Hurricane Gustav was downgraded to a tropical depression as it faded out over Louisiana. Relieved residents are preparing to return to New Orleans after fears that Gustav would be a strong as hurricane Katrina prompted the city's evacuation.
Hurricane Gustav has weakened to a tropical depression as it blows across Louisiana after having ripped through the Caribbean as a powerful storm, the National Hurricane Center said on Tuesday.
"Surface observations over Louisiana indicate that Gustav has weakened below tropical storm strength," the hurricane center in Miami reported on its website.
The storm slammed ashore Monday morning as a Category Two hurricane packing winds of 110 miles (175 kilometers) per hour but Gustav has steadily weakened overland. By Monday evening it had been downgraded to a tropical storm as strong winds subsided.
"The threat from Gustav has shifted to heavy rains and the associated inland flooding," the center said.
The storm was headed for eastern Texas later Tuesday, forecasters said.
At least seven deaths were blamed on Gustav, Louisiana officials told US media, bringing the storm toll to more than 100 dead after it battered the Caribbean for days.
Date created : 2008-09-02