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Ida wreaks havoc in Louisiana; Mississippi River doubles back in storm surge!

The thrust of the Category 4 hurricane Ida blasting ashore in Louisiana on Sunday afternoon Eastern Time at a terrible speed of 230 kmph was a horrifying reminder of Katrina of 2005 whose anniversary fell on this very same day. However, the "good news," the Governor said, is those levees laid since then stood in good stead.

NEW ORLEANS, Aug 30: Exactly on the 16th anniversary of Katrina that devastated 80% of New Orleans and left 1,800 people dead, apart from wreaking massive property damages, Ida on Sunday made its landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane packing a speed of 230 kmph. By Monday morning the tropical storm was over southwestern Mississippi rapidly weakening in its force, however, after pummelling parts of the two States with torrential rain, storm surges and flash flooding. It was dumping rain as it moved inland. Ida is also generating tornadoes in its trail, five have been reported.

After the landfall the hurricane turned so ferociously strong that it snapped trees and power poles all along its track and brought torrential rain and massive flooding inland, inundating roads and highways. The resulting force of the streams of the storm surge and the huge flooding reversed the current of the Mississippi River for a while at noon Sunday. The US Geological Survey said so. The volume of storm flood Ida whipped up was so massive to force Mississippi River double back! Katrina did it in 2005. Mississippi's shores were pounded at Gulfort. Louisiana's horrible experience was replicated in Mississippi and Tennessee.

Ida transformed New Orleans into a wreck, blowing off roofs of buildings. The city sank into total darkness. One million people were without power in the State. 40% of AT&T's wireless network in Louisiana has been rendered dysfunctional.

New Orleans residents should be prepared to be in the dark for "weeks." Louisiana National Guard requisitioned 4,900 personnel for rescue operations. About 25,000 workers from 32 States were called in to aid power supply restoration. At least nine Louisiana refineries have shut down. Texas Governor sent firefighters, helicopters and additional emergency resources to Louisiana.

Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said especially with Covid-19, if you get injured the hospitals are already “strained,” adding that “right now it’s just not a good time.”

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Monday afternoon "We are still in a life-saving mode here, doing search and rescue." "We already had search and rescue teams from 16 States in Louisiana as of yesterday," he said.

Edwards said it's "good news" that none of Louisiana's levees failed during the hurricane. "They performed extremely, extremely well," he said.

The top speed was 230 kmph as it passed over Gulf of Mexico. Edwards said Ida is the worst hurricane to batter the State since 1850s. On Saturday itself people started fleeing by air. Many stayed put to ride out the cyclone, barricading homes with sandbags.

The States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama faced the brunt of the hurricane that tore through carrying on its back the storm surges and pounding flash floods.

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