Hurricane Aida is expected to land on Sunday, bringing dangerous winds, storm surges and rain to the Gulf Coast just 16 years after Hurricane Katrina, one of the most costly natural disasters in American history, arrives. There is a risk. And it caused more than $ 100 billion in damage.
The overall impact of storm surges from Aida is projected to be less severe than during Katrina. The storm began as a Category 5 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, causing huge storm surges and bringing more than 20 feet of water to parts of the Mississippi coast before it weakened as it approached landing. Current projections are for Aida’s storm surge to be 10 to 15 feet.
Barry Came, a professor at Louisiana State University and a Louisiana climatologist, said: “But that won’t happen compared to Katrina’s surge.”
Improvements to the embankment system following Katrina have prepared the New Orleans Metro area for storm surges.
However, the areas most likely to suffer from Aida’s surge may be less equipped to handle it than the areas Katrina struck, Dr. Came said.
Aida is expected to land west of where Katrina struck, causing the most severe storm surge effects on the Louisiana coast west of the Mississippi River. East of the river along the coastal Mississippi, as Katrina did.
“We are testing different parts of flood protection in and around southeastern Louisiana than we did in Katrina,” said Dr. Came. “Some of the weak links in this area may not be very public.”
The effects of Aida’s storm surge are not expected to be more severe than those of Katrina, but Aida’s wind and rain are projected to exceed those that hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Katrina is expected to land as Category 3 with a peak wind of 125 mph, while Aida is expected to land on the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm at 130 mph.
Jamie Rohm, Deputy Director of the National Hurricane Center, said:
The severe damage caused by Hurricane Roller, which struck southwestern Louisiana as a Category 4 storm last year, was primarily caused by strong winds peaking at 150 mph. The storm caused 42 deaths and casualties and cost more than $ 19 billion.
Eda’s rainfall can also exceed Katrina’s highest temperatures.
The National Hurricane Center estimates that Aida will flood the Gulf Coast with 8 to 16 inches of rain, and perhaps 20 inches of rain. Katrina brought in 5-10 inches of rain, with more than 12 inches of rain in the most affected areas.
“It’s a lot of rainfall,” Roam said. “Absolutely, the flash flood potential in this case is high and very high.” Such heavy levels of rainfall, especially coupled with storm surges, can “has a huge and devastating impact on those communities.” He said.