Ida Causes ‘Extremely Uncommon’ Occurrence On The Mississippi
We'll begin to know the full extent of the damage that Hurricane Ida leveled on the Gulf Coast by later today. The strong category four hurricane made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday bringing with it 150 mile per hour winds and a storm surge that flooded everything in it's path. Ida arrived on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
As if that weren't enough, Hurricane Ida also did something that only very powerful storms are able to do. Reverse the course of a river. And not just any river. Ida made the Mississippi River reverse it's course. Scott Perrien is a hydrologist with the Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center in Baton Rouge. He told CNN that the river level in Belle Chasse, about 20 miles south of New Orleans, rose 7 feet due to the storm surge. Perrien noted during that time the flow of the Mississippi River slowed from 2 feet per second, down to half a foot per second in the other direction.
Imagine a river as large and strong as the Mississippi stopped literally in its tracks. Officials called the reversal a 'extremely uncommon' situation. Perrien says that was also some reversal during Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, but that it is a very rare happening.
Meanwhile, with the Gulf region being hit hard by Ida, experts are waiting to see how much of a disruption there will be in U.S. oil production and distribution. Even a short term shut down could cause gas prices across the nation to spike.