Tropical Storm Ida Headed for Overnight Landfall

MIAMI, Nov. 9 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Ida was closing in on the U.S. Gulf Coast Monday night and forecasters said the storm would probably make landfall during the night.

Hurricane warnings and watches along the coast were canceled Monday as Ida was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to the Aucilla River in Florida, including New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Sunday, saying Ida “threatens the safety and security of those citizens” along the state’s southeastern coastline, CNN reported. Residents in Florida were asked to have disaster plans in place by Florida’s Division of Emergency Management.

At 7 p.m. EST Monday, Ida’s center was about 40 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 125 miles south of Mobile, Ala. Top sustained winds were 70 mph with higher gusts and the storm was likely to weaken Monday night.

Ida was on a northerly track, moving at about 17 mph, but was expected to lose forward speed overnight. On its forecast track, the storm should reach the northern Gulf Coast Monday night and then turn eastward Tuesday, NHC forecasters said.

Ida-generated rains could dump up 3-6 inches of precipitation through Wednesday from the central and eastern Gulf Coast into the eastern portions of the Tennessee Valley, southern Appalachians and other points in the southeastern United States, the hurricane center said.

The center also warned that a storm tide could raise water 3 to 5 feet above ground level near and to the east of where Ida’s center will make landfall.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Nature & Ecosystems, Other
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