Thousands flee as hurricane Ida bears down on Louisiana

Thousands flee as storm bears down on Louisiana
Traffic has clogged some roads out of Louisiana as residents flee. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Tens of thousands of people are fleeing for safety from Louisiana as Hurricane Ida closes in.

Ida is expected to make landfall on Sunday evening on the Gulf of Mexico, bringing 220km/h (140mph) winds and a “life-threatening” storm surge.

Weather forecasts say the latest one could be even stronger than Hurricane Katrina that devastated much of New Orleans in 2005. Coincidentally, Sunday marks the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Traffic jams blocked some motorways out of the state as people in many areas were ordered to evacuate.

The Governor of Louisiana warned the storm could be one of the biggest to hit the state in 150 years.

“Your window of time is closing,” John Bel Edwards warned residents on Saturday.

He said: “By the time you go to bed tonight, you need to be where you intend to ride the storm out, and you need to be as prepared as you can be because weather will start to deteriorate very quickly tomorrow.”

The governor of neighboring state of Mississippi has declared a state of emergency.

President Joe Biden said the hurricane was “turning into a very, very dangerous storm,” and the federal government was ready to provide help.

Hurricane Ida is intensifying over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, boosting it from a category-2 to an extremely dangerous category-4 storm.

Tropical force winds are expected to sweep across southern Louisiana from 08:00 local time.

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