'It's ironic': Ida expected to make landfall in Louisiana on 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

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People were out and about in New Orleans Thursday, many preparing for the storm to come.

“I did not even know a hurricane was even coming,” James Simon said. “So I will have to prepare a little, but it is nothing we have not gone through before. As long as I have water and gas, I will be OK.”

Ida is expected to make landfall as a hurricane on Sunday, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“We lost a whole lot of good people for Katrina. Hopefully, this one is not nearly as impactful,” Simon said.

“Obviously it is a significant date, in our history as New Orleanians. It also is something we have learned from. I know folks are out right now preparing for this Sunday because they have the memory of Katrina,” said Collin Arnold, the director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

In Orleans Parish, officials said Ida’s impacts are not expected to be as severe. But residents can expect heavy rains and winds. Currently, 96 of 99 drainage pumps in the city are available for service.

“The latest I saw, 10 to 15 inches of rain expected over the entire event in the New Orleans area. Which is a lot. Right now, the work is getting prepared. We are asking the public to do the same,” Arnold said.

In Jefferson Parish, officials said they are also on standby, urging community members to clean out their catch basins and secure their properties ahead of potential damage. Joseph Valiente had a strong message for citizens.

“Now is the time to start planning. In case this storm does intensify to a dangerous level and we call for an evacuation. You have to be prepared to leave then,” Valiente said.

Over in St. Bernard, Parish President Guy McInnis said the parish could see some of the worst impacts. Heavy winds and storm surge. He encouraged residents to activate their hurricane plan and listen in for updates from officials.

“We know our citizens know the drill. I’ll say like I always do. We are going to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best,” McInnis said.

Kirk Lepine with Plaquemines Parish also urged residents to prepare for the possibility of having to evacuate.

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