Gustav packs punch along Gulf Coast

Even though Gustav is getting weaker now, it packed a big punch, slamming into southern Louisiana. We have several sister stations sharing video with us from Lake Charles, Biloxi, and Baton Rouge. KLTV 7's Courtney Lane shows us some of what they captured today.

He hit with torrential rains and 110 mile an hour winds, hurling debris and signs around an empty French Quarter. Most residents are gone, but a few did brave the storm.

"It really is kind of getting scary...hopefully it won't get much worse than this."

Today, we saw water sloshing over the Industrial Canal in New Orleans.

As Gustav slammed into the coast, whitecaps spilled over levees, though so far they are holding.

In Biloxi today, a woman had to be rescued, after getting caught in rising flood waters.

But fortunately this time, most people and their pets got out safely. Animals now get emergency treatment. They're tagged and bar-coded, matched to their owners - both four-legged friends and even scaly critters.

"You know, some of us don't have kids, these are like our kids. We gotta bring them," said Majunique Brown.

Today, evacuees were encouraged to sit tight and remain patient before returning home.

Louisiana officials say it would be a big mistake to lift mandatory evacuations too soon.

"First off, we want to make the re-entry as easy as the evacuation was but it's not time to put the guard down," said Tony Stelly.

The largest eletricity provider in lousiana says more than 700-thousand homes and businesses were without power today.

As Gustav blows over, making its way into Texas, crews in Louisiana are starting to clean up the wake of damage Gustav is leaving behind.

Courtney Lane, reporting.