IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Last updated

Aug. 29 Hurricane Ida news: Levee failure causes imminent threat

The center of Ida made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Sunday around noon local time, according to the National Hurricane Center.
We apologize, this video has expired.

Live coverage on this blog has ended, click here for latest news on Ida

Hurricane Ida made landfall on the coast of Louisiana Sunday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, but was downgraded to a tropical storm early Monday. It's the storm's slow movement, sustained power and direction that are of ongoing concern.

Ida has slowed considerably but continues to draw energy from its own storm surge as well as the moisture of the area. The combination is hitting New Orleans with heavy rains in addition to strong winds, overpowering some levees and leaving more than one million people without power throughout Louisiana.

465d ago / 9:17 AM UTC

Ida downgraded to tropical storm

The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Ida to a tropical storm.

The center said maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 60 mph, with the storm now over southwestern Mississippi.

Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday with winds of near 150 mph.

It is expected to continue rapidly weakening during the next day or so, the center added. It's expected to become a tropical depression by Monday evening. 

Despite the downgrade, the center warned that dangerous storm surge, damaging winds and flash flooding will continue over portions of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. 

Read the latest here.

465d ago / 9:01 AM UTC

Levee failure in Alliance, Louisiana prompts evacuations

Residents have been urged to evacuate after a levee failure in Alliance, about 20 miles southeast of New Orleans.

Plaquemines Parish government urged people to evacuate the area immediately in a Facebook post late Sunday. Residents were told to go to a local auditorium if they need shelter. 

Around the same time, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency warning for the area, warning of a "life-threatening flash flooding from a levee failure." 

The warning is in effect until 6:45 a.m. E.T.

465d ago / 8:52 AM UTC

Power still out for more than 1 million people in Louisiana

More than one million people remain without power as Hurricane Ida batters Louisiana, according to tracking website

Earlier, the entire city of New Orleans lost electricity due to "catastrophic transmission damage," with the city's only power coming from generators.

Downtown buildings relying on generator power are seen early Monday as the entire city of New Orleans is without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.Gerald Herbert / AP
465d ago / 7:57 AM UTC

Flash flood emergency warning for Laplace, Luling and Destrehan

The National Weather Service on Monday warned of a flash flood emergency for Laplace, Luling and Destrehan, communities west of New Orleans, Louisiana. Residents were advised to move to higher ground and not walk or drive through flood waters until at least 8:30 a.m. E.T. 

465d ago / 7:11 AM UTC

'Still a beast': Hurricane Ida remains powerful 13 hours after landfall

465d ago / 7:09 AM UTC

'Very, very bad': Images show damage, flooding from Hurricane Ida

As Hurricane Ida made landfall Sunday in southern Louisiana as a devastating Category 4 storm, NBC News compiled videos and photos showing the impact of 150 mph winds and what officials called a "catastrophic" storm surge.

See the videos, images and read the full story here. 

465d ago / 4:39 AM UTC

Levee failure poses imminent threat to two communities

The National Weather Service office in New Orleans, citing local law enforcement, said Sunday night that over 200 people were in "imminent danger" in the town of Jean Lafitte and the unincorporated community of Lafitte, in Jefferson Parish, after a levee failed.

"Move to higher ground now!" the weather service said. "This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation."

Read the full story.

465d ago / 4:24 AM UTC

New Orleans mayor says power plant is compromised

465d ago / 4:03 AM UTC

Biden approves disaster declaration for Louisiana

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster exists in Louisiana on Sunday night, freeing federal aid for people and governments in the affected areas.

Residents of these parishes are eligible: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

The aid can be used for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners. Funding assistance for debris removal is also available.

Residents and business owners who suffered losses can begin applying for assistance Monday by registering online  or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. 

465d ago / 3:22 AM UTC
465d ago / 3:18 AM UTC

Photo: A mother makes dinner for her child as Ida rages

Rochun Williams uses the microwave from her hotel room in the entry way of the hotel after discovering a working power outlet to heat dinner for her 3-year-old child during Hurricane Ida on Sunday in New Orleans.
Rochun Williams uses the microwave from her hotel room in the entry way of the hotel after discovering a working power outlet to heat dinner for her 3-year-old child during Hurricane Ida on Sunday in New Orleans.Scott Olson / Getty Images
465d ago / 2:40 AM UTC

First Hurricane Ida-related death confirmed

The first death attributed to Hurricane Ida was confirmed Sunday evening by officials in Ascension Parish.

