World

Ida downgraded to tropical depression

Tropical storm Ida was downgraded to tropical depression status Tuesday after it made landfall in southern Alabama, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Stephen Parker of Gulf Shores, Ala., walks along the beach Tuesday in the wind from tropical storm Ida, which came ashore near Mobile Bay with top sustained winds that weakened to about 75 km/h. ((Dave Martin/Associated Press))
Tropical Storm Ida made landfall near Mobile Bay in southern Alabama Tuesday before weakening to a depression, causing little damage along the Gulf Coast but bringing more rain to the already-soaked southeast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Ida first touched land on Dauphin Island, Ala., before heading toward the Alabama mainland and on to Florida.

Tropical storm warnings were discontinued across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and forecasters said Ida would likely be absorbed by a front Wednesday.

Rain continued Tuesday afternoon in Tennessee, the Carolinas and Georgia, where flooding was a concern.

This NOAA satellite image taken at 12:45 a.m. ET Tuesday shows dense cloud coverage over the eastern U.S. as tropical storm Ida moved into the southeast. ((Weather Underground/Associated Press))

Residents safe

The storm left some debris and standing water in the streets on Dauphin Island, but many residents said they were unscathed aside from power outages.

"The only thing it did to us is knock out the power," resident Jimmy Wentworth said. "Our houses and people are fine. I'm fine."

Few people had evacuated their homes or sought refuge along Alabama's coast ahead of the former hurricane that once had potent winds of over 160 km/h.

Officials said fewer than 70 people were in shelters that opened in Mobile and Baldwin counties, with a population of 565,000.

Ida started moving across the Gulf as the third hurricane of this year's quiet Atlantic tropical season, which ends Dec. 1.

Ida has had a bigger impact elsewhere in the Gulf region. On Sunday, Ida lashed the Mexican resort of Cancun with heavy wind and rain.

In El Salvador, at least 124 people have died from flooding following three days of heavy rains that were indirectly tied to Ida.

With files from The Associated Press