By Paul Homewood

There’s two videos of Ida that I would recommend you watch. The second should follow on from the first, but you need to click on the link:

Both films were shot on the section of coast that took the brunt of the storm and surge.

It is clear from the first footage that the storm surge was no more than a foot, while the second set shows very little structural damage, either from winds or surge. If Ida really had been a Cat 4 storm at landfall, there would have been little left of these houses. Equally, they would have been flattened if the surge had been as high as threatened.

The sort of damage we see, uprooted trees, damage to less substantial wooden houses and so on, would be more compatible with a Cat 2 storm:

NHC updates indicate that the highest sustained winds measured on land were around 70 mph, though no doubt they were stronger nearer the centre of the storm. Ida may have reached 150 mph at sea, but there is no evidence whatsoever that winds were anything like as strong as this at landfall.

Another video, this time from CNN, tells a similar story. This is from LaPlace, which also took the brunt of the storm and where 800 inhabitants were trapped by flood waters. Despite the emotional interviews with locals, there is none of the catastrophic damage you would expect, or implied by CNN. This is of course not to minimise the very real damage caused by the level flooding which did occur.


August 31, 2021