Ida causes devastation across southeast Louisiana

NOW: Ida causes devastation across southeast Louisiana


Millions are still without power more than 24 hours after Hurricane Ida slammed the southeastern Louisiana coast.

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.

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.

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