September 2nd, 2008
03:55 PM ET

Seeing Gustav's flood damage from the air

Paul Courson
CNN Producer

Where are all the people? I've never seen a big city with empty streets and sidewalks, and even though I knew New Orleans was evacuated, seeing what that meant was TROUBLING. But the lack of much visible damage became reassuring. From a couple hundred feet in the sky, I could see that even the Riverwalk area, at the edge of the water, had been spared.

Not so for the Biloxi-Gulfport coastline. There, a few wrecked boats and many flooded houses showed where the storm surge left its mark.

In one hard-hit area, we circled around a large residential area, as the crew checked whether anyone had been trapped and needed rescue. Fortunately, everyone seemed to have evacuated this locale as well.

Filed under: Hurricane Gustav
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Barbara

    I agree with Dave and Penny. Baton Rouge, the Capitol city of LA, took a major hit from Gustav and all we hear about is New Orleans and the Ninth Ward. Frankly, the Ninth Ward has never been re-built because the slum lords are waiting for the money to come in plus a lot of Katrina evacuees are now living in Baton Rouge. Check it out!

    September 3, 2008 at 10:50 am |
  2. Jim

    Gustav turned out to be a big dissappointment for the news media and it will no doubt make it more difficult to generate ratings for the next hurricane. An even bigger dissappointment to the news media was the way the disaster relief plan was executed. Give credit to the State and Federal agencies that lead the effort and built the plans. I do give credit to the City leaders for not getting in the way this time. AC did his best to try to say this was all New Orleans City government in action but I think it only exposes his bias. When government works well, it is not news...but it should be.

    September 3, 2008 at 8:42 am |
  3. CitizenNola

    Anderson- what exactly is going on at the Shreveport shelter for evacuees that are being mentioned in numerous blogs? Why are buses not coming to pick them up to take them back home? Why do they not have food or showers according to numerous reports? I guess there are Katrina like problems happening. I am highly concerned about the evacuated/bused out citizens now that Gustav is over. Are they being abandoned at their dropped off locations? Please get to the bottom of this since I trust you. Thanks!

    September 3, 2008 at 5:49 am |
  4. Julie

    Hurricane Gustav is a prime example of the heavy responsibilities a governor carries. Millions of lives were affected and undoubtedly many were saved by the decisions made by the gulf state governors.

    I wonder what those governors think of all the talk about how Palin is "just a governor with no real experience" while they were busy making life and death decisions about how to protect their citizens .

    Their decisions had nothing to do with national security but I bet that was the last thing on those citizen's minds.

    September 3, 2008 at 1:24 am |
  5. Star

    I was appalled at the way the officials in New Orleans handled things, again.. They made this big deal about the storm being a category 5 then 4 and resulting in another disastrous aftermath but they were all wrong, and they had 3 freaking years to make those levees higher and stronger and they failed to do that as well. So I completely washed my hands with the entire situation. I'm glad I never lived there. From what I heard, the crime is very bad out there in New Orleans (south of the French Quarters more specifically) so the city really wanted the levees to breach again so that the more impoverished communities could flood again and hopefully deter them from returning. It just makes sense now, I always perceived Louisiana as being a racist, corrupt state (excluding the French quarters) so this wouldn't surprise me if this was their plan all along. People who live there know it and the people who know people there know it as well... But of course nothing will be done about it because its affecting more African Americans than any other race. Maybe if half of the refugees were Hispanic I bet there would be much better options for them because they are highly favored these days....

    September 3, 2008 at 12:34 am |
  6. Cindy

    I have to say as a Mississippi resident and seeing firsthand the damage done by Katrina to the Coast of Mississippi and New Orleans, I'm sick of New Orleans. It's sad when I have friends who call me during a hurricane to ask how I'm doing in Mississippi because they're SICK of hearing about New Orleans. They were told to leave they didn't. You ever notice the dates that people say Katrina actuallly hit? While MS says it is 8/29/05, New Orleans says 8/30/05. Who is right? New Orleans suffered their fate by their own greedy hands. Where did the money go to fix the levees in the first place? Oh well and now how many people are dead because they stayed during a hurricane and their state let them down. New Orleans can claim that Katrina damaged them, I guess it was a bomb that someone dropped on the coast of Mississippi? I'm sick of hearing about New Orleans and how they lost so much. What about the People in Mississippi? You sure don't hear about that now do you? Mississippi still looks like a bomb has been dropped on it and only and I mean only if you go in certain places in New Orleans can you tell the damage that was done by a barge hitting the levees! CNN and all of the other News stations need to focus a little more on the REAL victims of hurricanes rather than steadily worrying about NO! I have a friend in Florida and I told her it's going to be sad that when Hannah hits Florida the focus will be on New Orleans because it just might go across Florida and hit it. Is the media disappointed because they didnt' get to see NO damaged again by their stupidity? probably are but there are still real victims of Gustav and Katrina that need to be heard and they won't ever be because all of the focus is on New Orleans once again. The night that Katrina hit the coast I got to listen to people telling others that their family was probably dead. The next day/night I got to hear the people of New Orleans calling the radio stations and telling them that they needed to get someone to come get them when the water was to their ankles. What is wrong with them? Why couldn't they start walking? Of course it's people of New Orleans waiting for someone to give them what they want and not actually work for it.

