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New Orleans mayor orders some evacuations ahead of Hurricane Ida

New Orleans mayor orders some evacuations ahead of Hurricane Ida
Interstate 10 in New Orleans is nearly empty as Hurricane Zeta approaches the area October 28. On Friday, the mayor of New Orleans ordered residents outside the city's levee system to evacuate ahead of potential landfall from Hurricane Ida. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Friday ordered mandatory evacuations for regions outside the city's levee system ahead of the possible landfall of Hurricane Ida.

She made the announcement in a news conference after a National Hurricane Center update indicated the hurricane could make landfall as a Category 3 storm, considered a major hurricane.

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"The bottom line is and the greatest takeaway is that we do have a major storm heading our way," Cantrell said. "We are activating every single resource at our disposal so that we are prepared to respond. ... we plan for this all year long."

She said preparations for the storm should be completed by Saturday afternoon and residents outside the levee system, including Lake Catherine, Irish Bayou and Venetian Isles, should evacuate by Saturday morning.

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Ida strengthened into a hurricane Friday afternoon just west of Cuba and was expected to further intensify as it heads northwest into the Gulf of Mexico. The NHC said landfall should take place on the Louisiana or Mississippi coasts.

A tropical storm warning was in place for the coast from Cameron, La., east to the Mississippi/Alabama border, along with Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

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The New Orleans Saints' preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Superdome was initially set to take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, but was rescheduled for noon in response to the hurricane.

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