Hinterland Green

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hurricane Ida Heads for the Gulf of Mexico, Leaves Devastation in El Salvador -- 91 Dead, At Least 60 Missing

Hurricane Ida is heading for the Gulf of Mexico and has left behind devastation in El Salvador where 91 people were killed and at least another 60 are missing in floods and mudslides. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Ida is expected to weaken gradually as it heads toward some of the oil and gas production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the energy companies in the Gulf were evacuating workers from offshore platforms, but so far, production has not been affected.

According to Reuters, the hurricane center set a hurricane watch from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Mexico Beach in northwestern Florida, but did not include the city of New Orleans. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are expected in the area within 36 hours. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, not taking any chances, declared a state of emergency on Sunday, allowing the government to mobilize troops and rescue workers. If Ida makes landfall in Louisiana it would be the first storm to strike the state since Hurricane Gustav came ashore in September 2008.

As of 4 p.m. EST (1800 GMT), Ida was 95 miles west-northwest of the western tip of Cuba, the hurricane center said. It was moving north-northwest near 10 mph and was forecast to turn toward the north over the next two days. Ida first became a hurricane on Thursday off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, where heavy rains forced more than 5,000 people into shelters.
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