By late this afternoon, there should be more information as to how much damage will come from Hurricane Gustav. But for now, the cablers are monitoring the landfall with wall-to-wall coverage. Some notes:
• CNN correspondent Ali Velshi has been reporting from Grand Isle, Louisiana for what was supposed to be about the economic impact of the Hurricane on the oil rigs. But because the Hurricane shifted significantly overnight, he is now very close to the eye of the storm. He has reported by phone from a house he reports is “shaking.”
• Geraldo Rivera reported on a “person stranded,” in the water of the Industrial Canal. While reporting the news, he called over police. “You see right there, goddamnit!” said Rivera. It turned out to be a “rescue operation,” however, and the person was not stranded, and was pulled out of the water by a lifeline.
• MSNBC is the first to report, at 11:24amET, of a death related to the Hurricane. They are reporting a car accident on I-10. No network is reporting the news yet. Also of note — the MSNBC screen looks drastically different than usual, employing a sidebar similar to CNN and new lower thirds.