August 31st, 2008
09:10 PM ET

iReporter: It's starting to get nasty...

We just heard from iReporter James Carroll, a grad student at Tulane.

Up until this morning he'd been debating whether to stay or leave New Orleans.
Around Noon, he and a friend evacuated, passing boarded homes and National Guardsmen as they left the city. Take a look:

Tonight, he says it ‘seems safer’ in Gulf Shores, Alabama, even as he snapped this image of Gustav looming off the coast. Keep in mind despite the darkness, it was only 7:00 pm

Tonight, he says, “I’m worried about NOLA.”

Filed under: Hurricane Gustav
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. c.trent

    to those of you wondering about the folks who made a conscious decision to stay behind: stop worrying!!! if anyone did not heed the warnings to evacuate, or did not take advantage of the transportation provided for them it is no one's fault but their own!!! if they did not take advantage of the practical limo service that was offered absolutely free of charge...they were just not interested in evacuating or just too lazy to...and they do not warrant the added attention which should be devoted to other more pressing issues!
    as a lifetime new orleanian i can honestly say this was absolutely the best, most orchestrated evacuation probably in the history of the US. if anyone chose to stay, they should not expect people to risk their lives if this is to get anywhere near as catastrophic as Katrina.

    Also...to those of you who worry about the lower ninth ward..please know that there are many other areas that were hit much much worse during Katrina - such as all of St. Bernard Parish (which is only about a mile further down from the lower ninth) and Lakeview

    September 1, 2008 at 6:27 am |
  2. Patricia Wattenbarger

    Hi Anderson, Thanks, for having Dr. Ivor Van Heerden from the University of Louisiana expaining how the Marsh Lands are so vital to the Gulf Region and how they need to get the Mississippi River back into the Marsh Lands. He always explains the situation so that everyone can understand. I also have admiration for the way you do your reporting. Take care and know that love, hugs and prayers are being sent to you, your crew and everyone who are working in the Gulf Region. Respectfully, A loyal fan in Arkansas

    September 1, 2008 at 5:15 am |
  3. Gail Ellis Duncan

    Oh please do not let it get worse!!!! Not again. Let us know what we can do to help and keep us up to date!

    September 1, 2008 at 3:11 am |
  4. John

    I just hope that things will not be as bad as Katrina was. God Bless you all!!

    September 1, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  5. Molly

    All residents of the gulf coast,
    Your in our prayers, stay safe.

    Anderson & CNN,
    Thank you for your coverage–stay safe!

    Godspeed to all in the path of Gustav.

    August 31, 2008 at 11:55 pm |
  6. cathy w

    I am praying for the whole Gulf Coast. We all know, all of us who live on the coast ( i am relocated now, after Katrina) that hurricanes can take a sudden turn, so I pray for MS, AL and FLA as well. Remember George? God bless .

    August 31, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  7. Victoria


    Thank you so much for all the information you are working on getting for us from NOLA. When I heard about the storm coming, I knew you would be covering this and I know part of you wants not just cover... but help. Thank you. Thank you.

    FYI to Jason H above: AC talks like he is part of the NOLA culture because HE IS. You might want to read his book.

    August 31, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  8. Wolf

    Pets were allowed with the evacuees this time. Was on TV that they were taking ALL animals people brought with them. They learned in that regard, at least.

    August 31, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  9. Amanda

    To anyone who thinks this city should be moved/ not rebuilt/ whatever:

    Amsterdam did it, and so can we. It is, literally, not rocket science.
    And: there will *always* be a city where the Mississippi meets the ocean. As long as we, as a nation, still transport anything by water. Got it? Everybody?
    Rebuilding New Orleans is 1) possible, and 2) necessary. Okay?

    Stay safe everybody. You too, Anderson.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  10. Faith

    My husband and I moved to N.O. two years ago from California so he could attend Medical School at Tulane. We have felt so welcomed by the people and have fallen in love with the city. I never knew what it felt like to potentially lose your home and belongings until now. We evacuated around 2am on Sunday. We live northwest of the city, and our home is at risk for high wind damage and flooding. Hoping for the best and praying for the safety of everyone and their homes.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  11. Luther Johnson

    Good reporting CNN

    August 31, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  12. Mary

    Concerning pets, I've heard that this time they're encouraging pets be taken with the evacuees this time, and are tagging those animals who can't be taken so they can take them to shelters to be claimed later. If that were me, I would never leave my pets at some shelter. I would do everything in my power to make sure they stayed with methe entire time. I hope this time people take these pets and not leave them behind like they did with Katrina.

