Mississippi emergency officials prepare for impacts from Hurricane Ida

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – If the current forecast holds, Hurricane Ida’s impact could cover much of Mississippi.

Sunday will mark 16 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, which is the day hurricane Ida is predicted to come ashore.

Felecia Bowser, a warning coordinator meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Jackson, said, “This is a completely different storm. This is a completely different track. Therefore, people need to separate that particular feeling from each other. I know it is going to be difficult due to the upcoming anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, but it is not Hurricane Katrina.”

Rapid intensification is expected from Ida as it approaches the favorable conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Hurricanes, they like that sweet spot. They don’t like it too strong with the wind. They don’t like it too weak with the wind. They like it just right and that appears to be the particular conditions that’s expected,” said Bowser.

As the storm strengthens and approaches land, people in the metro area need to be ready for a lot of rain, high winds, and spin-up tornadoes.

“We could be seeing anywhere from six to ten inches, so that’s impact number one. Impact number two, of course, that comes with tropical storms are the gusty winds. For the Jackson metro, we are expecting wind speeds anywhere from about 30-45 mph. You could get some downed trees, some of those trees of which could fall on to homes, it could block a roadway, and it could fall onto power lines which of course will result in power outages,” stated Bowser.

Kelly Richardson, public information officer at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), said, “We are ready! We have supplies on hand. We have team members that are ready to go after the storm. In fact, FEMA personnel just arrived today. They will be here to help orchestrate the whole response.”

“We have our crews ready to go. We’ve gassed up vehicles, we are sharpening our tools, we are putting different equipment and staging in certain areas, so that as soon as we get the all-clear to actually go and respond to what’s leftover from the hurricane, we are ready to go and get things moving as soon as possible,” explained Katey Roh, a public information officer at the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).

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