Tens of thousands of people in the US fleeing hurricane Ida

Tens of thousands of Americans have fled because of the approaching hurricane Ida. It is now above the Gulf of Mexico, but is expected to land in Louisiana next night (Dutch time). There are 220 kilometres per hour gusts expected.

The coastal areas of Louisiana have an evacuation order. Holidaymakers also try to get away, leading to long traffic jams on the highways inland.

Some Americans move away quickly, others choose to wait for the storm:

According to the US National Hurricane Center, Ida has now grown into a category 4 hurricane (of a total of 5). Hurricane is rapidly increasing over the hot waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Ida will be accompanied by gusts, downpours and coastal floods, is expected. The water could temporarily rise by 3 to 4.5 metres.

Hospitals are not evacuated by an influx of corona patients. Due to the high number of corona patients in Louisiana and neighbouring states, they cannot be accommodated elsewhere.

โ€œWe talked to hospitals to make sure their generators work and that they have much more water available than usual. There must also be sufficient protective equipment,โ€ said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. The hurricane can lead to power outages, which can pose a great danger for hospitals – despite emergency generators.

More than 80 oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated and half of the oil and gas production in the region has been discontinued.

Heavier than Katrina

Some experts think Ida is getting heavier than Katrina. That hurricane destroyed much of New Orleans in 2005, exactly 16 years ago today. 80 percent of the city was flooded and more than 1,800 people did not survive the hurricane.

Edwards warned Saturday that the hurricane may be the toughest that hit Louisiana since 1850. Meteorologists โ€œare very sure about the current trajectory and intensity predicted for Hurricane Ida. And you dont hear them talk with such certainty often,โ€ Edwards said to reporters.

President Biden has pledged help to states that deal with natural violence.