Hurricane Ida Live Updates: Hurricane Watch Issued for Louisiana, Evacuations Ordered

Live Updates

New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast were placed under a hurricane watch Friday as Hurricane Ida is projected to hit the U.S. Sunday.

Ida strengthened into a tropical storm with 65 mph winds Friday morning, and was then reclassified as a hurricane in the afternoon using data from an Air Force Reserve aircraft. As of a 5 p.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center, Ida is showing maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, with higher gusts, and moving northwest at 15 mph.

The NHC anticipates Ida will grow stronger over the next couple days as it approaches Louisiana.

"Steady to rapid strengthening is expected when Ida moves over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, and Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it approaches the northern Gulf coast on Sunday," the advisory said.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Friday called for a mandatory evacuation of city areas outside the levee protection system. Other parts of Louisiana have issued voluntary and, in some cases, mandatory evacuation orders. Parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Florida were also put under tropical storm watches and storm surge watches.

Additionally, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Thursday night in preparation for Ida, anticipated to collide with New Orleans as a Category 3 hurricane on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall. President Joe Biden approved the state of emergency declaration Friday afternoon.

"Unfortunately, all of Louisiana's coastline is currently in the forecast cone for Tropical Storm Ida, which is strengthening and could come ashore in Louisiana as a major hurricane as Gulf conditions are conducive for rapid intensification. Now is the time for people to finalize their emergency game plan, which should take into account the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," Edwards said in a press release.

Ida made landfall on Cuba's Isle of Youth on Friday, and its center was moving toward western Cuba at 5 p.m. Cayo Largo also started to see tropical storm conditions.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Hurricane Ida Projected Path
Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the Gulf coast Sunday as a major hurricane. This graphic created by the National Weather Service/NCEP Weather Prediction Center (WPC) shows the projected path for the hurricane. National Hurricane Center

Ida's Center Approaching Western Cuba, More Storm Surge, Hurricane Warnings Issues

The center of Hurricane Ida is heading toward western Cuba, and several storm surge, hurricane and tropical storm warnings were issued across parts of the northern Gulf Coast, according to the 5 p.m. ET advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The new storm surge warnings are in effect from east of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana the Mississippi and Alabama border. A new hurricane warning was issued across part of the Louisiana coast, stretching from Intracoastal City in Vermillion Parish to the mouth of the Pearl River.

The northern Gulf Coast is under a tropical storm warning from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi and Alabama border. Another tropical storm warning was issued for the Louisiana coast from west of Intracoastal City to Cameron.

These new warnings are in addition to existing hurricane, storm surge and tropical storm warnings issued across the coast.

Hurricane Ida is still moving northwest at 15 mph, according the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane #Ida Advisory 6: Center of Ida Approaching Western Cuba. Storm Surge and Hurricane Warnings Issues For Portions of The Northern Gulf Coast. https://t.co/VqHn0u1vgc

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 27, 2021

State Offices in 38 Louisiana Parishes Closing in Anticipation of Hurricane

State offices in 38 of Louisiana's parishes were are scheduled to close Saturday in anticipation of Hurricane Ida's impact, WVLA-TV reported. The offices closing are scheduled to reopen Monday.

Jay Dardenne, commissioner of administration for Louisiana, announced the closures. Various schools, courts, COVID-19 testing sites and state parks are also shuttering as the hurricane is projected to make landfall.

St. Charles Parish Orders Mandatory Evacuations for Areas With Limited Levee Protection

St. Charles Parish, located in southeastern Louisiana, ordered a mandatory evacuation for areas with limited levee protection Friday.

This includes Bayou Gauche Island, Kerry's Point, Cajun Paradise and Lower Des Allemands, according to a press release from Matthew Jewell, president of the parish. Jewell also recommended evacuations for the entire parish, though it is only required for the areas with restricted levee protection.

The mandatory evacuation order took effect Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET, while residents voluntarily choosing to evacuate were instructed to do so no later than Saturday evening.

St. Charles Parish could potentially see more than 10 inches of rain and storm surges of between six and nine feet from Hurricane Ida, the release said.

Biden Approves State of Emergency Declaration in Louisiana

President Joe Biden approved the state of emergency declaration in Louisiana Friday as Hurricane Ida is projected to hit the state with Category 3 force Sunday, according to a release posted on the White House website.

The emergency declaration authorizes additional federal assistance to aid the state and local response, as well as gives the green light to the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts.

Biden to Host Call With Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi Governors Friday Afternoon

President Joe Biden and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell will host a call with the governors of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi Friday afternoon to "discuss ongoing preparations" for Hurricane Ida, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing.

Psaki said that Criswell was in Louisiana yesterday and met with Gov. John Bel Edwards and the state's emergency management director to talk over "how they're mobilizing to prepare for what could be a very dangerous storm hitting a region that has been heavily impacted by the delta variant."