The victim was a 60-year-old man who had a tree fall in his home, the Louisiana Department of Health tweeted.

Just after 8:30 p.m., deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office received reports of a fallen tree on a home in Prairieville, Louisiana, according to the sheriff's office's Facebook page. When they arrived on the scene, deputies found a deceased victim.

Prairieville is about 66 miles northwest of New Orleans. News of the first fatality comes as the storm causes widespread power outages and flooding.

465d ago / 2:38 AM UTC

Gulf Coast hospitals brace for Ida, most near capacity with Covid patients

465d ago / 1:39 AM UTC

Photos: Firefighters cut through trees as Ida rages in Louisiana

Montegut and Bourg firefighters cut through trees on the road in Bourg, La., as Hurricane Ida passes on Sunday.
Montegut and Bourg firefighters cut through trees on the road in Bourg, La., as Hurricane Ida passes on Sunday.Mark Felix / AFP - Getty Images
Montegut fire chief Toby Henry walks back to his fire truck in the rain as firefighters cut through trees on the road in Bourg, La., as Hurricane Ida passes on Sunday.
Montegut fire chief Toby Henry walks back to his fire truck in the rain as firefighters cut through trees on the road in Bourg, La., as Hurricane Ida passes on Sunday.Mark Felix / AFP - Getty Images
465d ago / 1:20 AM UTC

Boil water advisory issued in Jefferson Parish

Residents in a southeastern Louisiana parish were told Sunday to boil their water after Hurricane Ida slammed into the state as a devastating Category 4 storm.

The advisory, from Jefferson Parish, was issued for the area’s East Bank. A loss of pressure in the distribution’s system was to blame, the parish said.

The order came amid widespread power outages across southeastern Louisiana, including the entire city of New Orleans

465d ago / 1:17 AM UTC
465d ago / 1:04 AM UTC

All of New Orleans loses power due to 'catastrophic transmission damage'

All of New Orleans has lost power, the city's utility provider said Sunday evening, hours after Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana.

In a tweet Sunday at 8:27 p.m. ET, NOLA Ready, the city of New Orleans' emergency preparedness campaign, shared that Entergy New Orleans had confirmed that New Orleans had no electricity, and that the city's only power was coming from generators.

The loss of power was due to "catastrophic transmission damage" from the storm, according to Entergy. 

It was not immediately clear how the mass outage was affecting local hospitals. 

465d ago / 12:39 AM UTC

As Hurricane Ida barreled toward the Gulf Coast, some residents chose to 'stay and pray'

As Hurricane Ida rapidly intensified into a Category 4 storm threatening the Gulf Coast, residents of the area faced a difficult decision — to stay and ride out the storm, or to brave the clogged highways and hastily evacuate.

Ida made landfall in southeast Louisiana early Sunday afternoon with 150 mph sustained winds as authorities warned of "catastrophic" damage that could threaten all homes and people in its path.

Hurricane warnings are all too familiar to Gulf Coast residents who have lived through countless storms, but the severity of this one took some by surprise, leaving little time to prepare.

On Friday evening, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned that Hurricane Ida was "changing, it seems, by the hour."

"Now is the time to finish your preparations," Bel Edwards said. "By nightfall tomorrow night, you need to be where you intend to ride out the storm and you need to be postured as you would want to be as the storm approaches you."

Read the full story

465d ago / 12:35 AM UTC

Six hours changed New Orleans' preparation

On Friday evening Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned New Orleanians that Hurricane Ida had unexpectedly strengthened and moved “more rapidly than anyone was prepared for.”

It was too late to order an evacuation, she said, or to call for the major interstates to reverse all lanes in the directions out of the city — a tactic called contraflow that leaders in Louisiana use to quickly evacuate populated areas when dealing with a dangerous hurricane or other major emergency.

“Time is not on our side,” she said in that day's second press conference. “The city cannot issue a mandatory evacuation because we don’t have the time.”

While some locals criticized the delayed evacuation order, other storm-seasoned residents as well as scientists defended the mayor and said Hurricane Ida’s speed and power were alarming and difficult to predict.

Read the full story.

465d ago / 12:09 AM UTC

Hurricane Ida made landfall Sunday in southern Louisiana as a ferocious Category 4 storm, tearing roofs from a hospital and homes, flooding roads and sending ferries adrift.

