September 1st, 2008
06:59 PM ET

Gustav is keeping us guessing...

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/01/art.nola.randikaye.jpg caption="The view from Randi Kaye's windshield as she drives through Gustav to reach Baton Rouge."]

Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent | BIO

We are on our way to Baton Rouge to meet some of the folks who evacuated from New Orleans. I’m with my producer, Chuck Hadad.

We flew into Jackson, Mississippi because the Baton Rouge airport was closed. At first, it was just raining… now it’s storming and the wind is rocking our car back and forth pretty fiercely.

At first we thought the drive would be a breeze, but now we’re seeing big downed trees in the road and it’s nearly impossible to see through the rain out the front windshield. We are following our crew which is in the car ahead of us and we can barely see them. At this point, we are still 70 miles away... Not good!

We’ve had to slow down considerably even though we’re on a deadline. Chuck is white-knuckled on the steering wheel. The only cars we’ve seen are a few state troopers... It seems most took the advice to ‘get their butts out of town’ before the storm hit.

We must be in between bands because the rain seems to get really strong, then falling off for a bit. Gustav is keeping us guessing that’s for sure.

Once we get to Baton Rouge we’re not expecting any stellar conditions either. About 30,000 people are without power, including our hotel. Have you ever tried taking your contacts out in the dark? I did it during Katrina. It’s a challenge. I look forward to doing that again.

I’m also looking forward to meeting some of the evacuees. One woman we expect to have on the show tonight evacuated with her husband and 12 year old son. They stayed in New Orleans during Katrina and this time said not again. Her son is a bit of a ‘storm chaser’ so it should be a great interview.

I’ll keep you updated on our travels along the way…

Cross your fingers for us we get to Baton Rouge safely… thanks!

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Filed under: Hurricane Gustav • Randi Kaye
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Jeff B

    Why is CNN glamorizing the hurricane acting like they want it to be worse than it is??????

    September 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  2. MidwestVicki

    ...and CNN weather was telling people to go west. I cant believe you people sometimes. Baton Rouge was NOT the place to set up a headquarters. Who's idea was THAT??

    September 1, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  3. Annie Kate


    Hope you got there ok – I'm sure that was a wild scary ride. I'm looking forward to you talking to the boy who is something of a storm chaser. His observations ought to be very interesting.

    Just stay safe and looking forward to your report tonight.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 1, 2008 at 9:04 pm |
  4. jay

    It's Ironic that Gustav arrived the same day the Repulican convention was supposed to begin. I dont think its chance......Seems more like karma to me. It's just a shame that the people down there have to go through this thing again. OUR PRAYERS are with the people of the gulf coast!!!

    September 1, 2008 at 8:38 pm |
  5. Beth

    I heard several references today to a barge causing the first levee break after Katrina. It seems like this got lost in the chaos afterward. Has whoever was responsible for that barge been held responsible for any of the ensuing damage? Today may not be the day for that story but it is something that I would like to hear more about later.

    September 1, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  6. ann sandberg


    While FEMA may have done a good job of evacuating people from New Orleans I know first hand that shelters in Memphis are over capacity (180 in site for 100) and have no pillows, covers, or other basics for evacuees who have been there two nights. We have organized local grassroots volunteers to purchase such items and take them to the shelters. I have been sending screaming emails about this to all local politicians i know since i went to Red Cross to donate clothes and towels they announced they needed, only to be told the didn't which shelters who needed them.

    I then went to a shelter near my home and found the horrible situation. no diapers for babies, no toiletries, no towels, no toilet paper, no pillows or bedding. many didn't even have a canvas cot.

    PLEASE let the world know that FEMA screwed up again....our local politicians are now getting involved, and hopefully this will be better soon. In meantime we continue to appeal to churches and everyone we can think of...people WANT to help, local FEMA and RED Cross just haven't provided the organization needed to make that happen.

    Ann Sandberg
    a concerned citizen
    Memphis, TN

    September 1, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  7. Therese from CA

    Please stay safe out there and thank you for bringing the stories to us. It would be wonderful if you could also share stories about the relief workers. I hear that the American Red Cross has sent thousands of people to assist the victims of this disaster. What amazing people these workers are that they would drop their normal lives and activities to travel across the country, in the path of a hurricane, just to be there. We hear so few stories on the news about them but see the Red Cross workers everywhere when disasters occur, I hope you can focus some on these volunteers! I looked for the link on your "how to help" web page as directed by a news report this morning but the Red Cross isn't listed!

    September 1, 2008 at 7:22 pm |
  8. Bob

    this shtick of standing in the rain getting your hair wet is getting a little tired. stay in the studio and just report the news.

    ps it is a little safer too

    September 1, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  9. Cindy

    It seems like you all are having your own little adventure on the way to Baton Rouge. I hope that the weather lessens up a bit so that you can make it there safely. Be careful and give us an update soon.


    September 1, 2008 at 7:04 pm |