Earlier, heavy rain in Ida's wake triggered flooding and landslides in El Salvador that killed 134 people.
Ida started out as the third hurricane of this year's Atlantic season, which ends Dec. 1, but weakened to a tropical storm Monday, with maximum sustained winds near 70 mph (110 kph).
Residents elsewhere in the Southeast braced for heavy rain. In north Georgia, which saw historic flooding in September, forecasters said up to 4 more inches could soak the already-saturated ground as Ida moved across the state.
There were no plans for mandatory evacuations, but authorities in some coastal areas opened shelters and encouraged people near the water or in mobile homes to leave. Many schools closed, and several cruise ships were delayed.
On Pensacola Beach, Glenn Wickham stood on the roof of a three-story house, securing metal shutters as his crew moved furniture to the upper floors for a homeowner who wasn't taking any chances.
"We doing all this out of an abundance of caution — I really don't think this is going to be anything," Wickham said.
"This is amazing," he said.
Officials planned to close bridges leading to the beach when winds picked up later Monday. Emergency yellow trucks with flashing red lights and red flags drove up and down the mostly deserted beach warning people to stay out of the water.
"They said the waves were going to be pretty high," she said. "The last time there was a storm, they came over the berm, and I don't swim."
Forecasters predicted Ida's storm surge could raise water levels 3 to 5 feet above normal.
In Louisiana and Mississippi, officials were concerned about hundreds of people still living in federally issued trailers and mobile homes after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
He said local officials are taking the situation seriously, but he doesn't think everyone is.
"We thought the season was over with, people are just hoping (this) just blows away, it doesn't come," he said. "When you're in parish government ... we've got to prepare for the worst and hope for the best."
"Neighbors are all pitching in, looking out for each other," he said. "Any storm like this, even though we're rookies, we know there's cause for concern and we've taken precautions, obviously. We're not just gonna throw our hands up and see what happens."