HAMMOND, La. (AP) Although attention is focused on the petroleum industry as Hurricane Gustav takes aim at the Gulf Coast, billions of dollars are at stake in other economic sectors: New Orleans' trademark tourism industry, the shipping business, sugar harvesting and even such niche products as red-hot Tabasco sauce.
For many this weekend, it was simply a matter of preparing as much as possible then waiting for today's expected arrival of Gustav.
The Port of New Orleans shut down as the Coast Guard closed the lower Mississippi River. The French Quarter was emptied of visitors as most hotels closed. Coastal casinos, a dozen of which were destroyed three years ago by Hurricane Katrina, closed their doors.