NEW ORLEANS -- Residents across Louisiana’s coast rushed to prepare for the approach of an intensifying Hurricane Ida.
The storm is expected to bring winds as high as 130 mph when it slams ashore Sunday evening — along with dangerous coastal storm surges and flooding rains. Ida was still a depression two days ago but had reached Category 2 strength with 105 mph winds by Saturday afternoon.
A combination of voluntary and mandatory evacuations have been called for cities and communities across the region including New Orleans.
Meteorologists say the storm's track could have significant effects on the industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and on Mississippi River traffic.
EXPLAINER: Ida, Katrina similar but tiny differences are key
Sure, Hurricane Ida looks an awful lot like Hurricane Katrina, bearing down on the same part of Louisiana on the same calendar date.
But hurricane experts say there are differences in the two storms 16 years apart that may prove key and may make Ida nastier in some ways but less dangerous in others.
Ida is smaller than 2005's Katrina but it is more focused.
Ida is also coming to the same general area from a slightly different angle that may put New Orleans and its Lake Pontchartrain in more of a bullseye than Katrina did.