University of Oklahoma, Tulane considering contingencies ahead of next week’s football game in case of bad weather from Hurricane Ida

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This OES-16 East GeoColor satellite image taken Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, at 11:40 a.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, shows Tropical Storm Henri in the Atlantic Ocean. Henri was expected to intensify into a hurricane by Saturday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Impacts could be felt in New England states by Sunday, including on Cape Cod, which is teeming with tens of thousands of summer tourists. (NOAA via AP)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (KFOR) – The University of Oklahoma Sooners are set to take on the Tulane Green Wave on Saturday, Sept. 4, in New Orleans, but possible inclement weather brought on by Hurricane Ida may interfere with those plans.

The football programs are working on potential contingencies in case heavy storms hit the Big Easy.

OU Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione said in a statement released Friday that the game is still scheduled for Sept. 4.

Castiglione’s full statement is as follows:

“As the National Weather Service tracks tropical storm and hurricane activity in the Atlantic and Gulf Regions, and as predictive models are updated, we have received many inquiries from fans planning to follow the Sooners to New Orleans next week when we open the 2021 football season at Tulane University. In the spirit of proactive planning and communication, I have been in regular contact with Tulane Athletics Director Troy Dannen for the past month. In the past few days, we have stayed in even closer contact as we continue to monitor the development of Hurricane Ida, which is currently forecasted to arrive along the Gulf Coast this weekend. First and foremost, our concern is with any and all those in the path of the storm. We are praying for everyone’s safety. At this time, the game slated for Saturday, September 4, is still on as planned. However, both universities are considering contingencies should post-storm conditions warrant. It is too early to speculate, but we will continue to monitor the situation and be prepared to take necessary actions as appropriate. Again, our concern rests with our friends at Tulane and all of those who could be impacted by the hurricane. Please follow OU Athletics online accounts for updates.”

JOE CASTIGLIONE, OU VICE PRESIDENT AND ATHLETICS DIRECTOR

Florida-based news station WFLA, a KFOR sister station, reported that Ida officially reached hurricane strength Friday and is expected to intensify before hitting the United States’ northern Gulf Coast this weekend.

Ida was producing 80 mph winds as it moved closer to the Isle of Youth and Cuba.

It’s expected to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters this weekend and become a major hurricane when it reaches the northern Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center’s latest track shows Ida as a Category 4 with winds of 140 mph before its expected landfall in Louisiana on Sunday.

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