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Hurricane Gustav

September 3, 2008 | Mary McNamara, Times Television Critic
Forced by Hurricane Gustav to pare down the first day of their national convention and rattled by breaking news about John McCain's running mate, Republicans took advantage of Gustav's passing to regroup. As news anchors hustled back to St. Paul, Minn., organizers essentially turned Day Two of the convention into Day One. First Lady Laura Bush introduced her husband's speech via satellite, and former Sen. Fred Thompson replaced Rudolph W. Giuliani as keynote speaker. Then Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent who spent much of his career as a Democrat, endorsed McCain.
September 3, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Jerry Lewis raised a record $65 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. in his annual Labor Day telethon, a benefit that also made a pitch for those inconvenienced by Hurricane Gustav. This year's 22-hour telethon added a special plea for MDA-registered families forced to leave their homes because of the hurricane, which made landfall Monday in Louisiana. The storm affected nearly 5,000 MDA families needing services in their new location, the organization said. The 2008 haul for the 43rd annual fundraising blitz was $1.2 million more than last year's total.
September 3, 2008 | Ann M. Simmons, Times Staff Writer
As the water began to rise on the first floor of her house Monday, Connie Danese hurriedly stacked ornaments, photos and other valuables on top of a piano that had been in her husband's family for decades. Other keepsakes were piled onto every available surface on the kitchen counter and table. More belongings were hauled upstairs. Connie and Sam Danese refused to evacuate when Hurricane Gustav approached their two-story house in the Oak Harbor subdivision of this small coastal Mississippi town.
September 2, 2008 | David Zucchino, Richard Fausset and Stephen Braun, Times Staff Writers
Hurricane Gustav scoured rural southern Louisiana on Monday with blistering winds and dangerous storm surges, but New Orleans evaded its latest encounter with natural disaster, emerging with a strained levee system that mostly held despite a day of uncertainty. Plowing in as a Category 2 storm from the Gulf of Mexico, Gustav packed 110-mph winds but quickly dropped to Category 1. It crossed coastal lowlands dominated by oil pipelines and fishing wharves and headed toward east Texas.
September 2, 2008 | Dan Morain, Times Staff Writer
Republicans convened their national convention Monday in a session truncated by a hurricane and roiled by vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's revelation that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. John McCain's campaign sought to keep the focus on the emergency response to Hurricane Gustav, limiting partisan functions and parties to underscore that Republicans would not repeat 2005's much-criticized response to Hurricane Katrina. Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan opened the convention by urging delegates to take out their cellphones, then giving them a number to call to donate to the Gulf Coast relief effort.
September 2, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Vijay Singh made three long birdie putts and closed with an eight-under-par 63 Monday to win the Deutsche Bank Championship at Norton, Mass., for his second consecutive victory in the PGA Tour's playoff system. The five-shot win over Mike Weir gives Singh such a big lead that he could win the $10-million playoff prize without even showing up at the Tour Championship, one of two tournaments remaining in the playoff. "Right now, my focus is going to be" at St. Louis this week, said Singh.
September 2, 2008 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
Energy analysts and traders were cautiously optimistic Monday that the vital Gulf Coast oil complex had dodged a potentially devastating blow. A weakened Hurricane Gustav came ashore about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans, passing over the key Louisiana Offshore Oil Port but missing areas most heavily populated with oil and natural-gas drilling rigs and production platforms, experts said. Risk Management Solutions, which provides damage assessments for insurance companies and others, on Monday said it expected Hurricane Gustav to cause from $1 billion to $3 billion in losses among offshore oil platforms and wells.
September 2, 2008 | Faye Fiore, Times Staff Writer
Three years after disgracing itself with a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency acknowledged Monday, as it mobilized against the force of Gustav, that it had learned some lessons. Nearly 2 million Gulf Coast residents were evacuated to shelters by plane, train and bus hours before Hurricane Gustav hit Louisiana. Helicopters sat on the fringes to start search-and-rescue efforts as soon as the skies cleared. Crates of food, water and blankets were at the ready -- all in stark contrast to the too-little-too-late response to Katrina that left thousands stranded, about 1,800 dead and 90,000 square miles devastated.
September 2, 2008 | Erika Hayasaki, Times Staff Writer
They left the shrimp boat in which they work and live on the Louisiana shore, driving north at noon, daring the hurricane in their red Ford Expedition. They were running on a tank of gas, and there were no stations open for miles. Neang Pum, 66, and her boyfriend, Sobong In, 69, came to the United States as Cambodian refugees more than two decades ago. On Monday, they fled Hurricane Gustav -- which sent palm fronds flying, trees toppling and waves of water across the highway before them.
September 1, 2008 | Maeve Reston and Mark Z. Barabak, Times Staff Writers
Republicans scrambled Sunday to reshape their national convention to a more austere and less political event as Hurricane Gustav upended their plans to showcase John McCain and his new running mate, and to take apart Barack Obama in a nationally televised extravaganza. After the Democratic nominee's acceptance speech in Denver broke television records, McCain had hoped his own party's four-day gathering in St. Paul would draw attention to his agenda. He had sought to distance himself from the unpopular Republican president, buttress his image as a reform-minded maverick and connect with economically stressed Americans.
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