HAVANA (AP) -- Hurricane Gustav has blown into the Gulf of Mexico after raking the western tip of Cuba and causing numerous injuries.A brief sidebar: please, stop talking about abandoning New Orleans. For some reason, I only ever hear conservatives say this, and it comes across pretty gratingly -- "why do they keep spending money on that black city" is all I hear.
As of late Saturday, the storm's center was about 530 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving northwest at almost 15 miles-an-hour.
Gustav's winds have dropped slightly, to just under 140 miles-per-hour. That makes it still a powerful Category Four hurricane. And it's expected to gain strength over the warm waters of the Gulf. Forecasters look for winds is excess of 156 miles-an-hour, which would make it an extremely dangerous Category Five storm, the worst there is. Only three such storms have ever hit the U.S. mainland since they began keeping records.
Gustav is expected to hit the northern Gulf Coast sometime Monday afternoon, on course now for the region around New Orleans.
But for the record: there is only one place on Earth where the Mississippi river reaches the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi, in turn, carries 60% of America's food exports. New Orleans exists where it does for a reason, and when you say "abandon New Orleans" you just make clear a) how little you understand about global trade and b) how ignorant you are of the constraints geography places on our reality.