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Hurricane Ida Shows No Sign Of Weakening As It Brings Devastating Impacts To South Louisiana


Forecasters had hoped that Category 4 Hurricane Ida would quickly weaken to a Category 2 storm as it made landfall Sunday morning. But the storm continues to bring hurricane-force winds as it moves slowly at just 10 mph, dumping heavy rain and bringing strong devastating wind to much of the Louisiana coast.

During a 4 p.m. update, Kevin Gilmore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Slidell, said that the storm was not weakening over land, as hurricanes usually do, because it’s moving over wet, marshy areas that are primarily water.

“There's not much land down slow it down,” said Gilmore, adding, “This storm has been absolutely scary looking.”

Forecasters are warning Louisianans to not let down their guards. Conditions are expected to worsen in much of the state, with wind gusts reaching up to 80 mph in parts of New Orleans on Sunday afternoon.

Forecasters said this is only the beginning. In the Houma area, there are reports of devastating impacts as winds topping 130 mph have torn off roofs and ripped homes apart.

Gilmore said the eye of the storm has shrunk slightly, but wind and rain remain a huge threat.

“This is not over yet,” Graham said, who added that storm surge continues to increase as Ida slowly pushes northward towards Baton Rouge and Livingston.

Along with severe weather conditions starting in New Orleans and Baton Rouge metro areas, more than 400,000 people were without power at 4 p.m. statewide.

Officials said it could take weeks before power is restored for some, and Entergy crews won’t assess outages at least until Monday, when the worst of the storm passes.

Copyright 2021 WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio. To see more, visit WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio.

Tegan Wendland is a freelance producer with a background in investigative news reporting. She currently produces the biweekly segment, Northshore Focus.