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 Katrina 
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Post Katrina
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2005-08-29-katrina_x.htm


I sure hope this isn't going to be as bad as they say it could be. There really isn't a worse place for a hurricane to happen.

Quote:
Still-powerful Hurricane Katrina moves north
From staff and wire reports


Hurricane Katrina plowed into the Gulf Coast at daybreak Monday with shrieking, 145-mph winds and blinding rain, submerging entire neighborhoods up to the rooflines in New Orleans, hurling boats onto land and sending water pouring into Mississippi's strip of beachfront casinos.



At least two highways deaths in Alabama were blamed on the storm, and an untold number of others were feared dead in flooded neighborhoods.

"Some of them, it was their last night on earth," Terry Ebbert, chief of homeland security for New Orleans, said of people who ignored evacuation orders. "That's a hard way to learn a lesson." (Video: Katrina's aftermath)

Katrina weakened overnight to a Category 4 storm and made a slight turn to the right before coming ashore at 6:10 a.m. CT near the Louisiana bayou town of Buras. The storm passed just to the east of New Orleans as it moved inland, sparing this vulnerable below-sea-level city its full fury and the apocalyptic damage that forecasters had feared.

But there was plenty of destruction in New Orleans, and a clearer picture of the damage emerged after the storm had passed: Mangled street signs, crumbled brick walls in the French Quarter, fallen trees on streetcar tracks, highrises with almost all of their windows blown out. White curtains that were sucked out of the shattered windows of a hotel became tangled in treetops.

An estimated 40,000 homes flooded in St. Bernard Parish just east of New Orleans.

Katrina recorded a storm surge of more than 20 feet in Mississippi, where windows of a major hospital were blown out and billboards were ripped to shreds. In some areas, authorities pulled stranded homeowners from roofs or rescued them from attics. In Alabama, exploding transformers lit up the early morning sky and muddy, 6-foot waves engulfed stately, million-dollar homes along Mobile Bay's normally tranquil waterfront.

"Let me tell you something folks: I've been out there. It's complete devastation," said Gulfport, Miss., Fire Chief Pat Sullivan. (Video: Hurricane tears through roof)

Emergency officials had not been able to reach some of the hardest-hit areas to determine the number of injuries or deaths. Officials across the region sent water rescue teams out and stood ready to dispense ice, water and meals to hurricane-stricken residents.

"We know some people got trapped and we pray they are OK," Gov. Haley Barbour said. Related graphic: Track Katrina and learn about hurricanes)

At 5 p.m. ET, Katrina was about 30 miles northwest of Laurel, Miss., and moving north at 18 mph. It was a weak Category 1 hurricane with maximum gusts near 75 mph. Forecasters said the storm may spawn tornadoes over parts of Alabama, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the hurricane center, estimated that the highest winds in New Orleans were about 100 mph. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said her office had reports of as many 20 building collapses in New Orleans, and scores of residents stranded in attics or on rooftops.



"I'm not doing too good right now," Chris Robinson said via cell phone from his home east of the city's downtown. "The water's rising pretty fast. I got a hammer and an ax and a crowbar, but I'm holding off on breaking through the roof until the last minute. Tell someone to come get me please. I want to live."

On the south shore of Lake Ponchartrain, entire neighborhoods of one-story homes were flooded up to the rooflines. The Interstate 10 off-ramps nearby looked like boat ramps amid the whitecapped waves. Garbage cans and tires bobbed in the water.


"Get us a boat!" a man in a black slicker shouted over the howling winds.
Across the street, a woman leaned from the second-story window of a brick home and shouted for assistance.

"There are three kids in here," the woman said. "Can you help us?"

At least a half-million people were without power from Louisiana to Florida's Panhandle, including 370,000 in southeastern Louisiana and well over 100,000 each in Alabama and Mississippi.



