NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Ahead of Hurricane Ida, some residents are beginning to evacuate.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other leaders say now is the time to do so and by Saturday night it’s time to hunker down.
Friday night, residents were stocking up and filling up. Many stores are running out of water and other items and gas stations are running on empty.
“We have been to 10 different gas stations trying to find gas. Either the lines are all the way out on the street or they’re completely out,” said Kenner resident Crystal Turner.
Some are filling up multiple tanks as they prepare to evacuate as they know they could be on the interstate for hours.
“We’re going to get some sleep and leave about 4:00 in the morning or so,” William Rieffel said.
Mayor Cantrell said now is the time to leave as Ida could intensify to a Category Four. Despite the potential dangers, Cantrell said it is too late to order a mandatory evacuation.
“Even implementing contra flow, we don’t have the time to do so,” Cantrell said. “Therefore, the city cannot issue a mandatory evacuation because we don’t have the time.”
By Saturday night, leaders believe it will be too late to leave.
“We do not want to have people on the road and therefore in greater danger because of the lack of time.”
Crystal Turner is riding out the storm and said she has nowhere to evacuate to.
“You need lots of money. The hotels are probably very expensive and everything. I thought about going to Texas or Florida, but staying in a hotel is just going to be very, very pricy,” Turner said.