Hurricane Gustav has smashed into America’s Gulf Coast, downgraded to a “mere” Category Two storm, but still packing ferocious power. It came ashore near the port of Cocodrie, about 100 kms southwest of New Orleans, lashing the area with strong winds and driving rain, but sparing the Big Easy its full anger.
Gustav had been called the Storm of the Century as local people were urged to flee while it powered its way across the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
All eyes now are on New Orleans’ famous levees, the man-made barriers holding back the Gulf waters which failed during Hurricane Katrina three years ago, when 80 percent of the city was flooded.
US Army engineers are confident the levees will be up to the job, but New Orleans’ mayor Ray Nagin has warned that his city is still in grave danger.