Barges have broken loose in one Louisiana parish because of Hurricane Ida, official says
Hurricane Ida lashed the state of Louisiana as a Category 4 storm for about six hours after it made landfall.
Ida was downgraded to a Category 3 storm in a 7 p.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center. It made landfall as a Category 4 storm around 1 p.m. ET.
For reference, Hurricane Laura, which hit Louisiana last year, went from a 150 mph Category 4 storm to 120 mph Category 3 storm in 3 hours after landfall. Hurricane Michael in 2018 went from 155 mph to 125 in 3 hours post landfall.
So Hurricane Ida maintained Category 4 strength after landfall for twice as long as those two storms.
So what’s the difference between categories anyway? The National Hurricane Center uses the the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to rate hurricanes. According to the scale, Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph, and they will produce “catastrophic damage.”
“Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months,” the center says of Category 4 storms.
Meanwhile, Category 3 storms — which produce “devastating damage” — have sustained winds between 111 and 129 mph.
“Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes,” the center says.