A nervous New Orleans is bracing for Gustav, well aware that weak spots in the city's hurricane barrier could lead to catastrophic flooding if the storm strikes, reports the Times-Picayune. Some $13 billion in work remains to be done before the city can be considered relatively well-protected. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has already declared a state of emergency and said evacuations could begin as early as tomorrow, Reuters reports.
The city's Achilles' heel, the Industrial Canal area, will not have storm surge protection in place until next year. Workers are busy installing huge sandbags to shore up the riskiest areas,and National Guard troops are on standby to help. "What we're looking at is expectation of a hit," said the boss of a levee board. "We're gearing up with that in mind." (Read more New Orleans stories.)