There were no immediate reports of fatal injuries or estimates of property damage, but officials urged residents to stay put until the storm passed.

Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng told reporters earlier Sunday that the only road into Grand Isle, a barrier island south of New Orleans that is home to less 1,000 people, was under six feet of water. The local fire station was flooded, she said, and a few dozen people appeared to have disregarded a mandatory evacuation order.

“The conditions are very, very bad,” she said. “They are really getting beaten up right now.”

Read the full story.

465d ago / 12:06 AM UTC

Power outages mount in Louisiana

465d ago / 11:54 PM UTC

Ida downgraded to Category 3 storm but risk remains high

Hurricane Ida, which made landfall Sunday as a Category 4 storm, was downgraded around 7:30 p.m. ET to a Category 3.

But the change does not make Ida any less threatening to the Gulf Coast. Any hurricane rated Category 3 or higher is considered a "major" storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Category 3 storms generally have sustained winds of 111 to 129 mph, and the damage they cause can be devastating, according to the NHC.

"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 NHC said in an explanation of the category on its website.

465d ago / 11:37 PM UTC

Louisiana hospital scrambles to keep patients breathing after generator failure


Doctors and nurses at a Louisiana hospital directly in the path of Hurricane Ida were forced to manually pump air into the lungs of patients after a generator failed and the ventilators stopped working in an intensive care unit, the state health department confirmed Sunday night. 

The stricken patients were moved to another floor of Thibodaux Regional Health System, said Mindy Faciane, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Health said. 

It wasn’t immediately clear how many patients were being relocated, but State Rep. Jerome Zeringue (R-Houma) told the local newspaper he’d been in touch with a doctor who reported the generator failure and who described the situation as “Katrinaesque.”

Two dozen Louisiana hospitals had to be evacuated during Hurricane Katrina after they lost power, water and sewage services. 

Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for Gov. John Bel Edwards, said the facility “had not lost all critical power.” She said some patients were moved to another part of the facility and the state health department was working with the hospital.

465d ago / 11:30 PM UTC
465d ago / 11:28 PM UTC

Gov. Edwards requests a major disaster declaration

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards requested a presidential major disaster declaration on Sunday evening as Hurricane Ida ravaged the state, according to a release put out by the governor's office.

The release cited the thousands of people in Louisiana without power following the storm's impact as well as storm surge and winds, which were still thrashing parts of the state Sunday evening and expected to impact areas farther inland into Monday. 

“Hurricane Ida is one of the strongest storms to ever hit Louisiana ... 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,” Edwards said. 

President Joe Biden had already granted a federal declaration of emergency prior to the storm's arrival, but the major disaster declaration will allow the state to access additional assistance. 

The request includes individual assistance as well as critical needs assistance for parishes dealing with the worst of the storm's impact. The governor's office anticipates there will be many residents who are displaced for an extended period of time due to the storm. Edwards has also asked for help with debris removal and repairing infrastructure damage. 

465d ago / 11:03 PM UTC

Ida is going strong and slow. That's bad news.

It’s been six hours since landfall, and Ida remains a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.

Despite making landfall, Ida has maintained much of its intensity because of the warm and saturated ground of the marshy wetlands. The storm is feeding off the bayous and behaving as if it’s still over water. 

While it hasn’t weakened much, it has slowed down to a crawl and made a turn to the north. This means the eyewall with the core of the strongest winds could edge closer to downtown New Orleans, bringing the risk for 100 mph winds or higher.

With the strongest winds of Ida now threatening the New Orleans metro, meteorologists caution to never evacuate vertically into high rise buildings. Wind increases with height, so the speeds atop a 30-story building, for example, could be an entire category higher. 

Ida's current behavior — strong and slow — is not a good combination.

And it’s not just the winds that will roar through the night across southeastern Louisiana but also a high risk for flash flooding. Projections of 6-12 inches of rain, with isolated areas picking up 20-24 inches, can cause deadly urban flooding and river flooding expected to last into the night.

465d ago / 10:26 PM UTC
465d ago / 10:05 PM UTC

Meteorologists warn about powerful elements of Ida

Meteorologists and other scientists have spotted a particularly dangerous element of Ida: a series of especially violent vortices — or areas of air moving in rotation —  that can include high winds. 

