MIAMI - Tropical Storm Ida brought heavy rain and gusty winds to the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, arriving in Dauphin Island, Ala., just before dawn then weakening as it moved northeast through the Florida panhandle.
A rare late season storm at the end of a quiet year, Ida reached land about 7 a.m. with top sustained winds of about 45 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. Two hours later, forecasters said wind speeds had dropped to 35 m.p.h.,and would continue to diminish over the next day or so. Still, the storm may have caused at least one death: the authorities in Plaquemines Parish, La., said a 70-year-old man appears to have drowned when he tried to help two fishermen whose boat broke down in the Mississippi River as Ida sloshed ashore, flooding low-lying areas. The two fishermen were later picked up by the Coast Guard, The Associated Press reported, but the man who tried to help them has not been found.