By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS – Despite being 180 miles from the Gulf Coast, anyone who was in the East Texas area for Hurricanes Ike and Harvey, know full well the powerful winds and rains associated with a hurricane can have a devastating effect on the Piney Woods.
So far this year, the Gulf Coast region has been fairly lucky. That may all change by the end of the weekend, however, as Tropical Storm Ida is expected to strengthen into a hurricane and make landfall between the upper Texas Coast and Florida panhandle.
Interests from the Texas coast to Louisiana and the panhandles of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, as well as fishing and petroleum operations, should closely monitor the progress of the budding system as there may be little time to prepare once the system forms, begins a definitive path and strengthens rapidly along the way.
According to the AccuWeather website, “Forecasters on Thursday said it was becoming much more likely that parts of the central Gulf Coast would need to prepare for a strike from a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) later Sunday or Monday.”
The media release which was issued on Thursday, Aug. 26, went on to state, “A tropical feature that was being scrutinized for the past several days by forecasters strengthened into a tropical depression at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). This system is highly likely to garner the name Tropical Storm Ida, and become the ninth-named storm of the 2021 Atlantic season.”
Tropical Depression Nine was located south of Jamaica early Thursday and hurricane hunters from the U.S. Air Force were scheduled to investigate the system. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the Cayman Islands and well as parts of Cuba.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.