Tropical Storm Ida Eyes Gulf Coast while Storm is Downgraded from Hurricane

MIAMI, Nov. 9 (UPI) — Hurricane warnings and watches along the U.S. Gulf Coast were canceled Monday as weather officials downgraded Ida from a hurricane to a tropical storm.

A tropical storm warning was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to the Aucilla River in Florida, and includes New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

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

At mid-morning Monday, Ida’s center was about 185 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 285 miles southwest of Pensacola, Fla., the center said.

Ida was on a northwesterly track, moving at about 17 mph, and expected to shift northeast during the next 24 hours, NHC forecasters said. On its projected track, Ida was expected to make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast Tuesday before turning east.

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 nightfall.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Nature & Ecosystems, Other
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