Disasters & Accidents

Ida still dangerous tropical storm after devastating Southern Louisiana

(Updates with formation of Tropical Storm Kate)

Miami, Aug 30 (EFE).- After pummeling the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 hurricane, the now-downgraded Ida is a still-dangerous tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 64 kilometers (40 miles) per hour, and is bringing storm surge and flooding throughout the region.

The storm has left at least one person dead and more than a million customers in the region without electricity.

The system is moving northwards at 15 kph (9 mph) after causing destruction to countless homes, offices and hospitals, and bringing serious flooding and storm surge mainly to southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Monday in its most recent storm advisory that Ida is predicted to move more quickly to the northeast in the coming hours.

The tropical storm, which killed at least one man in Ascension Parish, is moving inland on Monday over Mississippi and will cross the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and be located near the central Appalachians on Wednesday.

Meteorologists emphasized that storm surge and tropical storm alerts are still in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River to the border between Alabama and Florida.

Storm surge resulting from Ida, which is predicted to be downgraded further to a tropical depression in the coming hours, could crest at up to 1.5 meters (5 feet).

Local and state authorities began evaluating damage throughout the region on Monday, with more than a million customers currently without electricity in Louisiana and 126,000 without power in Mississippi, according to the specialized Poweroutage.us Web site on Monday.

New Orleans was the most heavily affected area by the power blackout and all customers there are completely in the dark, depending solely on generators for any electricity they have, according to the Entergy Louisiana power company.

The company said that “catastrophic transmission damage” had occurred affecting eight major power lines in New Orleans, which was blasted by Hurricane Ida on Sunday 16 years to the day after deadly Hurricane Katrina hit the city.

Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States, according to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, at 11 am on Monday was a tropical storm located 65 km (40 mi.) southwest of Jackson, Mississippi, according to the NHC.

The storm made landfall twice in the island-dotted area along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast packing winds of 240 kph (150 mph) and maintained its Category 4 strength for several hours dumping enormous amounts of rain in the area that resulted in extensive flooding.

Gov. Edwards called for the public to remain in their homes while the damage is evaluated, warning that it is dangerous for people to be moving through the affected areas.

The NHC also reported that Tropical Storm Kate has formed some 1,245 km (770 mi.) east of the Windward Islands and that it is presently moving through the mid-Atlantic although, for now, it is not presenting any threat to land.

Kate has maximum sustained winds of 75 kph (45 mph), with stronger gusts, and is moving northwards at 13 kph (8 mph).

Meteorologists forecast that this movement will continue until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, when the storm will make a turn to the northwest.

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