November 30 marks the official end of hurricane season 2021. It turned out to be quite the active year with every single name on the list being used.
"It certainly was a busy season. Here’s all the tracks and they basically cover all of the tropical Atlantic basin. 21 named storms in all, 7 of which became hurricanes, and 4 of which became major hurricanes.
Once again, we did use up all the original names here from Ana to Wanda with those 21 names systems. Of course, out of all of these, one storm really sticks out and it’s one that impacted us. That’s hurricane Ida."
Ida formed from a tropical wave after moving across the southern Caribbean on August 26th. The storm quickly strengthened as it moved over Western Cuba and into the Gulf. Just three days after forming, Ida made landfall as a powerful category four storm in Southeast Louisiana. This home security footage from Grand Isle Louisiana shows the intense wind and surge of Ida.
Miles from the center, Gulfport Mississippi had very rough conditions as Ida made landfall to the west.
"Lashing winds here throughout the day and probably even more importantly has been the storm surge. It started this morning with a four-to-five-foot rise and then by the afternoon got over seven feet and you can see what that does."
Ida's surge also inundated the west end of Dauphin Island. The Gulf broke over the low ground and deposited a thick layer of sand on Bienville boulevard. Leaving the island with another lengthy chore of digging out.
"We’ve got sand 2,3,4 feet deep over BIENVILLE blvd in a number of places"
Ida moved slow after landfall, a day later rain bands were still trailing through our area and in one of those a tornado was spawned, striking Saraland and battering several businesses and hotels.
Ida's heavy rains also caused a tragic road collapse on Highway 26 in Lucedale. Unsuspecting drivers crashed injuring 9 and killing 2.
"I didn’t really realize what happened until we were in the air. It’s still really hard to make sense of it."
Ida went on to create epic floods in the Northeast, killing dozens primarily in New Jersey and New York. It was a storm with generational impacts that will be felt for years to come.
Ida by the numbers
The numbers really speak to how devastating Ida was. There was $70 billion in total damage this hurricane season. $65 billion of that from Ida alone. There was 102 deaths, 73 of those came from Ida. Truly a transformational storm this hurricane season.