Ida Churns Toward Gulf Coast

Oil companies shutting down rigs, evacuating workers
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 9, 2009 2:07 AM CST
A man walks along a beach eroded from large waves after Hurricane Ida passed nearby in Cancun, Mexico, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Israel Leal)
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(Newser) – Hurricane Ida is surging toward the Gulf Coast, triggering emergency warnings in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida. Ida "threatens the safety and security" of citizens along the state's southeast coastline, said an emergency declaration by Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Forecasters are hoping Ida will lose force as it heads north, but winds were clocked last night at 105 mph. Ida and an accompanying low pressure system killed 124 people in San Salvador in floods and mudslides over the weekend.

Ida's next targets will likely be oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, where US oil companies were shutting down operations and evacuating workers yesterday. Oil rose more than $1 to above $78 a barrel today on fears of hurricane damage to supplies, Reuters reports. Ida is expected to strike somewhere between Florida and Lousiana late tonight or early tomorrow.