As forecasters warned Hurricane Gustav could hit Louisiana on Monday with devastating effect, officials pleaded with Gulf Coast residents to flee and Republicans said they'd abbreviate the opening day of their national convention.
As of 5 p.m. ET, the eye of the Category 3 storm was about 215 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, said.
Hurricane-force winds could hit Louisiana's southern coast by sunrise Monday, and the storm's center could hit southwest of New Orleans by early Monday afternoon, CNN meteorologists said.
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