Hurricane Ida forces New Orleans Saints to cancel preseason game, schools begin to close

NHC predicts Ida will reach Category 4 intensity by Sunday night.

From the New Orleans Saints to local schools, Louisiana is beginning to feel the impact of Hurricane Ida even before its expected landfall over the weekend. 

Ida became a hurricane as of 1:15 p.m. ET Friday, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The National Hurricane Center's advisory issued Friday at 5 pm ET predicts Ida will reach Category 4 intensity by Sunday night, packing winds of 140 mph.

The New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals preseason game has now been canceled as Ida takes aim at Louisiana’s coast. The game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. CT Saturday.

"Due to the intensification of the hurricane throughout the day and after the most recent tropical update, the team's leadership has made the decision in the best interests of all personnel that may have been directly and indirectly affected by the storm," the Saints said in a statement.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced in a press conference on Friday as well, mandatory evacuations for all areas outside the levee protection zone in New Orleans and voluntary evacuations for everyone else.

Schools in the area have already started making preparations for Ida too. According to FOX 8, the following schools in the Lousiana area will be closed on Mon., Aug. 30:

  • Jefferson Parish
  • Lafourche Parish
  • Orleans Parish
  • Plaquemines Parish
  • St. Bernard Parish
  • St. Charles Parish
  • Terrebonne Parish
  • All Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans

FOX 8 also noted a handful of colleges in the area that are or will be closing as Ida approaches: 

  • The University of Holy Cross has canceled all in-person and remote classes scheduled for Sat., Aug. 28 and Mon., Aug. 30
  • Loyola is currently closed throughout the weekend and will remain closed on Mon., Aug. 30
  • UNO has canceled all classes for Friday that were scheduled for noon or later. Classes for Monday, Aug. 30 are also canceled; essential employed will report to work.
  • Delgado is currently closed until Tues., Aug. 31
  • Xavier University will close at 5 p.m. Friday and remain closed through Tuesday.
  • LSU closes campus Saturday through Monday; all classes canceled