane Ida

8:10 AM

Here’s the latest update on Hurricane Ida, expected to make landfall around noon as a devastating Category 4 hurricane.

7:55 AM

An Extreme Wind Warning has been issued for much of Southeast Louisiana. Winds over 115 MPH will begin in the area within the next hour. Residents are advised to treat the storm like a tornado and to take shelter in a sturdy structure away from windows. 

7:45 AM

St. Tammany Parish has called an 11 a.m. press conference to discuss Hurricane Ida. WWL-TV will carry the press conference live as part of our continuing coverage of the storm. 

7:35 AM

On Grand Isle, where power was just lost, water and wind are surging in. 

Councilman Ricky Templet evacuated from the island, but sent WWL-TV some video showing the ferocity of the storm’s outer bands. 

Some residents have decided to stay, despite the mandatory evacuation order. 

7:30 AM 

All of lower Plaquemines Parish is now without power as Hurricane Ida approaches. Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish has also gone dark. 

Credit: Entergy Louisiana

7:20 AM 

Cleco is now reporting 5,300 customers without power, bringing the total across the state to over 10,000. 

Widespread outages will continue, with some outages in places hit the hardest by Ida potentially taking weeks to be fixed. 

7 AM 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the New Orleans levee system has been built and rebuilt post-Katrina to stand up to a bigger storm than Ida. 

“This particular track on the eat bank of the river really should not be a problem,” said Heath Jones a spokesman for the Corps told WWL-TV. “We spent $14.5 billion congress gave us after Katrina to improve the system. We’ve done vast changes in design, vast changes in approach. It’s designed to take that overtopping.”

In coastal parishes, the situation may be different, especially when the highest storm surge comes in later Sunday. 

“Terrebonne’s levee protection system is not designed for this,” Jones said. 

6:55 AM 

Grand Isle is reporting hurricane-force winds, with sustained winds of 90 MPH and gusts of 115 MPH reported. Hurricane Ida is still hours away from landfall west of the island. 

6:50 AM

S&WB says Turbine 4 is back in service to supply power to the city’s pumps ahead of Hurricane Ida. 

96 of the city’s 99 drainage pumps are available. The three out of service pumps are located in New Orleans East and Lakeview. 

Officials said they were confident they would be able to power the pumps during a press conference Saturday. 

6:25 AM

Cleco is reporting about 3,900 customers without power on the northshore, with most of those outages clustered around Slidell. 

Entergy reports just under 5,500 customers without power, with the vast majority in Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes. 

Outages are expected to increase throughout the day. 

6:05 AM

Hurricane Ida now has sustained winds of 150 MPH as it approaches the Louisiana coast. The threshold for a Category 5 hurricane is 157 MPH. 

The storm will be the strongest in modern history to make landfall in Louisiana. It is currently about 75 miles south of Grand Isle.

The pressure inside the storm is still rapidly dropping, indicating it is not done intensifying. 

6 AM 

Entergy Louisiana is reporting about 1,150 customers without power Sunday morning. Most of those outages are in Plaquemines and Orleans parishes.

Widespread outages across much of Southeast Louisiana are expected as Hurricane Ida rolls through. Some parish officials have said these outages could last for days or weeks. 

5:30 AM

Hurricane Ida has tracked a bit east over the last 24 hours, although forecasters continue to urge residents tracking the storm to not pay as much attention to the exact path it follows. 

Ida is expected to bring widespread damage across much of the state, regardless of where exactly it makes landfall. The current track has landfall somewhere east of Grand Isle before it heads northwest towards Houma and Baton Rouge. 

For a full breakdown of what to expect in your area, check out our parish-by-parish impact map: 

RELATED: Here’s what to expect in your parish from Hurricane Ida

5:20 AM 

Plaquemines Parish is already seeing winds of up to 40 MPH as Hurricane Ida approaches, and emergency management officials say conditions are only going to deteriorate from here. 

With a small wobble to the east, Ida could come over land in Plaquemines Parish. The last time that happened was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

“It’s going to be devastating for the next 24 hours in Southeast Louisiana,” said Patrick Harvey, the parish’s director of emergency preparedness. 

5 AM

Ida’s top wind speeds are now topping 145 MPH. Gusts are up to 165 MPH in certain places. 

The storm is continuing to strengthen as it approaches the Louisiana coast. 

The cone of uncertainty is continuing to narrow, but wobbles in the storm’s path will likely continue up until lanfall. 

Ida is currently 80 miles south of Grand Isle. 

4:30 AM

Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng spoke with WWL-TV about the last preparations in the parish as the storm approaches. 

 4 AM 

The National Hurricane Center has released the latest track for Hurricane Ida, which has strengthened again ahead of landfall. The storm is now less than 100 miles from the coast, and continues to grow in intensity, despite time running out for its continued growth. 

WWL-TV Meteorologist Michelle Morgan says the storm could reach Category 5, but that forecast is looking less likely because there simply isn’t enough time for further rapid intensification. 

 3:30 AM

Louisiana is seeing the first outer bands from Hurricane Ida, a powerful Category 4 storm expected to see landfall sometime Sunday afternoon. 

All of Southeast Louisiana could see hurricane-force winds and flooding rain from the storm, which is expected to cross Louisiana Sunday and Monday.

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