Will Hurricane Ida Have a Local Impact?

Hurricane Ida PA forecast
Graphic courtesy National Weather Service.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – As Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana as a Category 4 storm Sunday, Aug. 29, weather forecasters in Pennsylvania warned about potential flooding as the storm tracked northeast.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 30, the National Weather Service in State College predicts Ida’s track to remain primarily to the south and east of yourdailylocal.com’s primary coverage area. The NWS is predicting between 0 and 0.5 inches of rainfall between 8 a.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 2 from Erie to Bradford and south to Clarion.

Warren County is expected to see 0.42 inches of rain in that span.

This is a change from Sunday’s predicted storm track which had parts of Warren County in the area that could see up to 1-inch of rainfall. Sunday’s forecast also had the southern portions of Venango, Forest and McKean Counties seeing up to 1.5 inches of rain.

Part of the reason for this change is how quickly Ida moved from a powerful Category 4 hurricane to a Tropical Storm once it made landfall.

According to The Weather Channel, Ida intensified from Category 1 to Category 4 status in a 24-hour period from Saturday to Sunday. Ida made landfall midday Sunday, and by early Monday morning had weakened to a Tropical Storm.

Ida is expected to weaken to a Tropical Depression later in the day Monday.

The weakened state and shift in track to the south and east have pushed potential flood areas to the southeastern part of the state, according to the NWS.

Breezewood (Bedford County) currently has the highest forecasted rain total through Thursday morning (5.03 inches).

Ida was the second Category 4 storm to hit Louisiana in the last two years (Hurricane Laura hit Aug. 27, 2020), and made landfall on the same date (Aug. 29) that Katrina did.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said in a video message that “for the most part, all of our levees performed extremely well.”

The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed that one person has died in Ida’s wake, though that number is expected to increase.

BBC News reported a million people were without power in Louisiana due to storm damage.

“We’re going to restore electricity just as soon as we can,” Bel Edwards said. “But this is going to be a very long ordeal in terms of getting things cleaned up and getting things repaired.”