August 29th, 2008
07:52 AM ET

Here we go again...

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Editor's Note: Anderson Cooper 360° is in New Orleans tonight, as Tropical Storm Gustav barrels toward the Gulf of Mexico, expected to reach Category 3. We'll look at whether New Orleans is ready, after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina exactly three years ago today. Watch our special report tonight at 10p ET.

Kay Jones
AC360° Editorial Producer

Three years ago, I took off on a plane from Atlanta to New Orleans thinking I’d be gone for a few days after covering a Cat 1, maybe Cat 2 hurricane. Little did I know I would end up there for more than a month.

Now, it’s time to go back again, to look at how the city has progressed since Katrina hit 3 years ago today, but also to find out if it’s ready for Gustav, the Tropical Storm that looks to be heading towards the Gulf Coast and intensify over the next couple of days. I don’t know if the city is ready, but I sure hope so.

I know people are worried, and Mayor Nagin is cutting his trip to the DNC short so he can get back to the Crescent City and make sure plans are in place in case Gustav bears down on New Orleans. My family that lives in the city as well as the northern suburbs have already started making arrangements for their evacuations. I know there are many, though, that can’t afford the hotels that are out there. Mayor Nagin says there are shelters available. Let’s hope so.

I started thinking this afternoon about what happened when Katrina hit. There are so many stories, and I’m sure most of them will never be told. But many will be told on this blog over the next couple of days. Keep an eye out for more from those who survived the storm, not only in New Orleans, but all along the Gulf Coast.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Hurricane Katrina • Kay Jones
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. mark syron

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who will be affected by Gustav.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  2. cathy

    can you update viewers on anderson's buddy, that sweet elderly man who rebuilt his home by himself and then finally brought his wife back? i'm sure all the regular 360 viewers would like to know that they're someplace safe.

    best of luck to all the cnn crews! please know your hard work and misery is appreciated!

    cathy in riverside

    August 31, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  3. Katina Gionteris

    I really appreciate the reporting by Anderson Cooper and his team during and after Katrina. It's very clear that you knew more than our government did.

    During the looming arrival of Gustav, I keep seeing a quote on the CNN ticker at the bottom of the screen by the president of the Jefferson Parish declares "no looter tolerance policy" and motorists on streets after dark "will not be driving in Andy Griffiths Mayberry". It makes me so angry that after all the death and suffering and starving that people went through after Katrina that the only thing this president of Jefferson Parish is worried about is LOOTERS! I know there was a lot of crime and violence after Katrina but I think some of the looting was actually for survival since there was no water or food for people to live on! Looting should not be at the top of the list. I can't help but wonder if it is just that frame of mind that led to the Danzinger Bridge shootings which from what I can see to this day still no one has had to take any responsibility for.

    Just another outrage in the long list of embarassments that this country is ashamed of in our government's handling of hurricane Katrina. Let's pray that this time is not so horrific. The people of New Orleans are in our thoughts and prayers in the days to come.

    August 31, 2008 at 12:27 am |
  4. Robin Broadwater

    To Anderson Cooper and Crew:

    'You know what?

    You guys have managed to come across as not only devoted truth-tellers and dogged newshounds, but also compassionate and caring human beings.

    I believe we all appreciate that you search beyond the headlines to give us a depth that others miss, but that's also why, I believe I may speak for a majority of your audience when I say, we want you to be extra-careful covering something as unpredictable and potentially threatening as a weather event like this.
    Yes, we want the story, but we also want you guys back.

    So, don't fret if pulling up stakes, and pulling out, causes you to miss some potentially award-winning photo ops, it's more important to us that you all live to see another day.

    Please take care.

    Thank you.

    August 30, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  5. karen

    I was disapointed in the way the recovery for the people was conducted and I don't think they've gotten very far as far as restoring the land there acording to news updates and comments.
    I'm grateful for the people who get in there and help out what ever way they can to improve things.
    With up and coming hurrican, what are the plans in place to help the people now. Buses ready to drive the people out? Thankyou Karen

    August 29, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  6. l hank, houston, tx

    God bless us and keep us safe, let your face shine upon us. Prepare us for what is to come. You did not say that life would be easy and that you would move every stumbling block, all we ask is that you lead us around them. This country has forgotten how to pray. Help us Lord.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:01 am |
  7. Annie Kate

    I hate to think of another Hurricane hitting the same area Katrina did 3 years ago. People have worked so hard to get back to their lives, and rebuild their houses. I hope if they have to evacuate they won't have to come back and see everything they have accomplished over the last 3 years gone and they have to start over again.

    I'm looking forward to the reports from 360 tonight on NOLA – especially on the levees and the evacuation plans. Are city officials sure that whatever evacuation plan they have will be adequate and followed by the citizens so that everyone gets out and has a place to go?

    Take care and don't get marooned.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 29, 2008 at 9:51 am |
  8. Michelle Fonthill Ont,Canada

    Well I's deja vu all over again Hurrican Gustev is heading towards New Orleans .This is tragic haven't these poeple suffered enough?
    I hope the city is ready of course no one can ever really be ready to leave thier homes once again ,and yet so many of these citzenz don't have thier homes back that they lost post Katrina -where is the justice in that?

    Thank God for Anderson and his team at 360 for truly being the only people caring enough to the plight of so many of these poor people.
    Thanks Anderson for keeping them honest !

    See you on 360

    August 29, 2008 at 9:29 am |
  9. anne,nfld.canada

    The entire CNN team are to be applauded for their coverage 3 years ago.All of you told us the REAL STORIES of what was taking place down there,both before,and in those horrible days after.

    I think Hurricane Katrina was one of those events in which everyone can remember "where were you when.".......

    I hope and pray that you are NOT needed this time,however,and that the Gulf Coast and NOLA will be spared.

    August 29, 2008 at 8:46 am |
  10. Cindy

    First off I'll start off by saying that I am really glad that you all are FINALLY going back to NOLA. It has been 6 months since you last went back and then we only got one report about Nola that February night. I hope that this time you actually spend the show talking about NOLA and not be standing in NOLA talking about politics. Because it's a shame that you only go back because a hurricane may be headed there again.

    And I know that Anderson tries to promote NOLA as getting back to normal and oh so great but the reality is he isn't being truthful. The homeless problem there has worsened and crime is outrageous. It's very unsafe to be out at night alone. I wish that he would tell the truth and do some reporting on what's being done to help the homeless, the crime, and other problems. Not talking about it won't make it go away.

    Just because the bars and restaurants are back up and running means nothing. The people are still homeless and nothing is being done for that. How is NOLA better?


    August 29, 2008 at 8:19 am |