Gustav wanes as New Orleans escapes drubbing

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Gustav wanes as New Orleans escapes drubbing

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It appears that New Orleans has avoided the full fury of another devastating hurricane.

The mass evacuation of the city has left it a flooded ghost town. But the water levels, not to mention the casualty count, are far lower than for Hurricane Katrina three years ago.

The fragile sea defences along America’s Gulf coast appear to have held back the storm surge.

But the US Army Corps of Engineers said some dangers remained.

“There is tremendous pressure against all of the levees and flood walls. Until that abates I think there’s still danger, but we’re confident that they will withstand the erosion and the forces we see right now,” said General Riley.

It was feared the warm waters of the caribbean would fuel Hurricane Gustav into a category four storm.

President George Bush dropped everything after heavy criticism for alleged inaction during Hurricane Katrina.

But when Gustav eventually made landfall it had been downgraded to a category two, later weakening to just a tropical storm.

But the two million people who left their homes are being urged to stay in the shelters. Thousands of homes are without power and heavy rain and strong winds are continuing.