August 31st, 2008
09:42 PM ET

Knocked off the air by Gustav

Kay Jones
AC360° Editorial Producer

About 5 minutes before the special edition of 360 started, the very first band of Gustav rolled in.

And boy was it a shocker.

We weren't expecting it to start that early, and it effectively knocked out our live shot and phone communications for a few minutes. One of the joys of covering a story created by Mother Nature.

But fortunately, our crew and truck engineer managed to get moved under an overhang and get things up and running pretty fast. If the first band was any indication of Gustav, we are in for a long night...

Filed under: Hurricane Gustav • Kay Jones
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Chuck Roeser

    You guys just don't get it. Katrina killed from apathy of the residents. Lack of care and concern was the death trap.

    Thousands spent $150 in fuel to leave town this time. Many used a big portion of this weeks paycheck or unemployment check to leave town. You guys have returned to sensationism in your reporting, again. If Anderson Cooper can stand on the street and do reports every 5 minutes, people think they should have stayed home and saved the money. (It's not that bad! I could have survived)

    Next time the mayor asks to evacuate, who should we blame for the apathy and be-littling of the potential dangers. You guys are using minimal impact footage to fill time.

    Why not report on the Anti-war rally at the St Paul Capital, that can't get close to the RNC Convention as a result of Homeland Security Policy. Who is protecting who? All this while real people are dying daily in Iraq.

    Burn your air time and send the popel back into a false apathy toward the next storm, but keep the commercials coming.

    September 1, 2008 at 9:53 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    Looks like that long night will go on all day today too. I saw that James Carville evacuated with his family after saying Friday night that he was staying – guess he decided it was going to be worse than he anticipated. If the western levees have not been repaired I hope it doesn't cause NOLA to flood as badly as it did with Katrina.

    Stay safe and thanks for the coverage.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 1, 2008 at 8:32 am |
  3. Pat M

    laura – I have been wondering the same thing? And when I read the report last week that Iraq just purchaed ten billion in oil from China, I had to wonder again if all the Trillions spent on the Iraq war gave them that opportunity by padding their bacnk account. If that is the case, the Bush Administration should be held to some kind of accountability. People with no Health Care, Louisanna's borders and Levess in dire need of repair – why don't they have the finances to do something about those issues?

    September 1, 2008 at 7:43 am |
  4. Tina Ware

    Kay, praying that you and your crew will be safe through all this. I'll never forget the sights and sounds three years ago in New Orleans and along the Coast. Our church in Southaven, MS was used three years ago for about 150 evacuees and is being used again. Our church service this morning was a prayer service strictly for those whose lives are being disrupted by this storm. We miss you here in Southaven and are proud of the job you do. Thanks to you and Anderson's staff for keeing us updated.

    September 1, 2008 at 4:31 am |
  5. S Callahan

    Once again, we have you and the crew convered in prayer...but use common sense.... I was watching your newscast when you went off...and the big stuff hasn't even started yet. Be Safe.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:18 am |
  6. Christina

    Hello Anderson and Crew,
    I can't wait untill you all get back on the air because the guy doing the
    news right now is acting like this is a espn sports event. He talks loud
    and is a little too loud and condesending to the viewers. This is real
    people and real lives and CNN needs to look at who heads up these broadcasts. We want Anderson who understands tact and cares about people and not just the story or the tone of their voice.

    August 31, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  7. Angela

    Anderson, you did such a great job covering the plight of the pets after Katrina. Although the internet reflects that some pets have been included in govt evacuation plans, the animal rescue group I am affiliated with is getting a vast amount of calls regarding pets left behind to face the same fate as what happened to those left behind for Katrina. Please cover the pet story. I am on pins and needles wondering how they are faring.

    August 31, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  8. maryann

    I'm watching the images of the hurricane, it looks like it's wobbling, and taking a turn ever so slightly north eastward, towards New Orleans. Keep safe as all of you from CNN do your important work of keeping us aware of what is happening, who is being affected by this, and how we can help.

