NEW ORLEANS — The National Hurricane Center has released its final reanalysis of Hurricane Ida.
In the report the NHC maintains the storm made landfall in Port Fourchon on August 29, 2021 as a Category 4 hurricane with winds sustained at 150 mph.
This ties the storm as the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the State of Louisiana with Hurricane Laura in 2020 and The Last Island Hurricane of 1856. All three storms had winds of 150 mph at landfall. Interestingly, the strongest winds from a hurricane to impact Louisiana came from a storm that made landfall in Mississippi. In 1969 Hurricane Camille made landfall in Hancock County, Mississippi as a Category 5 hurricane with winds around 175 mph. A reanalysis project from the NHC found that category 5 winds were experienced in eastern portions of St Bernard Parish as the storms western eyewall scraped the coastal parish.
Many believed the National Hurricane Center would upgrade Hurricane Ida to a category 5 hurricane after reanalysis all the data. Two ships in Port Fourchon reported gusts of 223 mph and 170 mph as Ida passed over. The NHC says these reports were not considered in the final report because not enough details are known, including the elevation and exposure of the wind instruments. The NHC says that if more details from these ships becomes available, they could update the report.
Hurricane Ida also produced high storm surge across the area. Here is a list of storm surge estimates from across the area:
- Plaquemines Parish (East Bank): 9-14 feet.
- St Bernard Parish 6-11 feet.
- Jefferson (West Bank): 6-12 feet.
- Plaquemines (West Bank): 6-9 feet.
- St Charles Parish: 5-8 feet.
- Terrebonne Parish: 3-6 feet.
- St. John & St. Charles: 6-11 feet.
- Tangipahoa & St. Tammany: 6-9 feet.
- Orleans & Jefferson: 5-8 feet.
Hancock: 4-7 feet.
The storm also produced flooding rainfall across parts of the area. The highest rain total from the storm was reported in Ponchatoula, picking up just over 15 inches of rain.
The storm was responsible for 55 deaths. Ida directly caused six deaths in total. Four were in Louisiana and two in Mississippi. Following the storm Ida was indirectly responsible for 28 deaths along the Gulf Coast, including 26 in Louisiana.