Hurricane Ida battered Cuba with wind speeds of around 80mph. It reached U.S. shores on Sunday, and residents blocked highways as they tried to move away from the path of the storm. The New Orleans airport canceled all of Sunday's inbound and departing flights. The National Hurricane Center NHC confirms Ida would be the ninth named storm and the fourth hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

Right now, Ida is gathering strength. In October 2017, tropical storm Nate strengthened to a hurricane and hit the Gulf Coast. This has prompted evacuations from flood-prone New Orleans and offshore oil rigs that lie in the path of the storm.

Forecasters caution about wind speeds of around 140mph with possibilities of submerging the Louisiana shoreline. Because of the conditions, energy companies have suspended oil production and airlifted workers from offshore facilities to safe locations.

The NHC says Hurricane Ida could bring floods

There could be floods from Ida around the mouth of the Mississippi River. The NHC says the floods could extend to the coastlines of nearby states, endangering people who reside here. The residents are positioning sand and sandbags at strategic points to check the onslaught of the storm. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency. His message was clear. He said: “Now is the time to finish your preparation.

By nightfall tomorrow night, you need to be where you intend to ride out the storm.” At his request, President Joe Biden issued a pre-landfall federal emergency declaration. That would mean the departments could begin coordinating disaster relief efforts. Media reports mention the short supply of food items, water, and other essentials in many stores.

Some gas stations also ran out of gas, adding to all-around miseries. The authorities warned residents to be prepared to face prolonged power outages. Those who have provisions for renewable energy could heave a sigh of relief. In August last year, Hurricane Laura hit the Gulf Coast and led to heavy floods.

Havoc unleashed by Hurricane Ida in Cuba

Hurricane Ida unleashed havoc in Cuba. It uprooted trees and tore roofs from dwellings. The heavy rains led to floods and landslides in Jamaica. It made road travel difficult. Many people had to leave their homes and move to safety. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said FEMA would be sending medical personnel and ambulances to the Gulf Coast to assist hospitals.

Hurricane Ida makes landfall on the 16th anniversary of Katrina

The National Hurricane Center says Ida could be an extremely dangerous major hurricane. It has already slammed Cuba twice in less than 24 hours and has now made landfall in the Gulf Coast on Sunday. This happens to be the 16th anniversary of Katrina.

The National Weather Service in New Orleans says the storm surge is likely to devastate the region. It cautions that there would be high-speed winds. As a result, parts of southeast Louisiana might remain "uninhabitable for weeks or months."