Here is the monument to the 1900 Storm that is estimated to have killed between 8 and 12 thousand people in and around the city of Galveston. As you can see the tide waters are crashing in on what is a 17 foot Seawall. If predictions are correct, parts of this monument will be under water by the time hurricane Ike makes landfall.
Here is a picture of Gary reporting from Seawall Blvd. with cameraman Gregg Canes. Look at those waves! And the storm isn't even here yet...
The storm is coming, and everyone here knows it. Right now store owners are boarding up their windows, but you hardly see anyone on the street, and in downtown Houston there aren't many cars on the roads, just a few police cruisers slowly gliding by.
We've been trying to decide where we should locate ourselves to cover the storm. Normally, we'd go to Galveston, but we are going to need to stay on the air all during the storm to anchor 360 tonight.
If we are in Galveston, it's likely we'd be knocked off the air by the storm at a certain point, so we are thinking of staying in Houston, or moving just a bit further south. Gary Tuchman will be in Galveston and we have correspondents fanned out in spots all around the coast.
Seeing a US Coast Guard boat on a trailer in the parking lot of a high school gym may seem like a strange way for the Coasties (as they call
themselves) to get ready for a major hurricane, but it actually makes a lot of sense.
The Coast Guard in Houston has pulled most of their boats, planes and helicopters away from the coast line to protect them from the storm and to be ready to roll out as soon as it is safe to hit the water and the skies.
Here at the high school gym in Katy,near Houston, 250 coast guardsmen are bunking down for the night with their boats and gear. Coast Guard brass have set up a command center as well. This is where they will coordinate their response. The choppers and airplanes are at other facilities around the Houston area waiting for the storm.
I asked one Coast Guardsmen what their first priority will be Ike passes and they can leave the gym. "Lives. We will go and find people in distress."
St. Bernard Parish
The sign reads "times are hard in St. Bernard" and whatever spray paint poet wrote it has got it right.
Its not so much that Gustav brought hard times, the damage here from wind, water and a few levee issues has been relatively minor, but walking the neighborhood’s streets here makes it clear that three years after Katrina, the mess from that killer storm still remains.
Across the street from the sign sits a house with another kind of spray painted sign–the familiar cross with the number that search and rescue folks left behind.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/02/art.vert.shelter.jpg caption="The View from inside the Coliseum shelter in Alexandira, Louisiana." width=292 height=320]
Christine Romans | BIO
The people who endured long bus rides to shelters far from home to escape Gustav are ready to go home.
But now they have to wait, and the patience is wearing thin. So is the food and the plumbing.
In Alexandria, Louisiana, local Red Cross volunteer Herb Boykin left the Coliseum shelter last night only to be called back to calm the evacuees.
'We almost had a riot here last night.'
Eighty-six year old Maxine Richardson sat in the lobby of a Baton Rouge Sheraton and watched Gustav whip its fury on bent street signs.
A large piece of metal from a neighboring building flew off and crashed into the Sheraton's glass roof, startling and entertaining evacuees. The glass cracked but didn't break. People applauded.
Richardson was startled at first, but then rolled her eyes. She isn't going to put up with running from hurricanes any longer.
Though there are three generations of family who live with her in New Orleans, she is over the place.
"People were like, 'Oh, aren't you excited to be back home?'" She said, recalling how she moved back in to her home that was destroyed by Katrina.
"I was not happy. I didn't like that place anymore. It made me uncomfortable.
"I want to leave New Orleans and if I go back this time to the same thing Katrina left me, I will find another place to live. Lord Jesus, I hope you hear me because I mean it!"
[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."]
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!
What an amazing difference a few hours makes.
When we first drove into the area around New Orleans' Industrial Canal, the wind and driving rain were just knocking us all around. We saw rolling waves constantly overtopping the walls, spilling over the levees, and the Port of New Orleans was almost completely underwater.
It looked bad.
Then we drove around, further south of where the Industrial intersects the Intracoastal, and saw water shooting out of sections of a flood wall. First thought would be, isn't this how floods start?
Rob Marciano | BIO
One of the ways to broadcast during a hurricane is by using what's called a "fly-away."
It works like a satellite truck except it comes in 9 to 40 cases and has no wheels!
CNN engineers can put one together in about an hour, but getting all the crates up to the hotel roof took another hour. The roof is very exposed so protecting the dish from the winds took another couple of hours.
Even then… the makeshift tarps and tents had to be held down ALL day so the satellite dish wouldn’t get damage or fly away itself! A broadcast engineer’s work is never done!
Endless thanks for keeping CNN on the air!!! It still amazes me how we can beam images through thin air. Oh and by the way… the air was moving pretty fast when Gustav plowed through South East Louisiana.
CNN Engineers Brian Weeks and Ron Williamson. (Kidane Stephanos not pictured)