    God Bless you all. I hope everyone gets out this time.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  13. Sherri Strickland

    My husband and I have a friend who captains an oil supply ship and his current port is Venice. Captain Gus. Wouldn't it be a neat news story to talk to him about the logistics of off loading all the oil rigs? I wonder what will happen to the fleet boats, being right beside the Mississippi River.
    We live near Myrtle Beach SC and experienced Hugo first hand. It not only devestated the coast, picking up and moving beach houses a block or more, covered up the beach road but it moved inland through Sumter, Columbia and up to Charlotte spinning off tornados and devastating large tracts of forests.
    McClellanville, a small shrimping village, had a huge storm surge and the whole town was left under a few feet of mud.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  14. Jacob

    My heart goes out to the man who's wife died with him during Trina. He's not going to leave now because of it. That is really deep. It just shows you the inner strengths and sorrows of normal people.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Rodney Toca

    It's unfortunate that the city I grew up in is on the verge of total devastation. How ironic that on the 3rd anniversary of the storm that forever put a black eye on the legacy of George W. Bush; that another catastrophic storm interrupts the Republican National Convention.

    Bush's integrity and the sincerity of his concern about the citizens of New Orleans has always been in question.Now there is another irony that rears it's ugly head.

    Even though Barack Obama refused to compromise his integrity by choosing Hilary as a means to secure the "18 million votes" she won in the primary election; John McCain's selection defies all logic. Although Mrs. Palen may be a very effectiive governor, Mr. McCain's primary reason for selecting her is an attempt to get those "18 million" votes.

    This may be a cunning political strategy that may wind up being successful; but at what cost and whose expense? 300 million Americans? The greatest country in the world? Mr. McCain has insulted the voters (and women) of this country and has exhibited the same lack of integrity Mr. Bush has shown throughout his 8 years in office.

    How ironic that another storm brings attention to the lack of true progress made in New Orleans over the past 3 years. Was the storm a tool of devine intervention used to point the finger of blame at the Republican Party to remind us of how little they truly care about the people of America?

    Obama is an extremeley intelligent man of integrity that sincerely understands and cares about this country and who wants to win the presidency to lead this country. McCain is a man that appears to have questionable integrity and hasn't shown that he really cares about anything other than winning.

    Take this time to think America. It's time to rebuild from the 8 year storm we've just endured. Let's not follow it up with Hurricane McCain before we even start to build the levee.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  16. Dan B.

    Our prayere are with the people of New Orleans and all of the citizens of the gulf coast. Isn't it ironic that George W. and D. Cheney can conveniently avoid the RNC, usin Gustav as an excuse. Where were they when Katrina hit? Now the can excuse them selves from appearing at the convention , with this pretense of concern. This is just the way McCain and Sarah "WHO" want it. They really prefer that he didn't exist . That having been said, we all prayer that Gustav has a heart and decides to spare all you fine people from a replay of tragic Katrina. God Bless

    August 31, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  17. Pat M


    if your parents call again or if you have a way to reach them (cell Phone) etc., just an idea – Pin point where they are and maybe either you if you are able to get back to them by phone, or they, can call the police in the area they are in and maybe they can scout out a hotel with a room for them, or maybe they have another option for them we don't know about. Just a suggestion. But might be worth a try. I'll keep you all in my prayers and thoughts and hope all goes well. God Bless.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  18. AM

    I moved to New Orleans 2 years ago and have fallen in love with the complete will of the people. Tonight, I'm extremely worried about those same people and what will happen to their will to keep NOLA the great city it is. Stay strong, we will make it through

    AM, evacuated from NOLA yesterday

    August 31, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  19. Deanna

    What do we know about the approx. 10,000 people that have chosen to stay? Were they unable to leave due to resource issues? Did they not have somewhere to go?

    August 31, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  20. Sandi

    Barry and others, I understand your concern about other cities not being mentioned, I was also one of those that only mentioned New Orleans and I regret that. But I do think alot of us who dont live there really mean all the cities when we say New Orleans, not much of an excuse I know. Anyhow my thoughts are with all the cities and towns in the path of this hurricane and I hope everyone stays safe and that Gustav surprises everyone and weakens quickly. I apologize for my lapse of thinking.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Hope the communication companies- wireless and wireline carriers are prepared to make sure people can communicate after the storm.Never much new about telecom- only power. Good luck New Orleans

    August 31, 2008 at 9:51 pm |
  22. CJ

    It sounds as though the cities and towns southwest of New Orleans will be devastated but there is no mention of them. Why??!!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  23. Barry Reed

