Gustav Ashore, Hanna a Hurricane
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4 p.m. update: Gustav is down to Category 1 intensity while moving steadily towards western Louisiana. Baton Rouge has been catching it with sustained winds of over 50 mph and a reported gust to 90! Rainfall amounts in southeast Louisiana have generally been about 2-5 inches so far with isolated higher amounts.
Our next update which will include new information on Hurricane Hanna will be up around 5:30 or so.
2 p.m. update: Hanna has continued to intensify and is now the 4th hurricane of the 2008 season. Hurricane warnings have been posted for the central and southeast Bahamas.
Keep reading for updates from earlier in the day. See our full forecast for local Washington, D.C. weather.
From earlier: Hurricane Gustav officially made landfall at 11 a.m. in as a strong Category 2 hurricane near Cocodrie, La. with 110 winds, on the west side of Terrebonne Bay. According to CNN, the storm surge has reached 10 feet at Shell Beach south of New Orleans. The toll of the rising seas and the fate of the levees on New Orleans' West Bank won't be known until tonight or tomorrow. Some of the levees in the lower 9th Ward and the Industrial Canal have already been overtopped.
Additional impacts from Gustav will be tornadoes mainly east of the storm center (into eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida) and flooding rain for much of Louisiana into extreme eastern Texas, with upwards of a foot possible.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Hanna is likely to make landfall in the southeast U.S. by Friday. As of the 11 a.m. update, it has intensified into a strong tropical storm with maximum winds of 60 mph. Strengthening to hurricane intensity is likely in the next day or two. This storm may impact the metro area late Friday into Saturday with wind and rain. In the next day or two, much of our tropical coverage will begin shifting to a focus on Hanna.
As if the tropics weren't active enough, a new tropical depression formed in the tropical Atlantic as of 11 a.m. This storm is also forecast to become a hurricane over the next several days and should track just north of due west to a position due east of the Bahamas by the weekend.
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