Expect major travel disruptions as monster hurricane churns toward Louisiana


If you’re traveling to the Gulf Coast of Texas or Louisiana this weekend, you might want to change your plans. Hurricane Gustav, which is already a Category 4 storm, is headed your way. This one’s serious.

Our colleague Robert Welch, who is on the ground in New Orleans, is evacuating the city tomorrow afternoon.

Airlines haven’t canceled any flights yet. Southwest Airlines says it is “closely monitoring” Gustav’s movement. In an advisory on its site, the carrier said it is operating regularly scheduled flight service, but warns that the situation could change as the storm closes in on the Gulf Coast.

Our good friends at the Middle Seat Terminal blog have a helpful roundup of airlines and their storm policies. The Air Transport Association has also published a list of airline advisories on its site.

If Gustav continues on its present course, it is expected to make landfall in Louisiana. Authorities there are preparing for the worst. If you’re driving anywhere in Louisiana this weekend, check the state’s Transportation Department Web site to make sure the road you plan to take is still open.

Folks, this is not looking good. FEMA has already set up a Web page to help displaced residents (an ominous sign, if you ask me). According to the latest AccuWeather forecast, Gustav could turn into a nightmare for travelers — not to mention the residents of Louisiana.

Hurricane Gustav has strengthened into an extremely dangerous storm and will remain a major hurricane by the time it reaches the central Gulf Coast early in the week.

If the trajectory of the storm continues as expected it suggests that the Louisiana coast could be a likely target for landfall, bringing unhappy memories of the 2005 Category 5 Hurricane Katrina. Even if Gustav doesn’t track towards New Orleans, it could still bring more trouble to the city.

My advice would be to get out of the way of this killer storm — now.

  • Wrona

    I’ve posted the current updates from most of the major airlines on the Talking Travelers forums http://www.talkingtravelers.com . Also, I’ve posted updates about current itinerary changes by cruiselines.