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Evacuations, fear as ‘extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Ida grows to Category 4

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NEW ORLEANS (AFP) — Hurricane Ida was upgraded to a Category Four storm, the US National Hurricane Center said Sunday, staying on course to hit New Orleans with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kilometers per hour).

Sunday, when Ida is due to make landfall, marks 16 years since Katrina, the devastating hurricane that flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, left 1,800 people dead and caused billions of dollars in damage.

“Major Hurricane Ida continues to strengthen… Now a dangerous category 4 hurricane,” the NHC said on its website.

“Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it makes landfall along the Louisiana coast this afternoon,” the center earlier said in its latest advisory when Ida was raised to Category Three.

Shops were boarded up and evacuations were underway Saturday in the southern US city, with officials warning residents to leave immediately or hunker down to ride out the storm.

“Everybody is scared because it’s the anniversary of Katrina and people didn’t take it seriously at the time,” said Austin Suriano, who was helping board up the windows of his father’s watch repair shop.

Category Four is the second-highest on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, with winds rising up to 140 miles per hour.

US President Joe Biden warned Saturday that “Ida is turning into a very, very dangerous storm” when it had built to a Category 2 hurricane.

Earlier in the day, people evacuating........

© The Times of Israel

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