New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a harsh warning on Saturday as the Hurricane Aida tracking map consistently shows the expected route to southeastern Louisiana.
“This storm doesn’t diminish, and there are always opportunities for it to intensify,” Cantrell said at a news conference. “Time is not on our side. It is growing rapidly and intensifying.”
City officials require residents planning to stay in the city to prepare for long-term power outages, limited emergency services, and high temperatures for several days after the storm has passed.
“You have the first 72,” said Colin Arnold, director of the New Orleans office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “It will be difficult for responders to contact you during the first three days.”
Forecasters predict that Hurricane Ida will be in a Category 4 storm when it lands on Sunday, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, killing more than 1,800 people.
“What we learned at Hurricane Katrina is that we are all first responders,” said Cantrell. “It’s about taking care of each other.”