Gulf Coast Braces for Hurricane Ida

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The U.S. Gulf Coast is bracing for the worst Monday as Hurricane Ida approaches.

The National Hurricane Center reports that Ida has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, but warnings remain along 200 miles of the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Florida.

"Even though we're telling everybody to be prepared, my gut tells me it probably won't be that bad," said Steve Arndt, director of Bay Point Marina Co. in Panama City, Fla. In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency and the National Guard is on high alert.

Meanwhile, close to 1,400 residents are still residing in government issued trailers after the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"FEMA stresses that those in temporary (housing) units should not take chances," Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Andrew Thomas said. "Leave the unit behind and evacuate to a permanent structure that will better withstand tropical weather systems and the associated winds."

The storm could make landfall as early as Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the death toll from rain-triggered floods and mudslides in El Salvador has risen to 124 with another 60 people missing.

The government's previous toll had been 91 dead and 60 missing, with 7,000 homes damaged.

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