NEW ORLEANS – Conditions continued to worsen in southern Louisiana Saturday into Sunday as powerful Hurricane Ida slowly moved closer to making landfall.
In the Lake Pontchartrain area of New Orleans, Local 10 News’ Roy Ramos noted increasing winds and storm surge moving over a sea wall.
“We need to make sure that you re in a safe place everyone,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.
Hurricane Ida is expected to continue strengthening as it moves across warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.
Its projected path has the storm making landfall near New Orleans sometime Sunday night.
Home and business owners have been busy boarding up windows and laying out sand bags in anticipation of the storm’s impact.
“They certainly are taking it serious, because we have gotten so many calls, we just can’t keep up with the volume right now,” said Odan Mastran, an employee at Star Glass.
Mayor Cantrell called for a voluntary evacuation Friday and many heeded the warning.
Heavy traffic was also seen leaving the area as many locals chose not to weather the storm and instead evacuate.
“I am trying to rent a car and get out of here,” said vacationer Nicole Bronner.
Flood gates were closed in coastal Louisiana and in Jefferson Parish as sewer and water board officials prepare for storm surge and possible flooding.
Lakeview resident BJ told Local 10 News he lived along the 17th Street Canal when the levy system gave way during Hurricane Katrina, causing flooding and killing hundreds.
“It was devastating,” he said. “I mean, it was really nothing but foundations and homes knocked off foundations.”
Exactly 16 years later, to the day, that same area is once again bracing for impact. Their hope is that the $14 billion levy system now in place will protect them from Hurricane Ida
“I think it is a strong levy since it was the one that really failed, I think that they focused on that a little bit,” BJ said.