Gustav Won't Follow in Katrina's Footsteps
AccuWeather.com News Forecast
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gustav vs. Katrina: Gustav Won't Follow in Katrina's Footsteps but is Still a Dangerous Storm for Louisiana
State College, Pa. -- August 31, 2008 -- The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Gustav is expected to make landfall on Monday as at least a Category 3 storm, the same strength of Hurricane Katrina when it devastated the region three years ago. However, it is unlikely to reach Category 5 strength as Hurricane Katrina had prior to landfall.
AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Carrie McCabe said in an interview, "Gustav has not reorganized as expected since passing over Cuba, so it's really missed its opportunity to become a Category 5 storm. By way of contrast, Hurricane Katrina at this point in its development had winds up to 170 mph. Hurricane Gustav is expected to achieve winds of 130mph by later today. However, it remains a deadly storm." By later today or early Monday, Gustav may attain Category 4 strength, with winds above 130 mph.
Gustav's trajectory has also changed, as a high pressure over the northeast has been turning the storm further to the west away from New Orleans. It is now expected to make landfall between Lafourche Parish and Terrebonne Parish. However, New Orleans' worries are far from over.
"Even without a direct hit, New Orleans could be in real danger. Typically, the northeast side of a hurricane receives the brunt of the damage," McCabe said. "Southeast winds from Gustav could pile the water into Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. Flooding and tornado warnings will be in effect."
At 10:00 a.m. EDT, Gustav was 325 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving northwest at about 17 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph.
The strongest effects from Gustav will hammer areas to the east and north of the eye path. Six to 12 inches of rain with locally higher amounts will lead to dangerous flooding. The storm surge from Gustav could be 9 to 12 feet above normal, especially near the center of the storm.