Tropical Storm Ida is strengthening as it heads toward the Gulf Coast, and it's expected to become a major hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center warned Friday that the tropical storm is "expected to be a dangerous major hurricane when it reaches the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday," and the "risk of hurricane-force winds continues to increase, especially along portions of the Louisiana coast, including metropolitan New Orleans."
The NHC also said that there is an increasing risk of "life-threatening storm surge" along the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama coasts. According to Weather.com, Ida is currently in the Caribbean Sea and moving northwest toward Cuba, and "life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions are expected" in parts of western Cuba on Friday, the NHC said. Ida is the ninth named storm of this year's Atlantic Hurricane season, according to The New York Times.
On Thursday evening, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced he was declaring a state of emergency as the storm approached, writing, "The people of Louisiana have been tested time and time again, and while it is my hope and prayer that this storm will not bring destruction to our state, we should be prepared to take the brunt of the severe weather."