Ida causes devastation across southeast Louisiana
Millions are still without power more than 24 hours after Hurricane Ida slammed the southeastern Louisiana coast.
LATEST: The Coast Guard is conducting search and rescue flights across the devastated Gulf Coast.— ABC News (@ABC) August 30, 2021
The Coast Guard is also assessing damage and working to make sure ports can reopen. https://t.co/c1UOF8PsDO pic.twitter.com/9EiixFtE7b
Ida made landfall early Sunday afternoon as a strong Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph. It tied for the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the mainland United States on record.
While most know about the Saffir-Simpson scale used to classify hurricanes, what you may not know is that a small change in wind speed can send the damage potential into the stratosphere, so to speak.
A storm becomes a hurricane when winds in a tropical system reach 75 mph. Ida made landfall with winds double that of a standard Category 1 hurricane. However, the damage compared to a 75 mph Category 1 hurricane is not simple double for a hurricane like Ida. There is an eighth-power increase in damages from category to category.
UPDATE: #Ida's forecast to be 155mph at landfall. A 155mph Category 4 #hurricane is 333 TIMES more destructive than a 75mph Category 1 hurricane. The wind damage multiplier is EXPONENTIAL to wind speed. https://t.co/uBQIqQhll8— Kathryn Prociv (@KathrynProciv) August 29, 2021
So, Ida had the potential to cause 256 times more damage than a 75 mph storm!
Ida weakened to a depression Monday evening, but still could cause more flash flooding to Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee over the coming days. The moisture associated with the former hurricane then heads to the I-95 corridor, potentially causing major problems for places like New York, Boston, and Philiadelphia.