August 31st, 2008
08:33 PM ET

Lights out: Suddenly, it seems real...

Jim Spellman
CNN Producer

I’m sitting in the 6th district police station in NOLA’s Central City and suddenly it seems real.

The winds have picked up considerably and the rain is starting to lash against the windows. Moments after the wind picked up the power went out.

A pack of cops hurried to get the back up generator running. What few lights were on in the blocks around the police station are now dark.

It’s not a hurricane yet, but New Orleans just got it first sign that Gustav is heading this way.

Filed under: Hurricane Gustav
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Jim in Saint Johns, Florida

    Goodness, all the posts here are well wishes for the MEDIA – Anderson stay safe. How trite.

    The people have evacuated, only the media and police and firmen are left.

    Now it's the media that has inserted themselves and become part of the story.

    The people were told to evacuate.

    Guess the media aren't people.

    Hope you CNN types can dig up something you will use to criticize the government for. That IS why you are "braving" the conditions, isn't it?

    September 1, 2008 at 8:19 am |
  2. Debbie King

    Hang in there, thanks for keeping us informed. Your all in our prayers.

    September 1, 2008 at 6:06 am |
  3. Chase

    Why do so many readers thank just Anderson in their comments on many of the articles here? Please think of the other writers that are risking their lives to keep us informed of this hurricane. They deserve our (the readers) recogintion too. Their names are in bold letters near the top of every article...

    September 1, 2008 at 5:52 am |
  4. S Stein

    I understand that NOLA is big newsand the reasons are obvious, but I have concerns about what will happin after the storm hits NO. I live here in Streetman Texas and as I understand it Gustav is going to park itself right on top of my house and hang around for several days raining and duing what a Tropical Depression does except move! I guess what troubles me the most is that most people around here have no idea that Gustav may come here, much less know that it may stall out here for two to three days. I have no idea what to expect from a stalled out Gustav.I suspect Flooding and more.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:50 am |
  5. AmandaDise

    You guys stay safe out there, hope not too many people are affected by this storm.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:36 am |
  6. AmandaDise

    I am going to be flying into DFW on the 4th and driving from Dallas to WA on the 9th or 10 and am wondering if there is going to be any worries that should be needed about the second storm? Please email response.

    September 1, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  7. Mike from Lafayette

    I would like to start off with a comment about the idiot who stated that he is burnt out on his emotions with the storm. I can tell you that with my past involvement with the storms, I think it shameful that this idiot feels it needed to say he is burnt out. If you don't care watch something else. To all of the emergency workers (and media) my thoughts and prayers are with you all. I worked in NO for Katrina and I know it can be tough. Thanks for all you guys do and be safe...

    September 1, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  8. Big Easy

    Many Americans may not begin to imagine the affect of this hurricane on the citizens of New Orleans. As a democrat, I commend the GOP for altering their RNC. Instead of politics, I am more concerned about the children of the affected areas, who for the second time in their little lives, will go through a natural disaster and may be forced once more to adapt to another environment, new schools and peers. I'm more concerned about the elderly, who were born and raised in New Orleans and feel so strongly about it that they would prefer to spend their last days there. I am just as concerned about all of the homeowners who have already renovated their homes due to damage from Katrina and Rita. I am concerned about the problems they will face with insurance companies refusing to pay and the continous battle over whether the damaged was caused by wind or flooding. I am not as concerned about what Barrack Obama or John McCain will do to assist in the efforts of rescue and recovery, however I am concerned about how President George Bush will respond. Until one either Senator Obama or Senator McCain is elected as President of the United States, they are just that "Senators" with thoughts of encouragement. We appreciate your thoughts of well wishes, but we need our government to step up.

    August 31, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  9. Vann V

    May you all be safe there. Thank you all for reporting on this storm. I have been constantly following everything about it on the cable news and on the internet. Lights out: Suddenly it seems real just seemed to put it all together. My wife and I our following the storm from central Tennessee, and from the experiences of a few severe storms that were totally scary and dreadful to go through we cannot even imagine what it must be like down there, epecially when it is to late to go somewhere else. My sister and her late husband had stayed when hurricane andrew came through homestead florida back in 1992 and from what they could describe was unbelievable to someone who was not there. Well, once again please stay safe, and everyone down there and the ones who have evacuated our prayers our with you. Anything and everything is possible through Christ. May he watch over you all. God Bless.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  10. Eric Battles

    Where do CNN crews(Anderson) take cover?Please be careful and take proper cover.Don't risk too much,be as safe as possible.