    Anderson, I know you and the rest of the media have the rest of the country convinced that it is the State of New Orleans and not Louisiana but it would nice if you and others let the world know that there are other cities located in Louisiana that are in greater peril that New Orleans. We have a house in Youngsville just south of Lafayette and we have evacuated to Houston and we may not have a house if and when we can return. There are other towns and cities located close to us ( New Iberia, Abbeville, Broussard as well as Lafayette it self that could suffer more damage than New Orleans but you don't seem to cover that part of Louisiana. You know what happened to southern Louisiana after Rita, yet you and others ignore those areas with Gustav. New Orleans is a ghost town so focus on the other areas "Please"!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  24. Jeff

    My heart goes out to the people in New Orleans but perhaps its time we realized that are many places on this planet we've settled that we should not re-settle due to the environmental odds we play. Eventually those people who live in areas not affected by total catostrophe every 50-100 years won't want to pay to rebuild these cities and suffer the loss of life/limb.

    Beyond New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities - what about Las Vegas, etc and desert cities that lack long-term water resources without an excrutiating environmental toll?

    Stay safe folks.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  25. Mike Hannikainen

    I just want to give a shout out to Anderson Cooper. He is someone who truly cares about what happens in his country and around the world!! I really hope Gustav doesn't have to much of an impact on New Orleans however the Federal Government has not done enough to resolve issues that came to light after Katrina.
    I'm a Canadian who truly cares about my brothers and sisters in the United States. My sister is a member of the Junior League which has groups throughout North America. They are an organization that volunteers to help out people in all types of situations.
    My sister went to New Orleans in 2006 to contribute to the rebuilding and she has a ticket to New Orleans in October to continue. Regardless of what the storm does, you have Canadians that are ready to help out our American family in any way possible.

    Mike H.
    Toronto, Canada

    August 31, 2008 at 9:41 pm |
  26. Jason H.


    Are you "hunkering down" in the "bowl effect" yet? Obviously, I am joking about repeated comments uttered during Katrina, BUT I also acknowledge you as providing a great service to the country. I will watch CNN's programming above all other stations...it is a thorough and comforting presentation in a time where concerns loom greatly on the horizon.

    After watching you constantly (Katrina for four days straight, then off and on for Gustav) I can clearly state two things:
    1. You do have a quality of caring for others, though I admit it while slightly hesitating
    2. I truly believe that you do not understand half of the words that come out of your mouth.

    As a person who has lived in New Orleans for five years and who has housed a Katrina evacuee, I understand the severity of the situation as a whole and how it pertains to the city. In your delivery, you speak with these metaphors and symbolism as if you are a part of the culture there. Do yourself a favor (and your employers) and just listen. Listen to the people you're interviewing and understand that you hold the microphone for THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. What you say (and do) becomes public knowledge, then becoming fact.

    Just do yourself a favor, along with everyone else. You will never understand the city...don't pretend you know it, and don't fake like you know it. Be the concerned listener and supporter during this tough time.

    Once again, I appreciate what you do. Continue to do it right. Be safe,

    Thank you very much,

    August 31, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  27. cathi clark

    praying for you anderson and your wonderful crew, stay safe, we never have heard where you hang out to cover this awaited hurricane, thank all of you for keeping us posted

    August 31, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  28. Susan, GA

    G R Elliot,

    I hear ya and I'm with ya.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:36 pm |
  29. Charlotte

    I have been watching your coverage all day form Maryland with most of my family in Louisiana. Everyone I spoke to has evacuated except my father who have never left for any hurricane. He is on the Westbank and I am worried. When Katrina hit, it was 5 days before I knew if he had made it or not! I don't think he realizes how hard this is on me. I sit and wait for news hopefully tomorrow!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:36 pm |
  30. Steve

    It's ironic that the Republicans chose to cancel their opening convention, except for their business as usual proceedings. Why? Why did President Cheney and Bush choose to not be there? Oh yes it's consideration for what might happen to those poor folks in New Orleans right, that same compassion they showed before right? No, they are missing the perfect opportunity to show the compassion, to concentrate on what is happening in New Orleans now, what a venue that could have been for Presidential Commander in Chief contender McCain to mobilize a call to action, as needed as it happens. John McCain is probably scared to death to deal with Bush's Katrina aftermath which is still going on, so of course he won't take the stage in St. Louis, he'd rather go hide in an undisclosed location waiting for his pretty 1 year creationist governor to make a Presidential decision. What a perfect opportunity for McCain to show that he would never do what Bush did to the poor people of New Orleans, but no not appropriate for him to be there is what he said. Not appropriate is probably an understatement for someone who is more of the same. Hopefully, Obama has the guts to say the truth, the Republicans will never take responsibility or change from their own ineptitude.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  31. Velma Proctor

    I visited New Orleans about six months ago. I saw the determination and strong will of the New Orleans residents first hand. They were so grateful that we were visiting their city and contributing to their "revitalization" efforts and economy. They were still struggling to make it all work, but the determination was there!

