Aug 27, 2021 - Science

No time to evacuate as Hurricane Ida nears New Orleans, mayor says

Photo of LaToya Cantrell speaking from an outdoor podium

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. Photo: Erika Goldring via Getty Images

With no time left to properly evacuate, New Orleans residents should prepare to ride out Hurricane Ida at home, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Friday.

Why it matters: The hurricane is forecast to hit the central Louisiana coast as a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm.

  • There isn't enough time to establish necessary highway contraflow procedures to evacuate all residents before Ida is expected to touch land on Sunday afternoon, Cantrell said.
  • "We are not calling for a mandatory evacuation because the time simply is not on our side. We do not want to have people on the road, and therefore in greater danger," Cantrell noted.
  • "The situation is much more serious than it was six hours ago."

The big picture: Earlier in the day, coastal communities outside the city's levee system, which protects from flooding, were ordered to evacuate.

  • President Biden approved a state of emergency for Louisiana.

Go deeper: Hurricane Ida to slam Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm this weekend

Go deeper