Hurricane Ida pummels Louisiana, knocks out power for New Orleans

New Orleans: "Life-threatening" Hurricane Ida battered the southern US state of Louisiana and plunged New Orleans into darkness Sunday, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.

Ida slammed into the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 storm and was downgraded to a Category 3 by evening -- the same strength Katrina was when it came ashore in 2005.

As of 9:00 pm, Ida was packing maximum sustained winds of 110 miles (175 kilometers) per hour, and the powerful storm knocked out power for all of New Orleans.

EntergyNOLA has confirmed that New Orleans has no power," tweeted NOLA Ready, the city’s emergency preparedness program, referring to the area’s electricity provider.

"The only power in the city is coming from generators."

Ahead of Ida’s arrival, showers and strong wind swept New Orleans’ deserted streets throughout the morning, buffeting boarded-up windows at businesses and homes surrounded by sandbags.

Ida was 40 miles per hour slower than when it made landfall at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, approximately 100 miles south of New Orleans, but the National Hurricane Center said it remained a dangerous Category 3 storm.

The NHC also warned that the storm surge would create a "life-threatening situation" and urged residents in affected areas to "take all necessary actions to protect life and property." - AFP