Hurricane Ida slams Louisiana, knocks off power lines in New Orleans

The US city of New Orleans has lost power, as Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana.

The storm brought 240 km/hr winds when it made landfall and those people who did not flee were advised to take shelter.

One person was killed when a tree fell on their home.

Ida will test New Orleans’ flood defences, strengthened after Hurricane Katrina killed 1,800 people in 2005.

President Joe Biden said Ida would be “life-threatening”, with immense devastation likely beyond the coasts.

Over 750,000 homes in Louisiana are without power, and Mr Biden said it could take weeks to restore supplies.

Ida gathered strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico during the weekend.

It made landfall on Sunday south of New Orleans as a category four hurricane, meaning it was expected to cause severe damage to buildings, trees and power lines. It has since then weakened slightly to a category three storm.

In some places the storm surge as high as 4.8m, potentially submerging parts of the low-lying coastline.

Ida came ashore on the 16th anniversary of Katrina, a category three storm.

Since then, billions of dollars have been spent on flood defences, known as levees. So far, the levees have held, though a flash flood warning is in place for New Orleans.

The impact of climate change on the frequency of storms is still unclear, but increased sea surface temperatures warm the air above, making more energy available to drive hurricanes.

As a result, they are likely to be more intense with more extreme rainfall.