In 2021, Hurricane Ida began life as a tropical storm on August 26th just west of Jamaica, east of the Caymans Islands, and south of Cuba. On August 27, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) officially named Hurricane Ida as a category 1 storm with 75 mph winds as it neared the Gulf of Mexico just south of Cuba. On it’s current track, officials at the NHC believe this storm will impact the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast when making landfall. However, this can easily change which we will document under the section for the very latest information and updates below.
What’s the worst case scenario for New Orleans LA? Review our answer.
Readers of this article are encouraged to report weather conditions associated with Hurricane Ida using the no registration form at the bottom of this page as this tropical system begins to impact land areas in the Caribbean and cities along the LA or MS Gulf Coast. When providing local conditions, please be sure to indicate which city and state you’re in and a time for your input.
Additionally, we strongly encourage readers to make decisions on evacuations and other preparations based on the National Hurricane Center (NHC), National Weather Service (NWS), and your local county or parish emergency management office and to not rely on information on this site for planning and preparations when we provide updates.
Very Latest Information And Updates
August 29, 2021 11 p.m. will be our last update on Hurricane Ida. At 11 p.m. this storm is still producing 110 mph winds and located near Laplace, LA and also still impacting places like Kenner, Metairie, and metro New Orleans. It will be interesting over the next few days to see if the NHC officials upgrade Ida to a Category 5 at landfall as there seems to be evidence 156 mph sustained winds were recorded near Grand Isle. But for now, officially it remains on the books as a Category 4. Additionally, this storm is now on record as the strongest hurricane to hit the State of Louisiana ever. Overnight, this storm will move in to the State of Mississippi as a tropical storm. This was a truly historical system.
Per radar, it does appear the very west end of Port Fourchon did come under the eye of Ida, but we do not know if the NHC will mark this as the official landfall. Either way, Grand Isle and this location are currently experiencing the right upper quadrant of the eyewall at 12:40 p.m. on August 29. After that, the storm will impact Larose, Montegut, Chauvin, Dulac, and Cocodrie before hitting Houma. Additionally, still no word if this storm was officially able to cross in to the Category 5 range, but even if not it’s expected the locations above are experiencing gusts in that range.
First land areas to be impacted by the eyewall are Port Fourchon and Grand Isle, but it appears the eye will past just a few miles to the west of Port Fourchon and will pass over the Timbalier Islands.
9:00 a.m. update shows 150 mph winds with still a few hours over water. Landfall will be near Houma, then between Lafayette and Lake Pontchartrain.
August 29, 2021 marks the 16 year anniversary of Katrina.
5 a.m. now noted 140 mph winds with the threshold for Category 5 being 156 mph winds. This 10 mph jump occurred in just one hour and Ida still has 10 hours over water. Baton Rouge and New Orleans will see a historic and dangerous storm today with the levee system being tested like they never have.
Hurricane Ida Category 4 130 mph winds were noted by the NHC on August 29, 2021 at 4 a.m. making this a catastrophic storm heading for just west of New Orleans and testing the levee system there like it’s never been tested, not even under Katrina. This is a much different system with the entire upper right quadrant under the metro area. Under this configuration, the south part of the city and levee system will be tested from water being pushed up the Mississippi River and the levee system will be tested from the north as Lake Pontchartrain sees a large storm surge from Lake Borgne. This is an extremely dangerous scenario and one officials in south Louisiana have talked about for a century.
9:15 p.m. – Meteorologists are now warning about continued rapid intensification and strengthening on Sunday, August 29, 2021 with the possibility of Hurricane Ida becoming a Category 4 storm at landfall. Given this, we’re encouraging residents from Lake Charles, to Baton Rouge, to New Orleans and anywhere south of these locations to make the life saving decision to evacuate. Just leave and drive towards the northwest, now.
August 28: Meteorologists are warning this storm has the potential to rapidly intensify and strengthen today and reach Category 3 or higher before making landfall just west (as it stands on August 28) of Lake Pontchartrain. Again, this could have tremendous impacts for metropolitan New Orleans and it’s levee system which hasn’t been tested with this strong of a storm since Katrina.
August 27: Evacuations from Houma, Morgan City, Abbeville, Grand Isle, New Iberia, Thibodaux, Bayou Vista, Venice, and other small communities in the Louisiana southern parishes should begin now.
August 27: Coastal warnings are now in place from Lake Charles to the Mississippi state line and this includes all southern parishes and Lake Pontchartrain.
Major cities and towns currently under threat are anywhere from Lake Charles, to Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Pontchartrain, and certainly the very vulnerable New Orleans which on it’s current track would sweep the metro area with the right side of the storm. This could be catastrophic if this system does maintain major category status.
Ida became a category 1 hurricane on August 27, 2021 in the Gulf of Mexico with 75 mph winds. The NHC is now saying this storm could reach Cat 3 major status before landfall in the United States.
August 26th at 11 p.m. the entire Louisiana and Mississippi coasts came under a hurricane watch while the Alabama coast is under a tropical storm watch.
Important Reminders on Preparations, Planning, Preparedness, And Evacuations
The best time to prepare and plan for any hurricane or tropical system is by May 1st of every year. By this time, coastal residents and those up to 100 miles inland should have all storm supplies purchased, checked their generators, know their evacuation routes, have enough medication on hand for a month, and pet boarding established.
While our list is local to the county we live in, it does give readers a good starting point for preparations for any tropical event.
For the elderly and those dependent on medical devices requiring electricity, or for those medically unstable, we HIGHLY recommend evacuating for ANY tropical system.
We also encourage readers to NEVER focus on the official projected landfall point or the eye of a hurricane when making decisions. Dangerous weather including flash flooding, tornadoes and waterspouts, storm surge, heavy wind, torrential rain, downed electrical lines and loss of electricity, impassable roads, falling trees, and other conditions ALWAYS happen many dozens of miles away from the center of circulation.
Additionally, preparedness is not just for coastal residents and those living at beaches. Tropical systems can stay intact for many dozens of miles inland, and the remnants can impact inland residents many hundreds of miles away from landfall.
Category Level And Status
Regardless of what category level Hurricane Ida becomes, it’s important to remember that all levels can create dangerous weather conditions for coastal residents and people inland from the storm. Category 1 and 2 storms do create many of the same hazards as Category 3 and higher storms. Storm surge, high winds, flooding rain, beach erosion, falling trees, electrical outages, impassable roads, and other hazards can impact life in smaller category storms.
Category 1: 74-95 mph winds producing some damage and hazards.
Category 2: 96-110 mph winds creating extensive damage and hazards.
Category 3: 111-129 mph winds creating devastating damage and hazards to humans, animals, homes, and infrastructure.
Category 4: 130-156 mph winds creating catastrophic damage to homes, roads, bridges, and most infrastructure.
Category 5: 157 mph winds or greater creating catastrophic damage.
Please use the form below to alert us to current conditions within your parish or county of the state you live in. Lastly, we encourage readers outside of North Carolina to do a web search of your state and adding KNOW YOUR ZONE to it to find your evacuation routes.