Category 4 Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday -- the same calendar date, Aug. 29, as Category 3 Katrina did 16 years earlier.
In 2005, Katrina caused levee breaches and catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.
Katrina is the costliest storm in American history. Levee failures pushed Katrina’s death toll to 1,833 and its overall damage to about $176 billion in current dollars.
Meteorologists have improved forecasts and they hope that Louisiana is better prepared than in 2005 with a stronger levee system.
In a statement Sunday morning, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in part: “Ida is going to be a very serious test for our levee systems.”
Officials said Ida’s swift intensification from a few thunderstorms to a massive hurricane in just three days left no time to organize a mandatory evacuation of the city’s 390,000 residents.
″Time is not on our side,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said. “The city cannot issue a mandatory evacuation because we don’t have the time.”