Ida Struck From List of Potential Atlantic Storm Names

Posted: May 1, 2022 5:23 am

There will never be another Hurricane Ida. One year after tearing a path from Louisiana through New Jersey, Ida has been retired as a name for tropical events by a decision by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Hurricane Committee.

Ida Removed From List of Potential Tropical Weather Event Names

The panel made the ruling on Wednesday, taking Ida out of the pre-determined rotation of names. This governing agency has the ability to alter the list or completely take out a name if it meets a standard of criteria based on the storm’s deadliness or financial toll.

Ida came onto the shore of Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane in late August of 2021. Even after weakening into a tropical rainstorm, Ida still carved out a path of destruction on its way through the Tennessee Valley and up through the Northeast. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hurricane Ida was responsible for 91 deaths over the course of several days.

In addition, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) recently detailed that the total damage from the storm will end up landing at about $76.5 billion, making it the fifth-costliest storm ever to be recorded in the U.S.

For context, 2005’s Hurricane Katrina is still the costliest storm on the record books at $180 billion. Second on the list goes to 2017’s Hurricane Harvey at $143.8 billion. Hurricane Maria, also hitting in 2017, rang up $103.5 billion in damages while 2012’s Hurricane Sandy came in at $80 billion.

Ida is now the 94th retired name along with carrying the distinction of the 12th storm to start with an “I that has been retired since 1954. Ironically, I is also the most retired letter. Ida first hopped onto the list of potential storm names in 2009 after it replaced Isabel. Imani will take Ida’s place on the list in 2027.

Looking Back at Ida’s Path

Hurricane Ida made landfall in coastal Louisiana near Port Fourchon on August 29, 2021. This location was approximately 40 miles west of where Hurricane Katrina first came on to shore. Although the levee systems surrounding this area held up remarkably well against Ida, the communities located outside of the levee protection suffered immensely as the storm surge and rains exerted their wrath. Some areas of Louisiana and Mississippi measured over 10 inches of rain in the initial 48 hours after Ida’s landfall.

Like most tropical weather events, some of the biggest problems associated with Ida were the widespread power outages. Over 1 million customers throughout Louisiana were without power by the day after landfall. Some of these power outages lasted for days with the less-populated regions staying in the dark for over one month.

Complicating the issues were the extreme heat of this time of the year. Parts of Mississippi and Louisiana were under heat advisories in the days after Ida’s arrival with real feel temperatures soaring over 100 degrees as people suffered through with no power.

The CDC research detailed that 17 of the deaths were at the hands of not having power or because of issues with generators. Louisiana saw the bulk of the deaths on the Gulf Coast with 28. Both Alabama and Mississippi reported two fatalities each.

Moving to the Northeast

But Ida was not done after hammering the Gulf Coast. In fact, the majority of the deaths happened when the storm was no longer a hurricane. Although it weakened considerably as it made its way into the interior of the nation, the storm was responsible for 59 deaths in the Northeast, translating to almost two-thirds of the total death toll. 53 of these lives were lost in drowning accidents.

New York City saw record rainfall as Ida pushed in its direction. The city was forced to issue its first ever flash flood emergency as the storm brought a massive amount of rain to the area. Central Park recorded 3.15 inches of rain in just one hour. The city’s subway system was paralyzed as water came rushing down into the stations.

Many of the deaths attributed to the storm came in New York and New Jersey as trapped residents could not escape flooded basements.

By the time the storm had pushed out into the Atlantic Ocean, it had dropped over 5 inches of rain in at least 14 states. 10 of these states experienced over 7 inches of rainfall, a testament to both the size and intensity of this immense rainmaker.

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