NEW ORLEANS (CBSDFW/AP) — Ida is now a tropical storm after spending 16 hours as a hurricane over Louisiana and Mississippi. It slammed into land as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane Sunday.
Power remains out for the entire city of New Orleans, taking down the backup system for the city’s pumps. More than a million homes and businesses were hit with outages in Louisiana, according to poweroutage.us. Torrential rain continues to fall, with up to two feet expected in places, and the storm surge pushed so much water into the mouth of the Mississippi that it reversed the flow of the mighty river. The hurricane made landfall exactly 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi. Its 150-mph winds tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever hit the mainland.
And many economists said the storm is sure to take a toll on the energy, chemical and shipping industries that have major hubs along the Gulf Coast. But the impact on the overall U.S. economy should be modest so long as damage estimates don’t rise sharply and refinery shutdowns are not prolonged, economists suggested.
Economist Mark Zandi at Moody’s Analytics, said the disruptions caused by Ida will likely cause him to downgrade his forecast for annual U.S. economic growth in the current quarter by a few tenths of a percentage point. But that economic loss, he said, could be reversed in the final quarter of the year as a result of rebuilding from the hurricane’s damage.
As for the human toll thus far, there were reports of people trapped in their homes. Some levees were breached. Emergency communications lines went out in some spots. Boil water advisories were issued for some communities.
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