    August 31, 2008 at 11:19 pm |
  9. Mimi

    I've got to say this....McCain tried to upstage Obama's DNC night with his gimmick of a VP Pick. Looks like God has spoken....and diverted attention from his campaign.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the folks in the path of the hurricane!

    Anderson and team, please take care. We do like accurate reporting but not at the cost of putting you all in danger.

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

    to kathleen, you are right, the northeast corner of the storm is always the worst. im still not convinced that it wont take an easterly turn after looking at some extra NOAA maps. living south of I-10, i wouldnt wish it made a turn to any inhabited place.

    to laura, i agree, unfortunately, our government has always been a little lax, however, having been in NOLA on Thursday in one of the major hospitals of the area, i have noticed a huge change in the way things are done. i must give kudos to Mayor Nagin for his 'tough love' with the residents this time, and also to Governor Bobby Jindal for making sure our people on disability and social security received their checks early enough to have the funds to leave, now what they are going to do when they get back after having spent their checks on evacuating, that is a different story.

    my mother-in-law was hand delivered their check on friday by the mail carrier. they were under orders to make sure everyone got their money and knew it was there for them. great job everyone in louisiana, it is nice to know that they have learned from katrina and rita.

    im not so sure obama shouldnt have picked Governor Jindal as his running mate now. lol

    August 31, 2008 at 11:16 pm |
  11. Rebecca

    After working with 8 families who evacuated to Louisville after Katrina, I am just heartsick to think that New Orleans might be hit again. A group of 30 of us took a bus trip to New Orleans in October 2006 and I personally couldn't believe what I saw ... both on the ground as well as in the faces of the families (parents and children) as we visited the place they still called "home."

    It's 2 years later, and all of those families are still here in Louisville. And they've kept me apprised of the progress in New Orleans. I was actually beginning to feel positive ... progress, albeit slowly, and not throughout the entire city ... but still progress. New Orleans was rebuilding, brick by brick. And now this...

    I am keeping New Orleans and all who call her "home" in my thoughts and prayers.

    August 31, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  12. Doug Wayland

    I find it incredibly irresponsible that Anderson Cooper (and other media people) insist on reporting from areas that have been ordered as mandatory evacuation areas - why are they any different and by staying and broadcasting they are helping those justify those residents who are staying in harm's way - so CNN (and other media outlets) should be held responsible for putting people in harm's way. Mandatory means MANDATORY!

    August 31, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  13. Rev. Wilson

    Greetings Anderson,

    A few weeks ago James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" prayed for God to send rain upon the Democractic Convention, hoping that a storm would shower upon Senator Barack Obama and stop his acceptance speech. As a leader in the faith community, I do not believe that God sends storms and natural disasters to hurt people and destroy life, but there is a bit of irony in Hurricane Gustav changing plans in the Republican Convention, to which Dobson and Focus on the Family is strongly tied. After seeing the devastion already brought on by Gustav, and being reminded of the image of Katrina which changed the lives of many of my friends and parishioners, I wonder why people of faith like Dobson and groups who say they are concerned in families would pray for natural disasters to hurt other people and other families with whom they disagree. And now Republicans strongly supported by Focus on the Family want to show compassion upon those impacted by Gustav, after many of them prayed for a disaster? Be careful for what you pray for. What goes around comes back around, and the doom one wishes has a strange way of affecting us all!

    Rev. Wilson

    August 31, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  14. Walter Martin

    I realize that New Orleans has been home for many years to lots of good people - but why do we think that a city built BELOW sea level can ever truly be safe from a major hurricane? Mankind can only do so much - Mother Nature will always win. And would it really be a bad thing if we let parts of New Orleans stay uninhabited and returned to its natural state? Hope all the National Guard and responders stay safe, and from folks in Texas - thanks!!

