NFL Cancels Game Due to Hurricane

The NFL and the New Orleans Saints canceled the team's preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals Friday night because of Hurricane Ida. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. CT, but later moved up to noon at the Caesars Superdome. However, after a request from Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, the team and the league decided it was best to cancel the game.

"Due to the intensification of the hurricane throughout the day and after the most recent tropical update, the team's leadership has made the decision in the best interests of all personnel that may have been directly and indirectly affected by the storm," the team said in a statement Friday. "The announcement comes after constant communications with City of New Orleans officials, the National Weather Service, Homeland Security, Gov. Edwards and leading state officials and the National Football League." The Saints will later contact season ticket holders about getting refunds or credits added to their season ticket accounts.

Ida has strengthened into a hurricane and is moving over Cuba, where Hurricane Warnings were issued. The storm is moving northwest at 15 mph and winds are at speeds of 80 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. All of southeast Louisiana is in the forecast cone for Ida, with landfall expected Sunday night, reports WDSU. A Hurricane Warning was issued for the area stretching from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to Pearl River, Mississippi. There is also a Storm Surge Watch from Rockefeller, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

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Ida is expected to pick up strength as it moves north. It is expected to reach even Category 4 strength when it hits the Gulf Coast, reports the Weather Channel. The storm might make landfall on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfalls on Aug. 29, 2005. "The time to act is NOW. Hurricane Ida is now forecast to make landfall as a category 4 hurricane," the National Weather Service office in New Orleans tweeted at 4 p.m. CT Friday. "This will bring SIGNIFICANT impacts to Southern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. No major changes to the track at this time, moved just a touch to the east."