New Orleans braces for heavy rain and hurricane force winds as Ida gets closer

There’s a song called leaving Louisiana in the broad daylight, and Saturday was definitely a day most residents wanted to flee to higher ground.

People spent hours waiting in traffic or waiting in line for gas, with tourists in the French Quarter were few and far between.

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Davis Armstrong is from Nashville and tells FOX 26 it was his first trip to New Orleans but news of Hurricane Ida heading towards Louisiana threw a wrench in his plans. 

"New Orleans is awesome but this is crazy it popped up literally when we got here Thursday morning," Armstrong said.

Another tourist we spoke to, Sean Hill, tells us he is from Illinois. He's been to New Orleans before but never with a Hurricane just hours away.

"We’re going to get out of here," he said. "We are going to hit the road. Traffic is backed up right now."

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French Quarter business owners like Abdul Afeez boarded up his New Orleans Blues Gift Shop. He’s seen many hurricanes in the last 2 decades.

"Katrina was the biggest," he said. "Hopefully this Hurricane won’t be like that."

Ida will possibly make landfall Sunday, 16 years to the day Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.

MORE: Ida poised to hit Louisiana on anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

City officials say the city is better prepared. Some tourists like Armstrong feel trapped.

He says he flew here and says he can’t get a flight out, but when asked what's his biggest fear?

"Honestly sitting on top of a roof with 10 feet of water and a storm surge," he replied.