Hurricane Ida strikes Louisiana; New Orleans hunkers down

 Hurricane Ida was a powerful hurricane that swept ashore in the United States. It blew off roofs and reversed the flow of Mississippi River, causing it to rush from Louisiana's coast towards New Orleans. This was one of America's most important industrial corridors.

The Category 4 storm struck on the same day Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and Mississippi 16-years earlier. It landed 45 miles west of the area where Category 3 Katrina first struck. Ida's 150 mph winds made it the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the US mainland.

As the rising ocean flooded Grand Isle, landfall was made just to the west at Port Fourchon. Two hours later, Ida made another landfall near Galliano. The hurricane was moving through the far southern Louisiana wetlands, putting at risk the lives of more than 2,000,000 people who live in or around New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Governor John Bel Edwards stated, "This hurricane is going to be stronger than we normally see." John Bel Edwards spoke to The Associated Press.

Louisiana residents woke up to a storm as Ida's winds increased by 45 mph in just five hours. The hurricane was moving through the northern Gulf of Mexico, which is some of the most warm ocean waters in the world.

Wind ripped at awnings, water poured out of Lake Ponchartrain in New Orleans, and boats escaped from their moorings. Ricky Boyette, spokesperson for the US Army Corps of Engineers, said that engineers detected a "negative flow” on the Mississippi River due to storm surge.

Edwards stated that he saw a live feed from Port Fourchon, as Ida arrived ashore.

"The storm surge was just incredible. Edwards said that the roofs of many port buildings have been blown away.

Officials stated that Ida's rapid intensification from a few storms to a major hurricane in three days meant there was no time for New Orleans' 390,000. residents to evacuate. On Sunday, Mayor LaToya Catrell advised residents to stay put.