    August 31, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  15. Calder

    Oh thanks for lecturing me Stephanie, I'll just go outside and watch Gustav roll in, since I live about 30 miles north of NOLA.

    Thanks for keeping me in perspective!

    August 31, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  16. TK

    Anderson – stay safe. This country needs you. We've lost Tim Russert. We've lost Peter Jennings. We cannot afford to lose your voice.


    August 31, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  17. EJ (USA)

    I wish I were there with you guys!! Be safe.

    Yeah right. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near there.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  18. Joanne

    Oh Geez Anderson, here ya go again...I'm in awe of you this time as I am everytime you do the Hurricane's. God be with you & keep you safe.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  19. Kathleen Farber

    To correct one of the above posters...the most damaging quadrant of the hurricane is the upper right, not the lower, and closest to the eye-wall.
    And yes Laura, I've been wondering the same thing...

    August 31, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  20. Jason, Michigan

    Anderson and Crew...I know you guys would get hit by a truck to get the story, and we admire you for that, but please don't take any unnecessary risks. I know you won't but know that our eyes will be glued on CNN for the forseeable future.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  21. jnoguera

    Why are they still saying that it will make landfall tomorrow afternoon? It looks from the close radar that it make landfall within the next few hours.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  22. Matt in Ca.

    Be safe. The preparations for this storm seem better than for Katrina.
    Keep up the good work.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  23. Stephanie

    Calder this is not the time or place for your comments. Why don't you follow your party's nominee and put your bitterness to the side for the time being.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  24. Jacob, Bronx NY

    I wish I were there with you guys!! Be safe.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  25. Jennifer in Sebring, FL

    This is to Gee, the above person. This is the hurricane of the century because, as bad as it sounds, New Orleans could much more handle a direct hit, then being on the right side of the eye. The strongest part of the Hurricane is the right bottom. And when the hurricane is “swooping” in a counterclockwise position, just image at high tide how the hurricane will be pushing major winds and waters straight to New Orleans, and directly over Lake Ponchertrain and push the waters directly up the Mississippi. This will be disastrous. I feel for all the people in coastal and southern Louisiana.
    Anderson and all of your CNN crew – y'all stay safe and out of harms way! Your lives are far too important than to cover this storm if your lives are in danger! .... I love ya, Anderson! and I love your Book! and I love 360, as you, Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace have the best shows on TV!

    August 31, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Heather,ca

    With all the advances in technology I don't think anyone can out time mother nature. I hope all of you have somewhere safe and dry to sleep tonight. Look out for flying signs. Excellent job!

    August 31, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  27. Suzi

    I know that this strom is bad but what is happening with Hanna I have a son and his wife on the Navel Base at goose creek. It is only About 35 mins from the coast line can you report something on that storm?

    August 31, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  28. Pat M

    I heard a report by Rich Sanchez Sp? hope I got the spelling right...
    He was speaking with the man who was at the head chief on repairing the levees in New Orleans. He told Rick that if the storm took a turn to the right it could be a huge problem. So I don't think the repairs they made to all the problematic points re: the Levees were made to endure all storms! Sadly.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  29. Patti

    Hey Anderson,

    Kind of deja vu-ish to see you standing in the FQ reporting on a hurricane. I met you with my teenage daughter at Sukho Thai in the Marigny when you were in town signing your book.

    I'm in Pensacola, waiting to head back home (Uptown), hopefully on Tuesday. It's reassuring to see you're there once again. Thanks for all you've done to keep our beleaguered city in the nation's view. We really appreciate it!

    Gus, please give NOLA a pass this time. And if he won't, NOLA, be ready! Wish I were home....

    Thanks again, Anderson.


    August 31, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  30. laura

    Why are we spending billions of dollars in Iraq and not protecting our shorelines in the US?

    August 31, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  31. Ernie

    Shut up Gee.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  32. Eric


    They said this was the Storm of the century when it was a category 5 while entering the Gulf. At that time the models shifted it on a direct line where the eastern eyewall would hit the mouth of the MS River.

