Sixteen years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Hurricane Ida has. It made landfall on Sunday as a Category 4 storm. As Amie Just reported for NOLA.com, all of Orleans parish is without power due to "catastrophic transmission damage."
A company spokesperson said the storm had caused a "load imbalance to the company’s transmission and generation" and that Entergy is "making every effort to identify and rectify."
The only power in the city is coming from generators, according to Homeland Security. No further information was immediately available.
The amount of people in the state without power even before the announcement, was 614,000 Energy customers.
While the storm was a Category 4 when it first made landfall at 12pm noon Port Fourchon, it was a particularly catastrophic storm, and very close to reaching a Category 5. Just reported that the storm sustained winds of 150 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, a Category 5 storm means the winds are at least 157 mph or higher.
Janice Dean, the Senior Meteorologist for Fox News, has been following the storm. Her updates over Twitter discussed how close the storm was to being a Category 5.
I understand the need to convey it's a very strong cat 4 but borderline cat 5 is probably better. Everyone is trying to do their best. I thought it was funny. Didn't mean to sound snarky.— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) August 29, 2021
And yes, you're going to see reporters out in the storm getting battered by strong winds/flooding rain/storm surge warning people to stay inside from conditions they are experiencing. It's the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around.— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) August 29, 2021
While the winds have slowed to about 125 mph, according to updates from CBS News, that's still a Category 3, nearly Category 4, storm.
Conditions are still bad enough for the 911 system in Terrebonne Parish went down for about 30 minutes.
Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) is quoted in the Associated Press when it comes to comparing Hurricane Ida to Katrina, which was a particularly dangerous Category 3 storm:
Ida was poised to strike Louisiana 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts. A Category 3 storm, Katrina was blamed for 1,800 deaths and caused levee breaches and catastrophic flooding in New Orleans, which took years to recover.
“We’re not the same state we were 16 years ago,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Saturday, pointing to a federal levee system that’s seen major improvements since Katrina swamped New Orleans in 2005.
“This system is going to be tested,” Edwards said. “The people of Louisiana are going to be tested. But we are resilient and tough people. And we’re going to get through this.”
Sophie Kasakove also reported on the comparisons for The New York Times:
While the impacts of Ida’s storm surge are expected to be less severe than Katrina’s, Ida’s winds and rain are predicted to exceed those that pummeled the Gulf Coast in 2005. Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds around 150 miles an hour; Katrina came ashore as a Category 3 with winds of 125 m.p.h.
“It could be quite devastating — especially some of those high-rise buildings are just not rated to sustain that wind load,” said Jamie Rhome, acting deputy director of the National Hurricane Center.
Ida’s rainfall also threatens to exceed Katrina’s highs.
The National Hurricane Center estimates that Ida will drench the Gulf Coast with 8 to 16 inches of rain and perhaps as much as 20 inches in some places. Katrina brought 5 to 10 inches of rain, with more than 12 inches in some areas.