NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Forecasters say Ida made landfall in Cuba as a hurricane and could grow to an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm with top winds of 140 mph when it nears the U.S. coast.
The National Hurricane Center says Ida already has top winds of 80 mph and should rapidly intensify as it speeds across warm Gulf waters and slams into Louisiana on Sunday.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared an emergency for all of Louisiana.
"This is going to be a very serious storm," Edwards said.
He added that the storm surge could get up to 15 feet in certain areas.
Edwards admitted that they didn't have as much time as they would have liked to prepare for the storm. However, he encouraged everyone to use their time wisely.
"Let's all do what we can to be prepared, and then let's respond as intelligently as we can, and as safely as we can, and as quickly as we can for our fellow Louisianans who will be in need," Edwards said.
New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell is calling for voluntary evacuations of the city but says it's too late to do a mandatory evacuation.