by Contessa Brewer, MSNBC anchor and correspondent
My last stand-up in New Orleans
I just left New Orleans, drove across Lake Ponchartrain on I-10. The traffic on the freeway was very light, until we hit the other side of the lake. There, authorities had established a checkpoint and all inbound traffic was being diverted off the interstate. It appeared only authorized vehicles were being allowed through. The officials want evacuees to wait for the all-clear before heading home.
I'm also seeing work trucks heading toward New Orleans, crews prepared to assist in the clean-up and repair.
The damage I'm seeing on my way out of town is minor: Trees down. Siding ripped off apartment buildings. Signs littering the roadside.
I'm also seeing a slew of cars parked on the side of the freeway in rural areas. Presumably, these were people who'd joined the mass exodus before Gustav, but had mechanical problems and were forced to abandon their vehicles.
So I'm saying goodbye to New Orleans and Gustav, and hello to Hanna... heading East for more storm coverage.