Hurricane Aida, a rapidly intensifying storm towards Louisiana, could be one of the most powerful storms that have hit the state for over a century, meteorologists and state officials warned on Saturday.
“This can be summarized as one of the strongest hurricanes hitting anywhere in Louisiana since at least the 1850s,” Governor John Bel Edwards said in a press conference, closing the window to evacuate the area. I warned the residents that I was doing this. ..
Aida, which passed through the Cayman Islands as a tropical cyclone and reached Cuba as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday, is causing a major evacuation in Louisiana. Earlier on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center announced a Category 3 storm, upgrading to Category 4 just an hour later, with a maximum wind speed of 130 mph.
According to the center, the storm is expected to hit Louisiana as a “very dangerous big hurricane” later on Sunday, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
“It’s very painful to think of another powerful storm like Hurricane Aida landing on that anniversary,” Edwards said on Saturday. “But also know that we are not in the same state as 16 years ago.”
The government has invested billions of dollars in improving the storm protection infrastructure in the region. Ida presents important tests for the system.
On Saturday, a hurricane warning was issued from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Par River, an area that includes New Orleans. Coastal counties or counties near the Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi and Alabama have also warned residents of possible hurricane damage.
Kevin Gilmour, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in New Orleans, said the hurricane would have “life-threatening consequences.”
“We are not saying that there is a possibility. I’m saying “it’s going to happen” because I want people to take this very seriously, “Gilmore said. “I can’t fully emphasize how important this is.”
Louisiana was also hit by several storms last year, including Hurricane Roller and Delta.
A storm surge warning was also issued. Depending on the tides, it can reach up to 15 feet in Morgan City, Louisiana and up to 8 feet in Lake Pontchartrain, according to the National Hurricane Center. Storm surge warnings have also been issued in eastern Alabama and the coastal areas of Florida.
According to the center, total rainfall in southeastern Louisiana can reach 20 inches, with flash floods, catastrophic wind damage, and life-threatening storm surges.
“Preparations to protect life and property should be made in a hurry to complete today in the warning area along the northern Gulf Coast,” the center said.
By Saturday evening, Aida had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Dennis Vertonghen, Head of Communications at the National Hurricane Center, said:
An important issue for Gulf residents and emergency authorities is how strong they will be before landing in the United States.
Edwards declared an emergency on Thursday, and Alabama Governor Kay Ivy announced an emergency on Saturday in the state’s coastal and western counties. say it Local officials predicted that “some parts of Alabama could even be flooded or spin-off tornadoes.” In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves also issued an emergency on Saturday, allowing state resources to be used for response and recovery.
Studies over the last decade have shown that, on average, such rapid intensification of hurricanes has progressed, as the oceans that provide energy for hurricanes have become warmer as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. is. However, as usual at the end of summer, the bay is so warm that Aida will soon become stronger.
The Hurricane Center defines a rapid intensification as an increase of at least 35 mph of sustained wind over a 24-hour period. In the very active 2020 season, Hurricane Laura intensified at 45 mph in 24 hours before landing in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm in late August.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Aida is likely to have heavy rainfall from late Sunday to Monday from southeastern Louisiana to the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama. According to the National Weather Service, tropical cyclone strong winds arrive along the coast as early as Saturday night, before the storm lands on Sunday afternoon or evening. After moving inland, the storm could contribute to a flood in Tennessee, killing 20 people in flash floods last weekend.
“Based on Aida’s current course and strength, this storm tests the hurricane protection system in a way never before tested,” said Chip Klein, executive assistant for coastal activities for the Governor of Louisiana. Will do. ” “It is at this time that we are reminded of the importance of continuing to protect South Louisiana.”
Due to an editing error, earlier versions of this article misidentified the location of the Tropical Cyclone Ida. It was in the Caribbean at the beginning of Friday, not in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Aida creates “life-threatening” weather conditions for some of the batters in Louisiana and Mississippi. National Weather Service saidEncourage people to evacuate inland.
According to the Meteorological Department, here’s a breakdown of how different parts of the region could be affected when a hurricane lands on Sunday afternoon or evening: