Gustav No Katrina But Still a Threat

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NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are bracing themselves for Hurricane Gustav today.

It's a grim reminder of what residents had to deal with three years ago, when Katrina barreled ashore. But this time around, most people have evacuated the city before the storm hits.

Click play to watch CBN News reporter Mark Martin's updated report from New Orleans and Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi's forecast for Gustav.

Starting All Over Again

Mile after mile of bumper-to-bumper traffics, residents of New Orleans evacuate in hopes of evading Hurricane Gustav.

Keesha Cheneau loaded her family in the car, only to be sidelined briefly by car troubles. But she's determined to get out of town.

She lives in the ninth ward - an area wiped out by Hurricane Katrina three years ago.

"Oooh, I'm frustrated," Cheneau said. "I'm frustrated and tired. I'm really tired. Starting all over again.

Starting all over again - it's something the Jones family may also have to do.

They lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and now Gustav has mom Lisa Jones fighting off flashbacks before they evacuate.

"It's like a trigger's been pulled inside of me, and there's a storm raging inside of me because I'm just thinking of everything we experienced - all that we lost, all that we walked through," she said.

Lessons Learned

Improvements have been made in New Orleans since Katrina, like a new flood wall, built to protect residents of the lower Ninth Ward.

But officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say the area is still vulnerable and that rebuilding the levees is a work in progress and not expected to be complete until 2011. That's why it's so important to get people out.

Empty streets and boarded up businesses show that more residents are following mandatory evacuations.

A busy airport to where hospital and home care patients are transported by bus and ambulance represents another sign of positive change.

After they arrive at the airport, Disaster Medical Assistance Teams meet the patients and walk them to military aircraft, like this C130, which then airlifts them to safety.

Medical team commander Gina Smith said, "We all learned many, many lessons. And the state as well as our agency has worked over the last several years to try to make the response that much stronger."

Still, in spite of the lessons learned, some in New Orleans hesitate to leave.

New Orleans resident Ken Jordan said, "I'm not quite sure. If I get jittery and nervous, I probably will leave."

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News

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