August 31, 2008
Hurricane Gustav is growing into a monster Category 5 storm, the government’s disaster relief chief said Saturday. The storm could reach landfall along the Gulf Coast by early Tuesday.
David Paulison, who heads the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters several times at a briefing that the storm was strengthening into a Category 5 hurricane — a category that means winds greater than 155 mph and a storm surge greater than 18 feet above normal.
FEMA officials said Bill Read, the director of the National Hurricane Center, interrupted an afternoon teleconference involving FEMA, Gulf Coast states and the National Weather Service to say he was going to issue a special advisory statement raising Gustav to Category 5.