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August 30, 2021

New Orleans cannot commemorate their recovery from the terrible cost and losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina Sixteen years ago. Hurricane Ida categorized as the fifth-strongest hurricane to hit the US is now hammering the territories of Louisiana causing trails of darkness and wrecking havoc.


Hurricane Ida has been downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall, as Joe Biden declared a "major disaster" in Louisiana .

More than a million people were left without power after Hurricane Ida battered the state with 150mph winds tearing through some areas.

 

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has said it is now classed as a "tropical storm over southwestern Mississippi".

 

So far one person is reported to have died, after a tree fell on a home near Baton Rouge, in Louisiana.

 
 

The White House said President Biden "ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts".

Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards said: "This is going to be much stronger than we usually see and, quite frankly, if you had to draw up the worst possible path for a hurricane in Louisiana, it would be something very, very close to what we're seeing."

A flash flood warning has been issued for parts of the state close to the coast.

All of New Orleans was left without power following "catastrophic transmission failure" near the city as darkness fell.

The city's power supplier - Entergy - confirmed that the only power in the city was coming from generators, the city's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness said on Twitter.

Mr Biden was warned that the storm is "life-threatening" and that the devastation is "likely to be immense", with his government "planning for the worst".

Ida rapidly intensified overnight as it moved through some of the warmest ocean water in the world in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and its top winds grew by 45mph to 150mph in five hours.

It was later downgraded to category three - with winds between 111mph and 125mph - as it moved over land. Katrina followed a similar trajectory.

Just before 4am UK time - 10pm local time - it was further downgraded to category two, with winds of up to 100mph.

And then at around 5am UK time, the hurricane was again lowered - this time to category one, meaning there were sustained winds of up to 95mph.

Arriving with a barometric pressure of 930 millibars, Ida is preliminarily tied as the fifth-strongest hurricane to make landfall in the US based on wind speed.

Hurricane-force winds started to strike Grand Isle on Sunday morning.

 

Before power was lost on the Louisiana barrier island, a beachfront web camera showed the ocean steadily rising as growing waves churned and palm trees whipped.

At least 800,000 customers had lost power in Louisiana within hours of landfall, according to outages being tracked by Entergy Louisiana.

Mr Biden said it could take weeks for some places to get power back.

Officials said Ida's swift intensification from a few thunderstorms to a hurricane over three days left no time to organize a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans' 390,000 residents.

 

Mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell has urged everyone in the city to "stay here from this point forward".

She said the public should see signs that "we're moving out of this" on Monday morning, but warned people "not to come out" until they are told to do so.

"My message to the community at this time, all of our residents, even visitors who are here, this is the time to stay inside, do not venture out," she said.

 

She called the hurricane a "very dangerous" and "very serious" situation.

People in New Orleans have been warned they may struggle to get through if they call 911 as the emergency line was experiencing technical difficulties.

The Emergency Communications Center in the city tweeted: "At this time, 9-1-1 is experiencing technical difficulties.

"If you find yourself in an emergency, please go to your nearest fire station or approach your nearest officer."

One can only wish New Orleans respite and safety.





Source: Sky News