Ida rapidly intensified overnight as it moved through some of the warmest ocean water in the world in the northern Gulf of Mexico, with top winds growing by 72 kph in five hours.
The pandemic confined millions of people to their abodes and for many, the confinement exposed them to a different kind of risk.
After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane, the system weakened to a tropical storm as it made landfall near Intracoastal City, about 257km (160 miles) west of New Orleans, the National Hurricane Center said.
Forecasters say the tropical storm could have winds of about 120 km per hour when it comes ashore, making it a Category 1 storm.
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