A major soaker now expected to linger an extra day as it pummels New Orleans on the 7 year anniversary of Katrina. The official landfall was last night with a wall of water 11 feet high. Northern Mobile Bay expected storm surge 8 feet above normal. As the storm slowly moves to the northwest, it could linger an additional day, bringing some totals over 24 inches.
The structure of the storm looks healthy for a system this close to land. Watch the 10 hour radar loop showing video showing the eye moving across the coast. It is still tapped into some warm water and feeding it on the east side of the storm. The long duration may make this the worst storm this region has had on record.
The satellite image still looks impressive as winds are down just a little to 75 mph. Hurricane force winds extend 45 miles from the center. Tropical Storm force winds extend 145 miles from the center.
Wind gust to 75 mph was recorded at Mid Lake Station in Lake Pontchartrain. A wind gust to 63 mph was recorded at New Orleans International Airport.
As of this morning, over 500,000 people have lost power, some are stranded behind flood waters that over flowed the levees. In Plaquemines Parish water overtopping levee with flooding up to 9 feet. Many homes are flooded and people are trapped in their homes. Two workers were also stranded on top of the levee as the water came up too fast before they could get out. This was a mandatory evacuation area by noon on Monday, but as often is the case, some stayed behind.
NEW: Saffir Simspon Scale wind damage animation and storm surge slide show
Latest stats from The National Hurricane Center
SUMMARY OF 1000 AM CDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 0 MI…0 KM N OF HOUMA LOUISIANA
ABOUT 45 MI…75 KM SW OF NEW ORLEANS LOUISIANA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…75 MPH…120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 6 MPH…9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…972 MB…28.70 INCHES
Main concerns with landfall:
STORM SURGE… STRONGEST ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE CENTER OF THE STORM!
THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AT THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE… THAT IS WHY A PATH TO THE SOUTH OF NEW ORLEANS WOULD BE THE WORST CASE SCENARIO
THE SLOW MOVEMENT MAY ALLOW FOR 2 or 3 HIGH TIDE CYCLES WITH ONSHORE FLOW IN SOME LOCATIONS!
* MISSISSIPPI AND SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA…6 TO 12 FT
* ALABAMA…3 TO 6 FT
* SOUTH-CENTRAL LOUISIANA…3 TO 6 FT
* FLORIDA PANHANDLE AND APALACHEE BAY…2 TO 4 FT
Rainfall: On average of 7-12 inches with a maximum of 24 inches on the right side of the eye. This has been the original forecast from The National Hurricane Center, but with the slower movement of the storm, higher amounts may be recorded.
Tornadoes: Small spin ups are common with land falling tropical systems. As of Tuesday afternoon there were warnings posted northeast of New Orleans. Typically tornadoes would reach EF-1 or peak at EF-2. That would provide additional damage with local winds that could ‘gust’ up to 161 mph.
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WATCHES (issued within 48 hours of impact) AND WARNINGS (issued within 36 hours of impact)
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* EAST OF MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA TO THE MISSISSIPPI-ALABAMA BORDER…
INCLUDING METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS…LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN…AND LAKE
A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* INTRACOASTAL CITY TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI-ALABAMA BORDER TO THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA
* MORGAN CITY TO SABINE PASS TEXAS
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
- EAST OF HIGH ISLAND TEXAS TO JUST WEST OF SABINE PASS