How will Ida compare with Katrina?

Hurricane Ida is predicted to make landfall Sunday, threatening to convey harmful wind, storm surge and rain to the Gulf Coast precisely 16 years after the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, one of the vital expensive pure disasters in American historical past, which left greater than 1,800 lifeless and did greater than $100 billion in injury.

The general affect of storm surge from Ida is predicted to be considerably much less extreme than that from Katrina. The 2005 storm was blowing at Category 5 power within the Gulf of Mexico earlier than weakening because it approached landfall, so it generated monumental storm surge, reaching greater than 20 ft in elements of the Mississippi coast. Current projections put the potential storm surge of Ida at 12 to 16 ft.

“Fifteen-foot sure can do a lot of damage,” mentioned Barry Keim, a professor at Louisiana State University and Louisiana State Climatologist. “But it’s going to be nothing in comparison with Katrina’s surge.”

Improvements to the levee system following Katrina have made the New Orleans metro space higher ready for storm surge. But the areas which can be areas more likely to obtain probably the most extreme surge from Ida could also be much less outfitted to deal with it than the realm that was hit by Katrina, mentioned Dr. Keim.

Ida is predicted to make landfall to the west of the place Katrina struck, bringing probably the most extreme storm surge to the Louisiana coast west of the Mississippi River somewhat than east of the river, as Katrina did.

“We are testing a different part of the flood protection in and around southeast Louisiana than we did in Katrina,” mentioned Dr. Keim. “Some of the weak links in this area maybe haven’t been quite as exposed.”

While the impacts of Ida’s storm surge are anticipated to be much less extreme than Katrina’s, Ida’s winds and rain are predicted to exceed people who pummeled the Gulf Coast in 2005. Ida is predicted to make landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Category four storm with sustained winds round 150 miles an hour; Katrina got here ashore as a Category 3 with winds of 125 m.p.h.

“It could be quite devastating — especially some of those high rise buildings are just not rated to sustain that wind load,” mentioned Jamie Rhome, appearing deputy director of the National Hurricane Center.

The extreme injury from Hurricane Laura, which struck southwest Louisiana final yr as a Category four storm, was precipitated primarily by excessive winds. The storm precipitated 42 deaths and injury costing greater than $19 billion.

Ida’s rainfall additionally threatens to exceed Katrina’s highs.

The National Hurricane Center estimates that Ida will drench the Gulf Coast with eight to 16 inches of rain and maybe as a lot as 20 inches in some locations. Katrina introduced 5 to 10 inches of rain, with greater than 12 inches in some areas.

“That is a lot of rainfall,” Mr. Rhome mentioned of the forecast for Ida. “Absolutely the flash flood potential in this case is high, very high.” Combined with storm surge, he mentioned, that a lot rain may have a “huge and devastating impact to those local communities.”

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