Louisiana evacuees head to Houston as Hurricane Ida approaches the coast
HOUSTON - Thousands of people evacuated from Louisiana Saturday as Hurricane Ida surged closer.
The powerful storm is projected to make landfall in Louisiana Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.
RELATED: Hurricane Ida expected to become category 4 storm before landfall
"Anybody that ever went through a hurricane, next time they won’t stay," said Martell Hawthorne.
Hawthorne and his family evacuated from their home in Lake Charles to stay with their family in Houston. Hawthorne says their home was destroyed last year by Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
"We didn’t really want to chance it," said Hawthorne. "We lost our house in Delta. We’re going to Houston [this time] to play it safe."
Interstate 10 into Texas looked like a parking lot Saturday, with several families spent hours sitting in traffic.
"It took us 11 and-a-half hours to get here today," said Tara Bordelon. "We left at 5 this morning and we just got here."
MORE: New Orleans braces for heavy rain and hurricane force winds as Ida gets closer
Bordelon drove with her family to a hotel in Baytown. Their home is south of New Orleans, close to where Ida is expected to make landfall.
"A lot of our family lost their house in Katrina," said Bordelon. "It’s the 16th anniversary of that. One thing at a time. Hopefully everything is there when we get back."
MORE: Ida poised to hit Louisiana on anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
In Texas, only minor impacts are expected from Hurricane Ida. Forecasters believe those In Galveston this weekend will notice a stronger rip current, waves, and a higher tide.
"We’re flying a yellow flag now, that just means caution," said Peter Davis from Galveston Island Beach Patrol. "If we’re doing the red flag, and you’re an adult that’s a great swimmer, don’t go above your waist. A child, or non-swimmer, stay out of the water."
RELATED: More than 130 pets from Louisiana arrived at Houston SPCA in preparation for Hurricane Ida
Despite the dangers, some in Texas are trying to make the most of the larger waves. A handful of surfers were out enjoying the waves Saturday evening.
"It’s better than average, that’s for sure," said Jozef Majewski. "Waiting for that storm to come in tonight. See how it goes from there."