Hurricane Ida: “There is no time for a citywide evacuation,” says New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

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Due to a lack of time to prepare for Hurricane Ida, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has indicated she will not issue a citywide mandatory evacuation.

“Time is not on our side,” she told reporters at a news conference Friday.

Cantrell added that the National Weather Service and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards have indicated there wasn’t enough time left to set up “contraflow” highway procedures to evacuate all city residents ahead of Ida’s expected landfall as a dangerous major hurricane Sunday.

“Therefore, the city cannot issue a mandatory evacuation because we don’t have the time,” Cantrell told reporters Friday. “We have pivoted to one voluntary evacuation, absolutely, this is the time. In addition to that, it really does speak to our ability like we’ve had to do in the past because of the lack of time the need to shelter in place, hunker down, it is vitally important. We want our people to be in their safe spaces by and no later than midnight tomorrow.”

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A mandatory evacuation order was issued earlier Friday for residents outside of the city’s levee protection district, including Lake Catherine, Irish Bayou and Venetian Isles.

The evacuation is not citywide because “we do not want to have people on the road and therefore in greater danger,” Cantrell added during the news conference.

Cantrell’s announcement came after a 4 p.m. update Friday from the National Hurricane Center showed that Ida has become more of a serious threat to New Orleans.

Some parish officials in southeast Louisiana have called for mandatory evacuation orders in Grand Isle, Terrebonne Parish, St. Charles Parish, Lafourch Parish, and Plaquemines Parish, and voluntary evacuations in Jefferson Parish and Orleans Parish.

After making landfall Sunday, Ida is expected to produce heavy rainfall later in the day into Monday across the central Gulf Coast from southeast Louisiana to coastal Mississippi resulting in significant flooding impacts, the NWS said in an advisory Saturday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up supplies such as meals, water, and generators to assist states with impact from the storm. The agency deployed more than 2,000 FEMA employees to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to provide support as needed.

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