So, if this CNN report is accurate, and a levee has indeed been breached (not just merely overtopped) there will be serious flooding in surrounding neighborhoods. I believe the CNN reporter said the breached levee was near the ninth ward– or perhaps lower 9th– and was getting flooded, although not yet to the same extent it did after Katrina. But still.
He’s been downgraded to a Category 1, and according to the latest maps, it looks like Alexandria will receive its first intense band of the storm in around an hour. Obviously, the power and the Internet are still running, though my friends just down the street (in Cherokee Village) say they lost their cable two hours ago.
There are ten of us camped out at my mother’s house; too many tall trees near my place, and I was advised to leave if I could. So now, we have five New Orleanians, one Baton Rougian, two Lafayattians, and two Alexandrians (Daniel and I). No doubt, there is a lot of nervous energy in the house. We’ve heard from some folks down in Lafayette. Believe it or not, their phones are still working intermittently, and electricity only went out for a few minutes earlier this afternoon. And our friend in Gulfport (who is taking care of her 88 year old grandmother in a home without cable or the Internet) says they haven’t received any flooding, but Hancock and Jackson Counties have suffered the most.
We’ll continue to take photos. It’s kind of difficult to get a clear shot because the moisture is affecting my camera lens. Right now, it looks just like a normal storm, except for the fact that the system is moving super-fast over our heads.
Mayor Roy just issued a mandatory curfew tonight, and he asked that all non-essential services stay closed. We’re also working on establishing a business recovery center, which will hopefully be a place where people who have lost their Internet connections to come and conduct their business
More later (provided the Internet is still working).
As of 10:40AM, it still isn’t raining in Alexandria (though we’ve had a few sprinkles), but the wind is definitely picking up. Gustav made landfall as a Category 2– obviously not as intense as Katrina or Rita.
CNN is reporting that levees are breaching in the Lower Ninth, and the Industrial Canal levee is overturning.
It also appears as if Gustav is making a (nearly) direct hit on Cocodrie, Louisiana– which was devastated during Hurricane Andrew and is the home of LUMCON (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium), one of the leading research facilities on coastal restoration.