These circular wind patterns, known was mesovortices, tend to occur close to the storm's eye, making it all the more menacing.

"These distinct eyewall mesovortices (little filaments inside the typically circular eye) of Hurricane Ida are remarkable, and especially dangerous," tweeted Michael Lowry, a strategic planner and atmospheric scientists with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Mesovortices are often associated with extreme, tornadic-like winds, one of many reasons you should never venture out during the eye."

Eric Snitil, chief meteorologist of the WROC local TV station in Rochester, New York, tweeted that it's not uncommon for strong storms to have these small vortices circling around the eye. 

"Small satellite eddies called mesovortices rotate around the parent circulation, giving almost a starfish shape to it," he wrote. "Not uncommon in particularly strong hurricanes."

Bill Karins, a meteorologist with NBC News, likened the shape created by the mesovortices to a four-leaf clover, though not a particularly lucky one.

465d ago / 9:55 PM UTC

Photos: Ida drenches New Orleans after making landfall

Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images
Rain batters downtown New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2021, after Hurricane Ida made landfall.
Rain batters downtown New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2021, after Hurricane Ida made landfall.Patrick T. Fallon / AFP - Getty Images
465d ago / 9:36 PM UTC

National Weather Service: 'This is not what you want to see.'

465d ago / 9:33 PM UTC

In Jackson, Miss., residents fill up sandbags ahead of potential flash floods

JACKSON, Miss. — At a sandbag distribution site in Mississippi’s capital Sunday afternoon, residents scrambled to collect supplies to help fortify their homes ahead of a potential onslaught of flash flooding that could follow heavy rain wrought by Hurricane Ida.

More than a dozen people shared shovels and buckets and hoisted bulky bags into their vehicles underneath an overcast sky as thunder rumbled.

Debra Jones spent about 30 minutes shoveling sand into 12 bags that she planned to place along her front door and garage. Her west Jackson home hasn’t flooded before, but water has seeped into her neighbors’ homes during previous storms.

"I'm hoping and praying everything is going to be well," she said.

The city’s Public Works Department has already announced that the parts of some streets prone to flooding will be closed starting Monday.

Frederick Gates, who helped supervise and direct traffic at Sunday’s distribution, said the Public Works Department was beginning to work off a second pallet of supplies.

The warning that Ida, a Category 4 storm, could bring strong wind and major rain to central Mississippi prompted Jones to stock up on batteries, flashlights and foods that won’t spoil quickly in power outages.

Jones said the storm’s making landfall on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina evoked a heightened sense of caution.

“This puts a little fear in us to get more prepared,” she said.

Deanna Vail said her home in south Jackson has flooded at least twice — once in 1984 and again last year — in the almost 30 years she has lived here. She borrowed a family member’s truck to haul away about 25 sandbags with the help of her younger brother.

465d ago / 9:25 PM UTC
465d ago / 9:24 PM UTC

Winds pick up in Houma, Louisiana

465d ago / 9:02 PM UTC

Power outages are spreading across New Orleans

465d ago / 9:00 PM UTC

'Wind speeds are going crazy'

The winds gusting through Louisiana appear to be ferocious.

In a video uploaded by Twitter user @TerrebonneGavin, fierce and high-powered winds can be seen thrashing trees somewhere in the town of Galliano.

"Oh my God — wow," an unidentified person can be heard saying in the video clip.

465d ago / 8:54 PM UTC

Boats appear to collide as Ida bears down

Two boats appeared to collide on the waters off St. Rose, Louisiana, as Hurricane Ida whipped up fierce winds on Sunday afternoon.

The moment was recorded and uploaded to Twitter.

"Oh my God. They're heading for each other," an unidentified person can be heard saying in the video. "You guys, this is unbelievable."

St. Rose sits on the east bank of the Mississippi River.

465d ago / 8:46 PM UTC

Fire station's security camera shows fast-rising waters

Time-lapse video from security cameras in a St. Bernard Parish fire station show flood waters rising quickly, inundating the southeastern Louisiana building in less than hour.

The National Weather Service used the video to demonstrate Hurricane Ida's danger. 

"This is how fast surge can rise," the agency's New Orleans field office said on Twitter. "You are putting your life in danger if you are in a surge prone area. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE COAST!" 

465d ago / 8:10 PM UTC

Some staying put in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as storm hits

NBC News’ Sam Brock reported that businesses, hotels and apartment buildings throughout downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hadn't been boarded up as the city awaited the storm.

Standing before a fleet of trucks that will be deployed to restore customers’ power when the hurricane is gone, Brock said he found people “hanging out” by the Mississippi River as Ida was barreling toward the city.

Brock said he spoke to the Baton Rouge mayor, who said the city has invested some $20 million to try to improve the drainage system and “drain the water that could cause trouble” in the aftermath of the storm.

He also spoke to one couple who said they planned to stay put because they had parents in their 80s and jobs in the area.

"I definitely think there's plenty of homes that will be affected by this," the woman said. "We are fortunate that we are on very high ground, I think ours will be OK, but we might be helping all of our neighbors."

465d ago / 8:02 PM UTC

Photo: Ida causes severe damage in New Orleans' French Quarter

A man passes by a section of roof that was blown off of a building in the French Quarter by Hurricane Ida winds on Sunday in New Orleans.
A man passes by a section of roof that was blown off of a building in the French Quarter by Hurricane Ida winds on Sunday in New Orleans.Eric Gay / AP
465d ago / 7:41 PM UTC

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says state has "never been more prepared" for hurricane

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards reassured his constituents during a press conference on Sunday afternoon that the state was prepared to take on the forces of Hurricane Ida as the storm raged. 

"There is no doubt that the coming days and weeks are going to be extremely difficult for our state … but as a state we’ve never been more prepared," Edwards said. 

Edwards said the state had 900 people as part of the search and rescue efforts, split among 21 teams standing by during the storm and its aftermath. 

Out of the state's 692 floodgates, 459 had been closed, Edwards said, and although officials reaffirmed their confidence in the levees, which have been improved since Hurricane Katrina hit 16 years ago, Edwards said the state was expecting "overtopping" on some of the levees. 

"Will it be tested? Yes," Edwards said of the flood protection system. "But It was built for this moment."

He also urged residents not to panic about overtopping. 

"Overtopping and levee failure are not the same thing," he said. "Obviously we will continue to monitor our flood protection systems."

Edwards warned that people may need to prepare shelter in place for up to 72 hours after the storm. While he implored people to stay home, he said if people needed to go out and got stuck, that it could be a while for help to arrive.

He added that parishes would be deciding on and announcing curfews for their respective residents. 

Those who evacuated need to check with their local officials before returning, Edwards said.

He said that 1,542 people were currently being sheltered across the state.

465d ago / 7:23 PM UTC

Biden visits FEMA headquarters: 'Planning for the worst'

President Joe Biden visited the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington Sunday to receive a briefing on Hurricane Ida, shortly after the massive storm made landfall in Louisiana. 

Biden's visit, which had not been previously announced, came as he returned from Dover Air Force Base to witness a "dignified transfer" event for U.S. service members killed in Thursday's terror attack in Kabul.

FEMA says it has deployed more than 2,400 employees to the states along the Gulf Coast, including search and rescue and ambulance teams, along with 2.5 million meals, 3.1 million liters of water, 76,000 tarps and 64 electric generators.

"We're praying for the best, and planning for the worst," Biden said in brief remarks at the agency. "We're going to put the country's full might behind the recovery."

When he finished, the president said he was "not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead." When a reporter asked a question about Afghanistan, though, he cut her off and said, “I’m not going to answer on Afghanistan."

465d ago / 7:11 PM UTC

Officials say they are 'confident' that levees in southeast Louisiana will hold

Officials said Sunday that levees are "stronger" and "higher" in southeast Louisiana now than they were 16 years ago during Hurricane Katrina, and that they are confident the state's infrastructure will hold during Hurricane Ida.

"We are much better protected that we were during Katrina," Regional Director of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority Kelli Chandler said in an interview with MSNBC's Alex Witt.

More than $14 billion has been spent improving the state's flood defense system, Chandler said. 

"We feel very strongly confident that the system will perform as designed," she said. "We may have some local street flooding and we will have supplies for power outages. We've already started experiencing that."

Just before 3 p.m. ET, electric utility Entergy New Orleans reported that nearly 300,000 customers were without power in New Orleans. 

"This is a very intense storm. It's a very unique storm ... but we're confident in the performance of the system," Chandler said.

465d ago / 6:31 PM UTC
465d ago / 6:23 PM UTC

Power outages top 212,000 in New Orleans

More than 212,000 customers are without power in New Orleans as Hurricane Ida pummels Louisiana. 