    August 31, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  11. mc in ardmore ok

    I know the stinging rain & winds have already hit. thinking about all of U & praying for U all. having did 3 mos of fema as a truck driver when katrina hit, U'll be the last thing on my mind when going to sleep tonite
    & the 1st on my mind in the morning, getting ready to go to work.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  12. Wileen

    Be safe Anderson . Hope all is well

    August 31, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  13. jane

    no need to show this on a posting. i didn't know where to put this. i had been watching the history channel and there had been several cities in the past that kept getting flooded and so they built the town on TOP of the old town. the one i remembered most was in ireland and you can go under the city and see the old city, still there. with new orleans about to be flooded again and everyone having to leave again, why can't they do the same thing as was done in ireland and other cities/countries? as i understand, a lot of the areas that were destroyed last time still have not had anything done to replace/clean up the areas. and what has happened to the "green", hurricane proof housing that brad pitt had built? i would like to hear why this can't be done now so the next time a hurricane comes [which it will] there won't be the flooding, looting and deaths.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:41 pm |
  14. John Mortl

    My prayers and well wishes go out to all those who are and will be effected by this storm.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:34 pm |
  15. Debbie Peterson MICH

    My five year old son and I are watching your broadcast, I have to explain to him what is going on...We are both praying for everyone down there. Please be safe.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:34 pm |
  16. PaPaula Engle

    We're watching and praying ... Michigan
    My husband I visted NO for a week in November. Our hearts ache for your pain once again. We have contributed to the Make it Right Foundation and will continue.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  17. LTJ

    Let's hope and pray that there will not be much damage or deaths.Peace to all.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:32 pm |
  18. M.J.Haisley

    Anderson my prayers are with you. I love all that your doing there. I like watching you on t.v. and the reporting you are doing is wonderful.
    Please, you and everyone there be careful.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:30 pm |
  19. Roxanne Hamilton

    We will be praying for all of you ****Las Vegas Nv

    August 31, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  20. Jacob

    Dude you got me scared now. It is real.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  21. ina butler

    We are evacuees from New Iberia, Louisiana. Can you please tell us what's going on there?

    August 31, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  22. lydia n.

    Praying for your safety. I'm counting on your fierce reporting - you GO Anderson!

    August 31, 2008 at 9:03 pm |
  23. Sharon Collins

    I greatly admire the dedication of you and all your colleagues in keeping us in touch with the impact of Hurricane Gustav, but I worry about your safety. Can someone tell us how you folks take care of yourselves when the danger is too great?

    August 31, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  24. Matt

    Still 100s of miles out and some strong winds took out the power?

    How does anyone expect any soft infrastructure in the city to be servicable any time soon after this? So. LA has become Nature's #1 favorite whipping post on the N. American continent (no. CA and the central states vie for second place). The whole southern LA and surrounding area needs to be abandoned entirely and Nature needs to be allowed to reclaim it. The Big Lady has spoken, and she wants that part of this land back. No use fighting it, better just give her what she wants and hope she doesn't ask for too much more from us any time soon.

    August 31, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  25. Liz

    Thank you for your reports. How will you manage to keep filing reports when power is out and services down?
    Stay safe.

    August 31, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  26. Ted

    It does not seem as horrible to me. As an American that truly felt sorry when Katrina hit, I had to endure 23 years of hearing that the Govt did it on purpose, or that nobody cared. I had to hear about the one leader say it New Orleans would be a chocolate city again.......after all that. I am sorta burned out on caring

    August 31, 2008 at 8:51 pm |
  27. Ken in NC

    Anderson be careful and stay safe . Mother Nature can be worse thatn any Great White Shark.

    August 31, 2008 at 8:50 pm |
  28. jnoguera

    Hang in there you guys and Godspeed. We'll all be watching.

    August 31, 2008 at 8:41 pm |