By Devika Krishna Kumar NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) –Hurricane Ida pounded Louisiana after sweeping ashore from the Gulf of Mexico, flooding wide areas under heavy surf and torrential rains as fierce winds toppled trees and power lines, plunging New Orleans into darkness after nightfall.
Ida weakened into a tropical storm over southwestern Mississippi early on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said, but it is expected to continue unleashing heavy downpours “likely to result in life-threatening” flooding.
The full extent of storm damage remained to be seen at daybreak.
Sunday night, the sheriff’s office in Ascension Parish reported the first known U.S. fatality from the storm, a 60-year-old man killed by a tree falling on his home near Baton Rouge, the state capital.
Ida, the first major hurricane to strike the United States this year, made landfall around noon on Sunday as a ferocious Category 4 storm over Port Fourchon, a hub of the Gulf’s offshore oil industry, packing sustained winds of up to 150 miles per hour (240 km per hour).
Its arrival came 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina, one of the most catastrophic and deadly U.S. storms on record, struck the Gulf Coast, and about a year after the last Category 4 hurricane, Laura, battered Louisiana… Read More