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Minggu, 29 Agustus 2021

Hurricane Ida strikes Louisiana as Category 4 storm - NEWS.com.au

Map of the southern United States with the forecast trajectory of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana Sunday.

Hurricane Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana Sunday as a powerful Category 4 storm, 16 years to the day after deadly Hurricane Katrina devastated the southern US city of New Orleans.

"Extremely dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Ida makes landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana," the National Hurricane Center wrote in an advisory.

President Joe Biden called Ida "a life-threatening storm" that "continues to rage and ravage everything it comes in contact with." Speaking after a briefing with federal emergency managers, he urged anyone on the storm's path to hunker down immediately and heed official warnings. 

The National Hurricane Center warned of catastrophic wind damage and life-threatening storm surges through the region.

"There is no doubt that the coming days and weeks are going to be extremely difficult," he said at a briefing Sunday, adding that some people might have to shelter in place for up to 72 hours.

Storm surges flooded the town of Grand Isle, on a barrier island south of New Orleans, and low-lying highways in the area were covered in water.

Amid urgent warnings of catastrophic damage, most residents had heeded authorities' instructions to flee. Scores of people packed bumper-to-bumper roads leading out of New Orleans in the days preceding Ida's arrival.

"I'm not sure if I'm prepared," said Charles Fields, who was still bringing his garden furniture indoors, "but we just have to ride it."

In St. Bernard Parish, a large ferry boat broke free of its moorings and was being blown up the Mississippi River, according to local TV channel WWL, which posted video of the boat.

Governor  Edwards warned on Sunday that Ida would be "a very serious test for our levee systems," an extensive network of pumps, gates and earthen and concrete berms that was expanded after Katrina.

The storm "presents some very challenging difficulties for us, with the hospitals being so full of Covid patients," he said.

The memory of Katrina, which made landfall on August 29, 2005, is still fresh in Louisiana, where it caused some 1,800 deaths and billions of dollars in damage.

Rainfall of 10 to 18 inches (25 to 46 centimeters) is expected in parts of southern Louisiana through Monday, with up to 24 inches in some areas.

- Ida and the coronavirus -

Local authorities, the Red Cross and other organizations have prepared dozens of shelters with room for at least 16,000 people, the White House added. 

Biden on Saturday urged anyone in community shelters to wear masks and maintain distance. 

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2021-08-29 16:53:22Z
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