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2:30pm update: 

Gustav Radar

The Latest Rain Radar of Gustav – updated hourly.

For a free animated version click here: (requires Java).

IR Satellite

(Left – Satellite image from, updated hourly, shows Gustav over the southern United States this afternoon)

HURRICANE GUSTAV is still holding on as a Category 1 hurricane – roughly the same intensity of the low that passed Northland late in July.  It’s packing sustained winds around the eye of 120km/h so is maintaining its hurricane status for now – but a drop of just a few kilometres per hour will remove it’s “hurricane” title and make it a tropical storm only.  Torrential rain is continuing to fall across Louisiana (LA) with predictions of up to 500mm of rain in some areas – a major concern considering much of coastal LA is near or below sea level.

Caribbean Satellite(Left – Hurricane Hanna centre of this picture is barely moving as she organises herself better over the Bahamas – image  updated hourly)

Meanwhile HURRICANE HANNA is now in full swing over the Bahamas and has become stronger than Gustav, packing sustained winds of 130km/h.  Hanna is expected to affect the Atlantic coastline of America including Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas according to our weather partner

And further east in the open waters Tropical Storm Ike has developed  – it’s a long way out but expects Ike to become a hurricane in the coming days.

This will be the final update of this thread – Images will continue to update hourly however any future news updates on these tropical storms will be posted in new stories/threads.  Thanks for all your comments – please see below for all the final stats and news. 


– 2 million Louisiana (LA) residents evacuate.

– 90% of coastal LA residents have left their homes tonight.

– Hurricane Gustav not expected to be a “repeat of Katrina”.

– Storm made landfall as Cat 2 but peaked as 4 earlier.

– Waves in the Gulf of Mexico estimated to have been 28 metres high.

– Some areas may see a staggering 600mm (over half a metre!) of rain over the next few days.  This is incredible considering LA is flat and much of it is close to or below sea level.

– Winds were at 225km/h but now 130km/h

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: speaks exclusively to Scott Durand – a resident who is directly in the path of Hurricane Gustav tonight.

“My biggest fear is having a tornado rip through my property” says Scott Durand who lives in Lafayette – a Louisiana city that is expected to take a direct hit tomorrow morning NZT by Hurricane Gustav.  He lives with his girlfriend and 5 pets and spoke exclusively to him this evening while they waited for Gustav to make landfall.  Scott has lived through a number of hurricanes and says all he can do is “be patient” and hope for the best.

Ironically Scott says a number of victims from Hurricane Katrina moved to Lafayette – a city about the size of Hamilton NZ and is 150kms west of New Orleans.  Lafayette doesn’t suffer from flooding like New Orleans does.

He says last time Hurricane Rita – which came through after Hurricane Katrina – caused major wind damage to trees and buildings around him – including a twister that brought down trees on his property.  “The sound horrified me”.

During Hurricane Rita he said some areas were literally wiped off the map.  “My father was with the Sheriffs Department for years – they had to use a GPS to know where they were – in an area that previously had streets”. 

“Cities that were 30 minutes south were literally ‘gone’ “.

“I get too nervous to stay still” he says when we asked him what he’ll be doing while the storm is passing above.  “Protecting my girlfriend, my pets and my house is what I’ll be doing”.


Föehn on 1/09/2008 11:23am

Just have to feel concerned for all those pets that might have to be left behind with such an exodus of people. I guess those who motor out under their own steam can take their pets with them, although it would be horribly hot in a car if they have no air-conditioning, but what about all those who have to go via public transport. Can’t see them being allowed to take their livestock and pets with them and who is left behind to feed them should people not be allowed back for a while?
It’s not just the people who suffer.

WW Forecast Team on 1/09/2008 11:38am

Hi Foehn,

Yes – a very good point.  We found this article which we hope you appreciate – and other pet lovers too.

While it’s not a hugely detailed report it does give you an idea that pets are being much better looked after this time around – which is a huge relief.  Also a huge relief to know that NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) isn’t likely to be as badly affect as it was in 2005 during Katrina.


The Weather Watch Team

Kathryn on 1/09/2008 3:46am

Just wondering what the status is for tropical storm Hanna? This moring it looked like it had “spread out” but now it is looking very intense again. On the satilite for the Carribbean it looks rather nasty. Is it a hurricain yet?
Also how do the hurricains get given their names?

Thanks for the coverage. Facinating,…… and rather scary compared to the storms we’ve just had.

WW Forecast Team on 1/09/2008 4:03am

Hi – please read the latest story above for all the details on Hanna.  Doesn’t look to be much of a concern at this stage.


The Weather Watch Team

WW Forecast Team on 1/09/2008 4:07am

I’ll be writing a piece on hurricane names probably on Wednesday!  If you can’t wait until then, write to me using the Contact Us button at the top of the page!



Philip Duncan

Kagato on 1/09/2008 1:39am

Thanks for all the coverage on the hurricane, I personally have a number of people that I know over in the states, some of which are in the direct path of the storm that I have lost contact with over the past couple of days (for obvious reasons), and have been wanting to find information about the storms path and how serious it is. I’ll be hoping and praying that the damage from the storm is not too severe and that the majority of the people caught up in it get out in one piece.

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