The Mississippi River just did something odd thanks to Hurricane Ida’s 150 mph gusts….
HURRICANE IDA made landfall in Louisiana with gusts of 150 mph over the weekend, and it appears the swirling vortex’s arrival had a significant impact on the Mississippi River.
The city of New Orleans commemorated the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which struck in 2005 with 125 mph winds and killed 1,800 people. Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon early Sunday afternoon, causing yet another natural calamity in the area.
Before hitting shore, the storm had strengthened to a category 4 hurricane with gusts of 150 mph, making it even more powerful than the hurricane that slammed the region all those years ago.
But there’s one more notable resemblance between the two storms: the strange effect landing had on the Mississippi River, which experts claim really stopped flowing.
The storm was so severe that it caused the 2,320-mile river to reverse course, which the US Geological Survey (USGS) describes as “very unusual.”
The strange change was discovered by the agency’s gauge in Belle Chasse, south of New Orleans, around lunchtime on Sunday, and a US Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman confirmed engineers recorded a “negative flow” as a result of the storm surge.
According to the USGS, the cyclone raised the river level by nearly seven feet.
According to Scott Perrien of the USGS Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center, the flow slowed “from about 2 feet per second down to about half a foot per second in the other direction.”
“The river is suffering the affects of the storm over a vast area,” he told CNN. As the flood creeps up the river, it has risen 1.5 feet all the way to Baton Rouge in the last 12 hours.
“And here in Baton Rouge, the water level is anticipated to climb even more in the coming hours.”
The river had a discharge rate of 300,000 cubic feet per second before Ida made ashore.
However, as the storm arrived, the Mississippi was gushing at 40,000 cubic feet per second – heading up river.
However, because the gauge only measures one segment of the river, it’s likely that deeper areas of the river did not reverse flow.
The river, which regularly measures 8-10 feet, swelled to more than 16 feet, according to the recordings.
The unusual episode bears a remarkable resemblance to Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in 2005. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”