Riley cautions to watch for any Gustav shift east

CLANTON, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Bob Riley says coastal Alabama residents should be aware of Hurricane Gustav's track and have an evacuation plan ready if the powerful storm shifts to the east, increasing increase its threat to the state.

Riley and state emergency officials spoke Saturday afternoon at a news conference at Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Clanton.

Riley says a shift east by Gustav could bring tropical force winds as early as 2 a.m. Monday and that wouldn't give enough time to evacuate.

He says Alabama is prepared to shelter evacuees from Louisiana and Mississippi, including 4,000 from New Orleans to locations near Birmingham.

Alabama officials will announce further steps Sunday morning, including whether to switch Interstate 65 to northbound only. Traffic Saturday afternoon on I-10 at Mobile already was congested.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)