    It has now weaked and disorganized while shifting more to the west. It will lay alot of damage but it is no longer the worst case scenario that people always talking about for New Orleans.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  33. Jennifer

    This is to Gee, the above person. This is the hurricane of the century because, as bad as it sounds, New Orleans could much more handle a direct hit, then being on the right side of the eye. The strongest part of the Hurriance is the right bottom. And when the hurricane is "swooping" in a counterclockwise position, just image at high tide how the hurricane will be pushing major winds and waters straight to New Orleans, and directly over Lake Ponchertrain and push the waters directly up the Mississippi. This will be disastrous. I feel for all the people in coastal and southern Louisiana.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  34. Mary

    I hope everyone stays safe...the police, the national guard, the citizens, and especially their pets. I would hate to see a replay of Katrina where people left pets behind. This wasn't right, so I hope they do everything better this time. This is a powerful storm, and I hope that everyone has gotten out safely by now. If not, you're fools.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  35. Sandra, Wadley Ga.

    Kay, I was also hoping you all had more time; this will definitely be a long sleepless night. Look out for one another. I know you all have much experience and know how to check your surroundings for objects which could turn into deadly projectiles.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  36. Calder

    Sure, Gee- Blame it on the republicans! Such an easy thing for liberals to do, almost second nature!

    By the way, the person who used the phrase "storm of the century" is NOLA's idiotic and DEMOCRATIC mayor Ray Nagin.

    But, its still the republicans fault, right???? Get a life.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  37. Gaspare

    Where do you guys go when the storm gets closer? I always see reporters in the thick of things. Do you go to a shelter? I assume you have some sort of plan in place.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  38. dakinikat

    it was amazing how fast it moved in ... one minute i was chatting with a neighbor who was taking pics of all the bird on the electric lines, the next thing was a big dark cloud moving fast ... we both clicked pix fast...
    amazing set of clouds

    August 31, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  39. Joe Hunkins

    Great coverage by CNN – twitter, blogs, TV. Brings it right home for the rest of us. Thanks

    August 31, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  40. Antonia Inman

    My prayers go to you all in harm's way tonight. Please take care. The lives of the CNN crew are more important than getting this story filed too accurately.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  41. Calvin

    I just left New Orleans Saturday after participating in the commemorations for hurricane Katrina and Rita. Brad Pitt has six homes in the Lower Ninth Ward that were built to the new code for hurricane protection. Cement pilings were placed very deep with LEED technology for each home. It is very, very important that a review of how these homes fair with these new homes rising 20 feet and more in the air. Please see how they do during your coverage. These houses could be the new models of how to build in the future of the "New", New Orleans. Especially in the Lower Ninth Ward and anywhere near the levees. Very Important for the future.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:58 pm |
  42. Tara Sybrant

    God bless and God Speed. My heart goes out to the entire area, I am on pins and needles hoping for the best and fearing the worst.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  43. Jen

    AC360 crew, please be careful. I adore your show and would be heartbroken if anyone got hurt in the line of duty (just to bring the viewers some "awesome" hurricane footage)...it's not worth it.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:56 pm |
  44. Shelly

    Earlier you mentioned that there were no busses or trains to evacuate people from New Orleans when Katrina hit. I believe that there were Amtrak trains available to take people north, but, the government never asked for them to be used. Nice to see that they are using them for this storm!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  45. Gee

    I do not understand why this hurricane is considered as the hurricane of the century? maybe this is all due to the republican party so that they can win their votes. the hurricane will be a huge test for the Levee that was built to protect the city of new orleans from flooding. This will show how much effort was put in the city for the civilians to be protected.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  46. Ken in NC

    Anderson, I live in Wilmington, NC so I can imagine what you are about to experience down there. Be very careful. Something the size of a toothbrush can be a deadly missile. Hope you all stay safe.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:47 pm |