Biden will be tracking the hurricane and receiving updates throughout the weekend, Psaki said.

Several Louisiana Schools, Sites Closing in Preparation for Hurricane Impact

Various schools and sites in Louisiana have announced closures in preparation for the impact of Hurricane Ida.

Tulane University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Baton Rouge Community College and Southern University are four schools that have announced they are closing Friday or during the weekend. Southeastern and Southern are also expected to remain closed through Monday, WBRZ reported.

Various state parks, historic sites, COVID-19 testing sites, courts and a police department have also announced closures due to take effect at various points in the next couple days.

Due to #HurricaneIda, campus will close today at 3 p.m. and remain closed on Monday, August 30. Normal operations are anticipated to resume on Tuesday, August 31. For more updates, go to https://t.co/SVftxDlQEr. #WeAreSouthern pic.twitter.com/TasCF7YktF

— Southern University (@SouthernU_BR) August 27, 2021

'Now Is the Time to Start' Evacuations, New Orleans Mayor Says

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that for people who have medical needs or want to voluntarily evacuate the city, "now is the time to start."

Cantrell announced a mandatory evacuation order for parts of New Orleans outside the levee protection system Friday. However, the rest of the city was also under put a voluntary order.

The NFL's New Orleans Saints also moved up their Saturday preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals to noon ET, rather than the original time of 7 p.m.

A statement from the team said the decision came as they were "making proper and safe preparations regarding the potential landfall of Hurricane Ida and following consultation and agreement with City of New Orleans officials, the National Weather Service, Homeland Security and the NFL."

Hurricane Ida Makes Landfall on Cuba's Isle of Youth

Hurricane Ida made landfall on Cuba's Isle of Youth Friday afternoon, according to a 2 p.m. ET update issued by the National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane was projected to hit Cuba days before making landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Hurricane warnings were issued for the Isle of Youth and the provinces of Pinar del Ria and Artemisa earlier Friday.

Cayo Largo has also started to see tropical storm conditions.

Louisiana Gov. Warns Residents to 'Get Prepared' After Ida Strengthens Into Hurricane

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards directed state residents to "get prepared" after Tropical Storm Ida strengthened into a hurricane Friday afternoon.

In a message posted on a disaster and emergency preparedness website, Edwards said that impacts of Ida could hit the state as soon as Saturday, while "hurricane force winds and torrential flooding" could come on Sunday

"Now is the time to finalize your plans. There will likely be major power outage issues. Travel could be restricted due to flooding and other problems," the message said.

🚨 #Ida is now a hurricane. 🚨
Now is the time for Louisianans to get prepared. Visit https://t.co/qGfYFDGzQd and make sure that you and your family are ready for whatever comes. #lagov #lawx pic.twitter.com/iEd4uul6CT

— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) August 27, 2021

Certain Parts of Louisiana Under Voluntary, Mandatory Evacuation Orders

As Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the Gulf Coast on Sunday, certain parts of Louisiana have issued voluntary and, in some cases, mandatory evacuation orders.

The towns of Jean Lafitte, Lower Lafitte, Crown Point and Barataria are all under voluntary evacuation orders as of Friday morning, 4WWL reported. In Grand Isle, campers, RVs and boats are required to evacuate.

Lafourche Parish and has a voluntary evacuation order, while mandatory evacuation orders will go into effect in parts of Plaquemines Parish on Friday afternoon. Evacuation is mandatory in areas of New Orleans outside the levee protection system.

The @CityOfNOLA is issuing a mandatory evacuation for areas outside the levees (red) and a voluntary evacuation for the rest of the parish (yellow).#Ida could bring up to 11ft surge outside levees, and dangerous winds & heavy rain for the full area. pic.twitter.com/dkJuAkgKUC

— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) August 27, 2021

Ida Strengthened into Hurricane, National Hurricane Center Says

Tropical Storm Ida has strengthened into a hurricane, according to data collected by an Air Force Reserve aircraft.

The hurricane is showing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, and Cayo Largo in Cuba is starting to see tropical storm conditions, according to the National Hurricane Center.

1:15 PM EDT: Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that #Ida has strengthened to a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Tropical storm conditions are occurring on Cayo Largo, Cuba https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/aYXq5lRDq1

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 27, 2021

Ida Could Poses 'Life-Threatening Danger' to U.S. Coastal Area, NWS Says

The National Weather Service warned on Twitter that Tropical Storm Ida could pose "life-threatening danger" to coastal areas of the U.S., citing various evacuation orders that were already instated.

"Evacuate if told to do so. It could save your life," the NWS said in a tweet.

#Ida potentially poses a life-threatening danger to coastal areas from storm surge, and evacuations are already being ordered for some locations.

Evacuate if told to do so.
It could save your life. pic.twitter.com/BPJN3bnVER

— National Weather Service (@NWS) August 27, 2021