Mississippi braces for Hurricane Ida
(29 Aug 2021) Hurricane Ida rapidly grew in strength early Sunday, becoming a dangerous Category 4 hurricane just hours before hitting the Louisiana coast.
The system was expected to make landfall early Sunday afternoon on the exact date Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years earlier.
Coastal Gulfport, Mississippi, was battered Sunday by intense rain.
A Red Cross shelter posted signs displaying directions for evacuees, along with warnings about COVID-19.
Shelter manager Barbara Casterlin said workers were required to wear face masks. Evacuees were encouraged to do the same.
Anyone who refuses will be sent to an isolated area, she said, as will people who are sick.
President Joe Biden approved emergency declarations for Louisiana and Mississippi ahead of Ida’s arrival.
Comparisons to the Aug. 29, 2005, landfall of Katrina weighed heavily on residents bracing for Ida.
A Category 3 storm, Katrina was blamed for 1,800 deaths as it caused levee breaches and catastrophic flooding in New Orleans and demolished oceanfront homes in Mississippi.
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