Hurricane Gustav continues its march to the Louisiana coast Monday morning with landfall expected sometime between 5:00am and 7:00am MDT. At 5:00am MDT the eye of the hurricane was approximately 85 miles south of New Orleans and about 150 miles southeast of Layfayette moving at 16 mph. Current tracks have it making landfall in the Terrebone / Lafourche areas, just to the east of New Orleans.
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The good news, if there is any, is that Gustav has not strengthened as was originally expected. The latest hurricane hunter aircraft report at 3:00am MDT reported sustained winds of 115 mph. While that is still a category three storm, satellite observations show the storm is not as organized as it could be. In fact, a station in southwest Pass Louisiana measured only 91mph as Gustav passed over it. It is important to note that the greatest damage and danger associated with hurricanes is not the winds. The severe rain, storm surge and the flooding associated with those present the greatest danger. Rainfall of 6 to 12 inches can be expected and most notably storm surge of 10 to 14 feet.
Also, one little known additional danger with hurricanes is that of the threat of tornadoes. In fact, New Orleans and much of the surrounding area is under a Tornado Warning and some twisters have been reported by local law enforcement in Gulfport, MS. Further, National Weather Service radar indicated the potential for tornadoes right near New Orleans in Jefferson Parish, Southern St. Charles Parish and Plaquemines Parish.
Here are a couple sites with webcams in Louisiana you may wish to check out: