This storm just went from extremely bad to extremely frightening all within a handful of hours. It is now expected to get to a Category 5 level while in the open Gulf of Mexico. Evacuations are well underway in most Parishes in south Louisiana especially those in southeastern and south central Louisiana (links included: Jefferson Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. Bernard Parish, St. Charles Parish, Plaquemines Parish, etc.). Also contraflow on the main roadways has begun to expediate evacuation as much as possible. An interactive map of New Orleans contraflow routes can be viewed here. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin who doesn’t have a good history of handling hurricanes has announced that mandatory evacuations may begin by 7pm CDT Saturday.
Updated information in the New Orleans area can be found via WWL radio, WWL-TV, WDSU, WVUE, WGNO, the Times-Picayune newspaper. Links to other Louisiana television stations can be found here. Also updates and information on the Mississippi Gulf Coast region can be found via WLOX and the Biloxi Sun Herald. Precautions are being taken in south Mississippi as well.
For the “right now” data on Hurricane Gustav off the coast of Cuba, NOAA has a buoy down there near the pass between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula. Click here to watch the winds, air pressure and temperature there. Also click here for an updated overall view of meteoroligical information via numerous buoys on Gustav courtesy of NOAA.
I’d also like to point out that on Nola.com there are live streaming webcams of various portions of New Orleans that will be left on during the hurricane just as they were during Katrina. These were initially created mainly for coverage of Carnival in New Orleans as well as parts of JazzFest but are viewable throughout the year. They will be left on unless and/or until they get knocked offline by the storm. Please pray for all those affected and potentially affect by the storm. I found out recently that these live cams were taken off Nola.com but were placed on another site. However when checking out the other site, the cams are not live streams but updated still frames which is not worth linking. Sorry.
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