    I admit it.....I took the Gray Line Katrina tour....I was curious....I saw CNN for weeks! It was an eye opening experience of what can go completely wrong when hurricane warnings are not taken seriously. However, it was also a sad day for any American to realize how a government can let their "own" suffer a catastrophic disaster. The worst part was seeing that in many ways the levees are really not ready for another hurricane or flooding. Only the washed out levees have been replaced with strong material such as concrete and steel....the rest is still the old "pile some dirt up" method. God help the people of New Orleans and their city. It may just go down in the history books.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  32. Paula engle

    To the men and women ... my prayers are with you.
    My husband I visited NO in November and tried to help with encouraging words, extra monetary help. Our hearts ache that you're going through this again and so soon!

    Please take care and we're watching.

    The Engles from Michigan

    August 31, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  33. Mechelle

    I am in Sterling, CO. My whole family lives about 4 miles north of I-10 in MS, my eyes are you, but I have yet to see anything or here anything on the MS coast.......Why????????? We all know about the leves but there is more to this world then New Orleans.... I pray for them all.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  34. Shari

    watching Anderson describe the onset of the rain bans made it all too real for me. I was in hurricane Katrina 3 years ago and don't want to even think about being there right now!!!!!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  35. Terrance McGee

    Thank you Mr.Copper for showing the world the truth about what's really going on in N.O. its been 3yrs an they say the city is getting back to normal but on the out skirts of N.O. it look like the storm just passed without noting done to help. p.s. love the show THANK YOU

    August 31, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  36. G R Elliott

    I sure I'm one of millions hoping for the best and praying the people of New Orleans get out of the way of the storm. I've never been to this city but have to wonder how anyone could ever feel safe living below sea level. After Katrina I told my wife its only a matter of time before it happens again. Never imagined it would be so soon. Have talked with quite a few folks from the area and they say the same thing, the city should be moved to high ground. I can only imagine how hard that would be on the folks who have lived there all their life. But is it harder than facing the storm? I'm told Billions of dollars have been spent since Katrina and we still face diaster. Shouldn't someone take the bull by the horns and make the decision to go to higher ground? I don't believe it is reasonable to think that we can continue to pour money into an area that Looks Up to the sea.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  37. Jos

    Human arrogance and ignorance means people will want to rebuild New Orleans from the latest hurricane damage. When will people realize the folly of rebuilding a city that is already below sea level and sinking daily into the swamp at a time when sea levels are rising. Building a levee to withstand a 12 foot storm surge today, will be useless if sea level rises 10, 20, or 30 feet during the coming decades. New Orleans is my favorite city, but its location dooms it. Surely the spirit and culture of New Orleans CAN be transported to a new location.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:24 pm |
  38. Tricia

    my husband and i are survivors of katrina from pass christian, ms. we evacuated back to massachusetts before it hit, due to the fact my parents lived up there and i was pregnant with my daughter. i believe that with gustav coming that mississippi is going to maybe have the same fate or as least some of the problems that it had when katrina hit

    August 31, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  39. Sally

    I remember after Katrina seeing the images of all the abandoned animals throughout the affected areas. None of the news casts have addressed what is being done to avoid that situation again. Are they allowing people to take their pets to shelters and on the evacuation buses? If they have not changed their policies I believe many people will stay to be with their pets.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  40. Scott Bushey

    OK, Anderson...you're our favorite news reporter and you do great stories, as you are currently doing with Gustav. How are you staying safe? We're concerned about you and your crew!!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:21 pm |
  41. Tim King

    We're praying for NOLA. I know Geology and Geography. I hope at this time on Monday we have that great city as part of this great country. It could cease to exist if Gustav hits around Houma. God Speed.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  42. Mimi

    My family left N.O. at 3:30 a.m. today. They've been on the road ever since, and are still on the road just north of Birmingham, trying to reach me in Nashville. At this rate, they will be on the road 24 hours. Why don't we see any of this on TV. They have my 80-year-old Dad, a cat and two dogs with them. And not one hotel along the way has rooms. Help!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  43. LAgirl

    Good job reporting in New Orleans. But, Grand Isle is not just oil, there is a community of people that live there and another community of people that have camps(vacation homes) and live there part time. Those people may loose their homes. It's more personal than just oil.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  44. Sandi

    Does anyone know if people are going from house to house to make sure all the elderly and disabled are being looked out for? I havent heard anything about that. Thank you! Stay safe New Orleans!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:18 pm |