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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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.

7:30 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Louisiana State University closed through at least Tuesday for Ida

From CNN’s Dave Alsup and Chris Boyette

Students walk at the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in April 2021.
Students walk at the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in April 2021. Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

Louisiana State University will be closed at least through Tuesday “due to the expected impacts of Hurricane Ida,” the LSU Office of Emergency Preparedness said in a message to the LSU community Sunday.

“We will keep you posted on when we plan to reopen once we assess the campus after the storm,” the message said.

The University had previously announced it would be closed through Monday due to the hurricane.

Residence halls are open and on-campus residents were told to get extra takeout meals in advance of the hurricane, as the dining halls are not open, according to the message.

“Please shelter in place during the storm, and do not go outdoors, as flying debris and other hazardous conditions will exist. After the storm, please continue to stay off roads and use caution, as power lines and trees may be down, roads may be blocked, and flash flooding may be occurring,” the message said. “Those who live off campus are asked not to come back to campus until we reopen, unless you are essential personnel instructed to do so by your supervisor. This will allow LSU Police and Facility Services time to assess and clean up the campus.”

The university said any changes to the academic calendar would be announced after the hurricane.  

LSU is located in Baton Rouge, about 130 miles northwest of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, where Ida made landfall earlier today.

7:08 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Here's what it looks like in Louisiana's St. Bernard Parish

Security camera footage captured roaring waters and whipping winds in Louisiana's St. Bernard Parish as Hurricane Ida continues to churn over the state.

St. Bernard Parish — just southeast of New Orleans — posted the video to Twitter:

7:01 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Louisiana governor requests major disaster declaration as Ida pummels state

From CNN’s Keith Allen

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (CNN)

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration as his state continues to be pummeled by Hurricane Ida, according to a press release from his office.

“Hurricane Ida is one of the strongest storms to ever hit Louisiana. It is our goal to assist our local agencies and the citizens of the state as quickly as possible, and we have pre-positioned search and rescue teams, boats and other assets to begin helping people as soon as it is safe," Edwards said in a press release Sunday.

“This major disaster declaration will help Louisiana better respond to this crisis and protect the health and safety of our people, and I hope the White House will act quickly so we can begin getting additional aid and assistance to our people,” the governor added.

Edwards has requested federal public assistance related to emergency protection actions, shelters and temporary housing costs, his office said. Also included is a request for federal assistance for debris removal and infrastructure damage, according to the press release.

On Friday, the Biden administration approved Edwards’ request for a Federal Declaration of Emergency prior to Ida making landfall, CNN previously reported. 

6:35 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

911 and the sheriff office's phone lines are down in this Louisiana parish

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Officials in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, hit hard by Hurricane Ida, says their 911 line and Parish Sheriff Office phone lines are down.

CNN obtained an emergency alert sent out to residents in Lafourche Parish, which alerted the outage. 

No reason was given for the outage, but much of the Parish is being inundated with wind, rain and storm surge from Hurricane Ida.

Those with emergencies should call 985-772-4810 or 985-772-4824.

"If busy, please keep trying," the alert reads.
6:27 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Plaquemines Parish says there are reports of a levee overtopping

From CNN's Gene Norman

Rainfall and storm surge from Hurricane Ida is causing a levee to overtop on the east bank of Plaquemines Parish between the Parish line and White Ditch, according to the New Orleans National Weather Service office, which shared an update from the Plaquemines Parish government.

A flash flood emergency is in effect for parts of Plaquemines Parish, including the Braithwaite area, and residents are urged to seek higher ground.

6:15 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

Ida is still a Category 4 storm as it crawls northward through Louisiana

From CNN's Brandon Miller

The center of Hurricane Ida is passing just east, about 5 miles, from Houma, Louisiana, at 5 p.m. local time, which is 6 p.m. ET.

Ida is currently located about 40 miles southwest of New Orleans and maximum sustained winds remain at 130 mph, meaning it's still a Category 4.

Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph

Damaging wind gusts continue to be reported. A station at the South Lafourche Airport recently had a gust to 122 mph. Winds also continue to pick up in New Orleans, with a wind gust of 83 mph reported at New Orleans Lakefront Airport last hour.

6:14 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

More than half a million are now without power in Louisiana

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess.

Rain batters Canal Street in New Orleans, on Sunday, August 29.
Rain batters Canal Street in New Orleans, on Sunday, August 29. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

More than 500,000 customers are now without power in Louisiana as Hurricane Ida continues to slam the state, according to Poweroutage.us. 

There are 504,149 customers without power as of 6 p.m. ET, another increase of more than 100,000 customers within 90 minutes.

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

6:05 p.m. ET, August 29, 2021

It's just past 5 p.m. in Louisiana. Here's what you need to know about Ida now.

Hurricane Ida is still a Category 4 storm hours after making landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

It's just past 5 p.m. in the state now — here's where things stand:

  • Winds have weakened just slightly: Hurricane Ida's top wind speeds have decreased slightly, down to 130 mph, meaning it's still a Category 4 storm, but just barely (Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph). When Ida made landfall earlier today, it had winds of 150 mph.
  • The storm has slowed down: Hurricane Ida’s forward speed has slowed down and the storm is only moving to the northwest at 10 mph. This will increase the flooding potential, as well as the amount of time the winds will last over inland locations.
  • New Orleans is under a flash flood warning: There's a flash flood warning now 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.
  • A poignant anniversary: Ida hit on the 16th anniversary of the historically devastating Hurricane Katrina. As a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, it tied at the state's most powerful storm ever with Laura from last year and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856.