Hurricane Ida is located about 50 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River and 100 miles from Homa, the National Hurricane Center reported at 7 a.m.
The advisory report did not include any significant changes. Max sustained winds are 150 mph, just under 157 mph for a Category 5 storm. Hurricane Ida is moving northwest at 15 miles per hour and is expected to make landfall in the late morning or early afternoon.
The tornado watch has been issued for parts of Louisiana, including New Orleans, Hammond and Bogaloosa, as well as parts of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, according to the New Orleans National Weather Service. The clock works until 7 pm
The Weather Channel said Grand Isle was already seeing gusts of up to 100 mph. One meteorologist described the rising cyclone as “extremely worrying.”
Continuous winds reach 150 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. A Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 157 mph.
The National Hurricane Center said in its 6 a.m. update that Hurricane Ida’s maximum sustained winds were up to 150 miles per hour with stronger gusts.
The storm is located 75 miles from Grand Isle and about 60 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Update 5 a.m. Sunday: Hurricane Ida intensified overnight
Hurricane Ida showed signs that it strengthened rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico overnight, and the storm could continue to intensify before making landfall Sunday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
The 4 AM Sunday Update from NWS He noted that the storm was about 145 miles southeast of Homa and was moving northwest at 16 miles per hour.
A slight shift in Hurricane Ida’s path to the east on Saturday has forecasters worried about an increase in storm surge and precipitation in areas that can’t handle heavy rains, particularly Barataria and Tribune bays.
The NWS forecast said life-threatening winds could start along the Louisiana coast early Saturday night “and then spread inland to the New Orleans, Houma and Baton Rouge metro areas on Sunday.”
If Hurricane Ida’s path causes heavy rain over New Orleans, meteorologists fear it could lead to extremely dangerous flooding in the metro area.
Hurricane Ida triggers risk mitigation system in New Orleans
Governor John Bel Edwards said Saturday that Hurricane Ida is expected to force officials to activate a new $15 billion hurricane risk reduction system in New Orleans for only the second time. The system, which was built after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is expected to activate Sunday morning.
Edwards also detailed other rescue and recovery resources prepared to respond to Ida:
- The Louisiana National Guard organized rescue and recovery assets throughout the area of influence from Acadiana through southern Louisiana with 164 high-water vehicles, 62 boats, and 34 helicopters.
- More than 4,000 National Guard men and women have boots on the ground with another 1,000 on the way.
- 10,000 electric line workers and women in the state were also organized with another 10,000 out of state when needed.
Gulf oil production stopped almost completely before Ida
more than 90% of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was shut down on Saturday As Hurricane Ida moves across the western Gulf of Mexico toward land expected Sunday evening near the city of Morgan.
About 85% of natural gas production in the Gulf was also shut down by midday, according to the Federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
The office said workers were evacuated from half of the 560 production platforms in the Gulf.
Will Ida affect gas prices?
Analysts say the impact of Hurricane Ida on gas prices depends in large part on how severely the storm has destroyed refineries in the region.
Some numbers to consider:
- About half of America’s refining capacity is also located along the Gulf Coast, roughly stretching from New Orleans to Houston.
- About 4.4 million barrels of refining capacity per day was in the storm’s path, mostly in Louisiana, according to Platts analysis.
- The facilities produce about 1.5 million barrels of gasoline per day, a fraction of the 8 million barrels the United States consumed per day last year.
“Hurricane Ida is expected to come ashore on the same path as other storms that have severely damaged USGC’s refining and petrochemical facilities,” Platts said Saturday. “Many stations have been reinforced against hurricanes, but disruptions to operations due to flooding, power outages and layoffs of staff are still very likely.”