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Gustav weakens, closes in on Louisiana coastline

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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-08 09:57 AM
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Gustav weakens, closes in on Louisiana coastline
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

A weakened Hurricane Gustav closed in on flood-prone coastal Louisiana Monday, bringing punishing wind and sheets of rain. But the storm veered away from New Orleans, where only a few holdouts and those that refused to abandon Bourbon Street remained.

Gusts snapped large branches from the majestic oak trees that form a canopy over St. Charles Avenue. Tens of thousands were without power in New Orleans and other low-lying parishes, but officials said backup generators were keeping city drainage pumps in service.

As a nervous nation watched to see if Gustav would deliver another Katrina-style hit on the partially rebuilt city, officials steadfastly insisted three years of planning and infrastructure upgrades had prepared them for whatever was to come.

"We don't expect the loss of life, certainly, that we saw in Katrina," Federal Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Harvey E. Johnson told The Associated Press. "But we are expecting a lot of homes to be damaged, a lot of infrastructure to be flooded, and damaged severely."

On the high ground in the French Quarter, nasty winds whipped signs and the purple, green and gold Mardi Gras flags hanging from cast-iron balconies. Like the rest of the city, the Quarter's normally boisterous streets were deserted save for a police officer standing watch every few blocks and a few early-morning drinkers in the city's famous bars.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/0...
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