Hurricane Ida Makes Landfall, Millions Without Power

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Just a few days ago, Hurricane Ida was only a tropical depression. It was expected to become a hurricane by the time it made landfall, but at the time, many were not too worried about evacuating.

As of Saturday morning, Ida was a category one hurricane. It then underwent rapid intensification. In under 24 hours, Ida was a strong category four hurricane with 150 mile per hour winds.

Tulane student and native Floridian Rachel Ramos was going to stay in New Orleans but decided to evacuate home to Boca Raton, FL instead.

“My dad called me, Ramos said. “He was like, you know, this could get real bad real fast, we’re flying you home, buy a ticket. “

Although her school did not make evacuation mandatory, doing so was strongly advised. While many left the state, plenty stayed home, including former Duluthian Emily Moskau. Moskau is currently in New Orleans at her mother’s house, which is next door to hers.

“Her house is much newer and it’s hurricane protected,” Moskau explained. “She also has a generator big enough for her whole house.”

Moskau has been in a category three hurricane and stayed for that, even playing cards lightheartedly. Ida, however, was much worse.

Wind has been a major factor in the damage done by this devastating storm. An estimated two hundred and twenty billion dollars in damages have been attributed to hurricane Ida, making evacuees nervous about their return.

“No one’s really at our place to know what the damage looks like,” said Ramos. “All we know is that we didn’t have power, the entire city doesn’t have power.”

As for right now, this is a waiting game as the damages are cleaned up. Many who left cannot return yet, but this is something that New Orleans has dealt with before.

Cleaning up after hurricanes is similar to how the Northland deals with the impacts of blizzards and lake effect snow.

“It’s kind of like whenever you get a big blizzard or even just a big snowstorm up there and the plows have their schedule and they know when to go out and all that,” explained Moskau. “You know, it’s the same principle here, just a different type of weather to clean-up from.”