Entergy New Orleans, an electric and natural gas utility based in New Orleans, reported the outages as of 2:18 p.m. ET.

The outages have been rising sharply since Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday afternoon.

465d ago / 6:17 PM UTC

Tulane University moves students out of residence hall near construction crane

Tulane University moved students out of some residence halls that were near a construction crane out of "an abundance of caution," the school's President Michael A. Fitts said in an email to students. 

"Students living by Irby, Phelps, Paterson, and Wall residence halls have been relocated to The Commons/LBC complex as a precaution since these residence halls are near the crane tower off McAlister Way," Fitts said in the email. "The crane is built to withstand winds far above what we are expecting but, out of an overabundance of caution, we moved students away from the construction site."

Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.

Fitts also wrote that, although the storm's path had deviated from what was anticipated, the school had taken precautions and all residence halls had been secured and supplied with back-up emergency power.

Three days worth of food was distributed to on- and off-campus students ahead of the hurricane, Fitts said. Those who felt unsafe off campus were given shelter on campus, the email stated.

"We are fully staffed at the Hyatt and Jung hotels for students who are in isolation there and they are being provided with meals," the email read.

466d ago / 5:51 PM UTC

More than 145,500 customers without power in New Orleans

Entergy New Orleans reported that more than 145,500 customers are without power shortly after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana. That number appears to be rising.

During a press conference Sunday afternoon, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell acknowledged the widespread power outages but urged residents to stay home. 

The update from Entergy New Orleans, an electric and natural gas utility and former mass transit provider that was based in New Orleans, Louisiana, was posted at 1:40 p.m. ET. 

466d ago / 5:19 PM UTC

Photo: Residents travel on a jet ski as Ida storm surge floods Mississippi town

A local resident on a jet ski tows a canoe to a flooded house as the outer bands of Hurricane Ida arrive on Sunday in Bay Saint Louis, Miss.
A local resident on a jet ski tows a canoe to a flooded house as the outer bands of Hurricane Ida arrive on Sunday in Bay Saint Louis, Miss.Steve Helber / AP
466d ago / 5:13 PM UTC

'There’s nobody coming right now': New Orleans mayor, other officials warn residents to stay home

During a press conference Sunday afternoon, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell told residents that now is the time to hunker down and stay home just ahead of Hurricane Ida's landfall just before noon local time. 

"You are not to come out until you receive more information from the city of New Orleans," Cantrell said during a press conference on Sunday afternoon. "Now is the time that we have been preparing for and even waiting for as it relates to Hurricane Ida."

Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, echoed the mayor, warning residents that emergency services wouldn't be able to reach them until Monday. 

"You need to stay inside until tomorrow. We’ll look at this during the first light of day," Arnold said. "There’s nobody coming right now. You need to stay inside."

Officials at the news conference warned that residents who didn't evacuate but had changed their mind Sunday afternoon would be out of luck, and that they should not call the police. 

"As Ida moves closer we will see sustained winds of 75 mph. These are life-threatening winds. You absolutely need to remain indoors," Arnold said. 

Cantrell also urged residents to conserve water as the storm moved in and acknowledged that some residents had begun losing power.  

Officials also noted that the city is in a different place than it was 16 years ago when Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans, noting that $14 billion had been invested in the levee system. The levees are not a concern at this moment, officials said. 

"You have everything that you need," Cantrell said. "We will get through this together."

466d ago / 5:10 PM UTC

Baton Rouge mayor says residents should shelter in their homes

The mayor of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said her city is working to get "out front" of Hurricane Ida, with crews and parish officials spending much of the last 72 hours making emergency preparations.

In an interview with NBC News, Sharon Weston Broome advised residents to take shelter in their homes rather than evacuating, but she called on people to "do what they have to do."

"We are not thinking that we will have a consistent deluge that takes place," Broome said. "But nevertheless, it's incumbent upon us to prepare for whatever."

466d ago / 5:03 PM UTC

Hurricane Ida has made landfall

Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, around 12:55 p.m. ET Sunday, with maximum sustained winds estimated to be 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In an all-caps message at the top of the latest advisory, the hurricane center called Ida, a Category 4 storm, "EXTREMELY DANGEROUS."

Ida was about 15 miles southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and about 45 miles southeast of Houma, Louisiana, according to the NHC.