    I guess when the next hurricane hits the Gulf Coast we'll hear nothing but New Orleans again.

    September 2, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    I had hoped that from where Gustav came on shore that the Mississippi Gulf towns would be spared much flooding from storm surge. I hope no one was killed in those towns and that they dry out quickly. I also hope that the people that live in Gulfport, Waveland, Biloxi, etc. get some help so they can finally rebuild and come home.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 2, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  8. Mari

    Thank you for the whole of residences in this area, this video has NO evacuees! Hope they keep their power for after return to home!

    CNN told the levee is higher than before Katrina. But in this condition, we should raise the height of the LEVEE more (or the height of the GROUND of the area), or expand the width of the RIVER. We have to prepare the space of water / rainfalls.

    (This comment does not have to appear on the blog. Really thank you.)

    September 2, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  9. robert

    I'm from Louisiana And i'm glad everyone was moved out for the storm but it would be nice to hear more about the small towns and rural areas in southeast louisiana. New Orleans is not the only city in Louisiana. Cause people from these little areas would like to know local activities too. Everything is not New Orleans then the rest of louisiana we should all be treated equil just because we don't live in a big city. thank you.

    September 2, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  10. Jade

    Not that bad ...huh. I guess if you have money to repair it then it isn't that bad. I asked my husband who is going to pay for this. If these families are living check to check what did this do to them? Not that bad thought. I pray for Americans every day that we wake up to someones reality who is worse off than you until one day you understand struggle pain and strife.

    September 2, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  11. Phyllis C.

    The DNC Chairmain does not understand that GOD does not cause bad things like Gustav. GOD is kind and loving. Someone else is trying to disrupt the GOP convention. Make a guess. I am now more than convinced that McCain should get my vote. Keep up the great work Mr. Cooper !

    September 2, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  12. Penny

    I'm not alone in this thought of concern. All news stations were putting all their eggs in one basket with New Orleans, but when it didn't flood that was the end of the reporting. We as a nation are so glad Gustav wasnt as bad as Katrina but New Orleans wasnt the only place in its path and there are pleanty of places that DID get hit and we as a nation want to know how bad. Come on CNN be a little more compassionate.

    September 2, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  13. Dave

    I am extremely disappointed that the news media feels it must give in to the political side of stories and continue to report on New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina–the devastation from Katrina was in the Mississippi Gulf Coast. If you remember, New Orleans survived Katrina, their sub-sea level protection infrastructure collapsed. Yet, still again, the focus is on New Orleans instead of where the Hurricane hit most of all. FORGET about New Orleans...people were waiting with their hands out in New Orleans while the Mississippi Gulf Coast residents were taking action and rebuilding their community as that–a community. I'M TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT NEW ORLEANS....share your coverage where it belongs..... New Orleans will flood again and eventually sink into the sea.....

    September 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  14. warren

    My heart goes out to the entire city of new orleans and even the gulfcoast. Three years ago Katrina overpowered the entire city and left it in ruins, new orleans is my birthplace and I love the "big Easy" so much, that I pray to the man up above that the levees are fix correctly and New Orleans will return back into the lovely and wonderful city it is!! (Ya heard me!)

    September 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  15. Brenda Harris

    You know what What did all of this evacuation cost? And will it happen next year and the year after and the year after and on and on. Maybe these types of areas should be used only as resort areas for times when its not hurricane season. How can we keep putting people and the country through this. Don't anyone ever learn for their experiences.

    September 2, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  16. Cindy

    At least the flooding wasn't like last time after Katrina! I hate that any flooding occurred but that is sometimes unavoidable no matter how hard we try to prevent it. Thankfully no one was in those areas.


    September 2, 2008 at 3:52 pm |