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Hurricane Ida is getting stronger on its way to the United States

On Saturday night local time, the storm was upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 47 meters per second. When the eye of the hurricane reaches the mainland United States Sunday night, it is expected to be a Category 4 on the five-point Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

We fear a massive development will occur shortly before it makes landfall, says Jim Foerster, chief meteorologist for DTN, which provides oil and transportation companies with weather recommendations.

President Joe Biden has sent 500 federal rescue workers to Texas and Louisiana.

It will be one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit Louisiana since at least the 1850s, says Governor John Bel Edwards.

The devastating Hurricane Katrina that hit the same area 16 years ago was a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall in Louisiana. In that time, more than 1,800 people were killed and 80 percent of New Orleans was under water.

This time, too, there’s a risk of life-threatening storm surges and flooding, the NHC warns. The water level is feared to rise between 3 and 4.5 meters around the mouth of the Mississippi River.

There was a traffic jam in New Orleans on Saturday, when people fled the city from the storm. Photo: Steve Helber/AP/TT

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