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Tropical Storm Ida could be a major hurricane along the US Gulf Coast this weekend, putting Louisiana and other states on alert


(CNN) Tropical Storm Ida could approach the US Gulf Coast as a major hurricane this weekend after it thrashes Cuba on Friday, forecasters say, putting states from Louisiana to Florida on alert for fierce destruction.

If Ida hits Louisiana at that strength, it would be the state’s third major hurricane to make landfall there in roughly a year.

Ida, after forming Thursday in the Caribbean, is expected to cross western Cuba on Friday as a tropical storm and could cause life-threatening flash floods there and the Cayman Islands.

After that, rapid intensification of the storm is possible in the Gulf of Mexico, where Ida could be at or near major hurricane strength — defined as Category 3 or greater — by the time it approaches the US Gulf Coast on Sunday.

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