Saints

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks with New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) during the team's NFL football training camp practice at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center on Airline Drive in Metairie, Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. (Staff photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

METAIRIE, La. - The New Orleans Saints plan to evacuate to the Dallas-Fort Worth area because of Hurricane Ida, according to sources.

The team plans to leave Saturday afternoon ahead of the storm, which is projected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane along the Louisiana coast Sunday afternoon.

If Ida forces the club to stay for an extended period of time, plans are in place for the Saints to practice at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas.

The Saints' original practice plan called for workouts Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The team's tentative plan is to stay in the area until Wednesday.

Team officials spent much of Friday trying to hastily arrange travel plans and secure hotel rooms in the area.

This isn't the first time the Saints have evacuated ahead of a storm.

Hurricane Katrina forced the Saints to relocate their home base to San Antonio for the entire 2005 season. In 2004, the Saints practiced for three days during the preseason in San Antonio to get out of Hurricane Ivan's way. They migrated to Indianapolis for a few days in 2008 ahead of Hurricane Gustav, and then they followed suit a few years later in 2012 to Cincinnati because of Hurricane Isaac.

The Saints had a contingency in the works last year ahead of Hurricane Delta, but the track shifted west and the Saints stayed put. Had conditions worsened in New Orleans, the team would have evacuated to Indianapolis and played their Monday night game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Ida is expected to make landfall Sunday afternoon.

For Ida to become a Category 2 hurricane, its sustained winds must reach a minimum of of 96 mph. Category 3 status begins at 111 mph. Category 4 status begins at 130 mph.

A hurricane warning is in effect for all of the Louisiana coastal parishes, including Orleans Parish, where the Superdome is located, and Jefferson Parish, where the team's training facility is.

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