Louisiana governor warns hurricane Ida is 'one of the strongest' since 1850s

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) warned that Hurricane Ida will be “one of the strongest” since the 1850s.

Edwards made the remark in a news briefing Saturday afternoon, while providing an update on the trajectory of the storm.

“One of the things we were told today by the National Weather Service during our unified command group meeting is that they are are extremely confident in the current track and the intensity as forecasted for Hurricane Ida. And you don't really hear them speaking very often about that level of confidence,” Edwards said.


“So, we can sum it up by saying this will be one of the strongest hurricanes to hit anywhere in Louisiana since at least the 1850s,” Edwards continued.

Ida is currently a Category 2 hurricane, though it is predicted to strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane before it officially makes landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Edwards said that nearly every part of the state is under some form of storm watch.

The hurricane is expected to officially make landfall in the U.S. on Sunday. Officials in southern and southeastern Louisiana have warned residents to evacuate ahead of Ida.

President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE urged residents in Louisiana and other states to “pay attention and be prepared” on Saturday as Ida nears the country.

The president has approved an emergency declaration for Louisiana, and has asked the governors of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi what they needed ahead of the storm.

Edwards warned citizens that their “window of time” for evacuating is closing.

“We can also tell you that your window of time is closing, it is rapidly closing,” Edwards said. "By the time you go to bed tonight, you need to be where you intend to ride this storm out and you need to be prepared as you can be.”

Ida comes on the weekend of the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm that killed over 1,800 people and devastated the Gulf Coast.