Eye of Hurricane Gustav Moving On Shore
10 a.m. update: Eye making landfall now on the shores of Terrebonne Bay. New Orleans Times-Picayune: Corps chiefs: No major storm surge flooding expected. However, 7 foot surge reported in Shell Beach, south of New Orleans and water will continue piling up on southeasterly winds east of the storm center, testing levees on the West Bank of New Orleans. It won't be until this evening or tomorrow that we'll know how the levees have faired. Fourteen inches of rain already reported in Grand Isle, La, which is now underwater due to storm surge.
9 a.m. update: Gustav downgraded to Category 2 intensity. Maximum winds of 110 mph. Within 15 miles of landfall. Grand Isle, Louisiana reports winds to 105 mph, according to CNN. Tornado warnings in southern Alabama, Mississippi, and western Florida panhandle
From earlier: The center of Gustav is within several hours of coming ashore. As of 7 a.m., Gustav remained a Category 3 hurricane with maximum winds of 115 mph but the National Hurricane Center reports Gustav "is not strengthening" and "no significant increase in strength appears likely prior to landfall." The other big positive is that Gustav has turned west northwest, meaning its center will make landfall far enough west of New Orleans that it will miss the quadrant of the storm with the strongest winds and highest storm surge.
Keep reading for more on Gustav. For Washington, D.C. weather, see our full forecast.
While landfall is expected to be well southwest of New Orleans in the western part of Terrebonne Bay (south of Houma, La.), the National Hurricane Center still indicates the city could receive up to a 12 foot storm surge. SciGuy suggests that will be high enough to test New Orleans levees.
In the last hour, hurricane expert Dr. Steve Lyons on The Weather Channel suggested the surge will be less than projected since Gustav is tracking west north west pushing water more parallel to the coast rather than onshore.
Here are some blogs we recommend for more Gustav coverage...
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