Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Louisiana

By Fernando Alfonso III, Mike Hayes, Judson Jones, Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner, Aditi Sangal, Kathryn Snowdon and Jack Guy, CNN

Updated 8:22 a.m. ET, August 30, 2021
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8:41 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

All of New Orleans is now without power, officials say

All of Orleans Parish — which is the city of New Orleans — is without power, according to NOLA Ready, New Orleans' emergency preparedness campaign.

If anyone in the parish has power, it's coming from a generator, NOLA Ready says.

Across Louisiana, more than 700,000 customers are without power as Hurricane Ida continues to pound the coastal state.

Power outages are expected to continue increasing as the storm moves inland.

8:59 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Barges have broken loose in one Louisiana parish because of Hurricane Ida, official says

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy 

Barges are docked on the Mississippi River in Destrehan, Louisiana, on Sunday, August 29.
Barges are docked on the Mississippi River in Destrehan, Louisiana, on Sunday, August 29. Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images

St. Bernard Parish president Guy McInnis tells CNN that he has reports of 22 barges that have broken loose because of Hurricane Ida.

McInnis says that although he is not worried about the barges hitting a levee and damaging it, he is worried that they may hit other infrastructure in the Parish. 

Specifically, McInnis is concerned about the barges damaging the Parish's water intake and refinery infrastructure. Because the winds are still very high, McInnis says the Coast Guard is waiting for the winds to die down before they can try and moor the loose barges.

Aside from the loose barges, McInnis says that they continue to be inundated with wind and rain as Hurricane Ina continues to lash the Parish. 

He said that the wind has been nothing like he's ever seen.

"The relentless wind that we’ve been getting over the extended period of time is something that I wasn’t expecting," McInnis said. "The northerly turn that this storm took kept the edge of the eyeball very close to us; I haven’t seen relentless wind [like this] in my lifetime."
8:28 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

The sun's setting in Louisiana. Here's what you need to know about Hurricane Ida.

Daylight is fading in Louisiana as Hurricane Ida continues to batter the state. The storm will continue to move northward through the night.

If you're just reading in now, here's what you need to know about Ida as night falls on the Gulf Coast:

  • Landfall on a poignant anniversary: Ida made landfall around 1 p.m. ET today as a Category 4 hurricane with top winds of 150 miles per hour. Ida hit on the 16th anniversary of the historically devastating Hurricane Katrina.
  • Ida stayed a Category 4 hurricane for hours after landfall: Ida was downgraded to a Category 3 storm in a 7 p.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center, about six hours after it mad landfall. This is quite a long time: For reference, Hurricane Laura, which hit Louisiana last year, went from a 150 mph Category 4 storm to 120 mph Category 3 storm in 3 hours after landfall — so Ida maintained Category 4 strength after landfall for twice as long.
  • New Orleans is under a flash flood warning: Ida is now making its closest pass at New Orleans, and it's about 25 miles west-southwest of the city. There's a flash flood warning in effect for New Orleans and parishes around the city, according to the National Weather Service. The warnings will last until at least 11 p.m. ET, or 10 p.m. local time.
  • More than 700,000 are in the dark: More than 700,000 customers are without power in Louisiana as Hurricane Ida continues to pound the coastal state. Power outages are expected to continue increasing as the storm moves inland.

8:22 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

More than 700,000 customers are without power in Louisiana as Ida crawls through state

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

More than 700,000 customers are without power in Louisiana as Hurricane Ida continues to pound the coastal state.

Poweroutage.us is reporting 720,279 outages as of 8 p.m. ET.

That is an increase of more than 215,000 in the last two hours: At 6 p.m. ET, there were 504,149 customers without power.

Power outages are expected to continue increasing as the storm moves inland.

8:09 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Hurricane Ida is making its closest pass to New Orleans now

From CNN's Brandon Miller

Hurricane Ida continues to push inland while slowly weakening with top winds of 120 mph, per the 7 p.m. CDT update from the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane-force winds stretch for 45 miles from the storm’s center. 

Ida is currently making its closest pass to New Orleans, and the storm is located 25 miles west-southwest of the city. 

A wind gust of 83 mph was felt at New Orleans International Airport last hour. New Orleans will be seeing their highest winds and heaviest rainfall within the next hour or two.

The tornado threat continues to mount, and a new tornado watch was just issued that includes portions of southern Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, in addition to far eastern Louisiana. The tornado watch is in effect until 7 a.m. ET tomorrow.��

8:01 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

"Catastrophic" conditions continue in Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center's latest update

Hurricane Ida is still a Category 3 hurricane as it continues to creep northward through Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center's latest update.

Ida is about 25 miles west southwest of New Orleans now, and it has sustained winds of 120 mph.

"Ida moving further inland over southeastern Louisiana," the center said in its 8 p.m. ET update. "Catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding continue in portions of southeastern Louisiana."

Here's a look at the latest forecast path, according to the National Hurricane Center:

7:53 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Ida remained a Category 4 hurricane for about 6 hours after landfall

Hurricane Ida lashed the state of Louisiana as a Category 4 storm for about six hours after it made landfall.

Ida was downgraded to a Category 3 storm in a 7 p.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center. It made landfall as a Category 4 storm around 1 p.m. ET.

For reference, Hurricane Laura, which hit Louisiana last year, went from a 150 mph Category 4 storm to 120 mph Category 3 storm in 3 hours after landfall. Hurricane Michael in 2018 went from 155 mph to 125 in 3 hours post landfall. 

So Hurricane Ida maintained Category 4 strength after landfall for twice as long as those two storms.

So what's the difference between categories anyway? The National Hurricane Center uses the the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to rate hurricanes. According to the scale, Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph, and they will produce "catastrophic damage."

"Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months," the center says of Category 4 storms.

Meanwhile, Category 3 storms — which produce "devastating damage" — have sustained winds between 111 and 129 mph.

"Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes," the center says.

7:34 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Louisiana's St. Charles Parish issues precautionary boil advisory

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

After receiving numerous reports of leaks, St. Charles Parish says it has issued a precautionary water boil advisory, according to an emergency alert obtained by CNN.

"While the Department of Waterworks is currently maintaining positive pressure and all of the storage tanks are full, this precautionary measure is being put in place to ensure the quality of water," the alert reads. "Additionally, residents should continue to limit non-essential water and sewerage such as washing dishes, cleaning clothes and showering. Flushing toilets is ok."

St. Charles Parish is just west of New Orleans.

7:31 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

JUST IN: Ida weakens to a Category 3 storm

CNN
CNN

Hurricane Ida has weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, according to a 7 p.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center.

Ida made landfall earlier today as a Category 4 storm and kept that status for hours as it moved northward into Louisiana. Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph, while Category 3 storms have sustained winds between 111 and 129 mph.

The center of the storm is now located 30 miles southwest of New Orleans.

While the eye will pass west of New Orleans, conditions there will deteriorate rapidly in the next few hours as higher winds arrive, along with torrential flooding rain.  

Catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding continue in portions of southeastern Louisiana.