By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 1, 2008 3:15PM
While it might not be Chicago-related, Hurricane Gustav is the national story on this Labor Day, so we're following it. We also have a Friend of Chicagoist stationed in the heart of Uptown New Orleans (near the intersection of Carandolet & Constantinople) who's been keeping me up-to-date on conditions in the city, much like he did for me during Katrina. As of 8:30 a.m., he still had power and no damage and saw no water in the streets, but there's still a long way to go, even as the storm was downgraded to a Category 2. One more favorable aspect of the storm: he's still moving quickly.
We're also monitoring this site which provides live feeds from all four New Orleans affiliate television stations. As of 9:30 a.m., WWL and WDSU in New Orleans report waves of water overtopping the Industrial Canal levee in the upper 9th Ward, a report confirmed by Mayor Ray Nagin, who is also reporting there may be some barges loose in the canal and posing danger to the rebuilt levees. Water levels were reported to be near 10 feet in the Industrial Canal; in 2005 during Katrina, the London Ave. Canal breached with 9.5 feet of water. However, overtopping was expected and scour protection is holding and there are no reports of breaches. The eye of Gustav had made landfall as of 10 a.m. near Houma, Louisiana. President Bush is scheduled to speak within the hour.