New Orleans Issues Evacuations, Reschedules Football Game Ahead of Approaching Hurricane

The city of New Orleans has issued evacuation orders and rescheduled football games ahead of Tropical Storm Ida, which is expected to make landfall as a hurricane.

In a tweet on Monday, NOLA Ready, the city's emergency preparedness campaign, said that a mandatory evacuation was issued for residents outside of the city's levees, "and a voluntary evacuation for the rest of the parish."

The tweet added that Tropical Storm Ida "could bring up to 11ft surge outside levees, and dangerous winds & heavy rain for the full area."

During a press conference on Friday, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the mandatory evacuation order. She also noted that she was suspending a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city employees that was set to begin on Monday.

"This is the time to take action," Cantrell said during the press conference. "Lower lying areas outside of the protection system, mandatory evacuation."

Several other parishes in Louisiana were under a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Tropical Storm Ida.

The NFL's New Orleans Saints also announced that they will alter the start time of their upcoming preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.

In a statement, the team said that they were moving the game's start time from 7 p.m. CT to noon CT. The statement noted that the decision came after "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."

According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ida is currently located above Cuba, but is expected to make landfall as a hurricane in the Gulf Coast on Sunday.

"The risk of life-threatening storm surge inundation is increasing along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Inundation of 7 to 11 feet above ground level is possible within the area from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including Lake Borgne," the National Hurricane Center said in an update on Friday morning. "Ida is expected to be a dangerous major hurricane when it reaches the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday, and the risk of hurricane-force winds continues to increase, especially along portions of the Louisiana coast, including metropolitan New Orleans."

On Thursday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency ahead of Ida.

"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," governor said in a statement.

Newsweek was directed to Cantrell's remarks during the press conference after reaching out for comment.

Tropical Storm
New Orleans officials announced evacuation orders on Friday, August 27, 2021, ahead of Tropical Storm Ida. Above, a van drives through a partially flooded street during Tropical Storm Henri in New London, Connecticut on August 22, 2021. Joseph Prezioso/Getty