At New Orleans' Superdome, home to 9,000 storm refugees, the wind ripped pieces of metal from the roof, leaving two holes that let water drip in. People inside were moved out of the way. Others stayed and watched as sheets of metal flapped and rumbled loudly 19 stories above the floor. Outside, one of the 10-foot, concrete clock pylons set up around the Superdome blew over.

At the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, guests were told to go into the interior hallways with blankets and pillows and to keep the doors to the rooms closed to avoid flying glass.

In Alabama's Mobile Bay, Fred Wright's whole yard was flooded and muddy waves were hitting the back of his home. Wright, shirtless and wearing shorts, spoke of the high-dollar real estate on the waterfront: "There are lots of homes through here worth a million dollars. At least they were yesterday."

By midday, the brunt of the storm had moved beyond New Orleans to Mississippi's coast, home to the state's floating casinos, where Katrina washed sailboats onto a coastal four-lane highway. The Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino, one of the premier gambling spots in Biloxi, had water on the first floor, and the governor said other casinos were flooded as well.

Katrina was the most powerful storm to affect Mississippi since Hurricane Camille came in as a Category 5 in 1969, killing 256 people in Louisiana and Mississippi.

"This is a devastating hit ? we've got boats that have gone into buildings," said Sullivan, the Gulfport fire chief. "What you're looking at is Camille II."

In New Orleans' historic French Quarter of Napoleonic-era buildings with wrought-iron balconies, water pooled in the streets from the driving rain, but the area appeared to have escaped the catastrophic flooding that forecasters had predicted.

On Jackson Square, two massive oak trees outside the 278-year-old St. Louis Cathedral came out by the roots, ripping out a 30-foot section of ornamental iron fence and straddling a marble statue of Jesus Christ, snapping off only the thumb and forefinger of his outstretched hand.

At the hotel Le Richelieu, the winds blew open sets of balcony French doors shortly after dawn. Seventy-three-year-old Josephine Elow of New Orleans pressed her weight against the broken doors as a hotel employee tried to secure them.

"It's not life-threatening," Mrs. Elow said as rain water dripped from her face. "God's got our back."

For years, forecasters have warned of the nightmare scenario a big storm could bring to New Orleans, a bowl of a city that is up to 10 feet below sea level in spots and relies on a network of levees, canals and pumps to keep dry from the Mississippi River on one side, Lake Pontchartrain on the other.

The fear was that flooding could overrun the levees and turn New Orleans into a toxic lake filled with chemicals and petroleum from refineries, as well as waste from ruined septic systems.

Officials said a levee broke on one canal, but did not appear to cause major problems.

Blanco took little comfort in the fact that the hurricane may have spared New Orleans much worse flooding, given the still uncertain toll in surrounding parishes.

"I can't say that I feel that sense that we've escaped the worst," she said. "I think we don't know what the worst is right now."

Crude oil futures spiked to more than $70 a barrel in Singapore for the first time Monday as Katrina targeted an area crucial to the country's energy infrastructure, but the price had slipped back to $68.95 by midday in Europe. The approaching storm forced the shutdown of an estimated 1 million barrels of refining capacity.

Authorities closed a major bridge over the Mobile River in Alabama after it was struck by a runaway oil drilling platform.

Calling it a once-in-a-lifetime storm, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had ordered a mandatory evacuation over the weekend for the 480,000 residents of the vulnerable city, and he estimated about 80% heeded the call.

The evacuation itself claimed lives. Three New Orleans nursing home residents died Sunday after being taken by bus to a Baton Rouge church. Officials said the cause was probably dehydration.

National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield said the forecast track issued Friday night was only 15 miles off from where the storm actually hit.

"If that is not a superb forecast, I don't know what is," he said.

New Orleans has not taken a direct hit from a hurricane since Betsy in 1965, when an 8- to 10-foot storm surge submerged parts of the city in seven feet of water. Betsy, a Category 3 storm, was blamed for 74 deaths in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.

Katrina hit the southern tip of Florida as a much weaker storm Thursday and was blamed for 11 deaths. It left miles of streets and homes flooded and knocked out power to 1.45 million customers. It was the sixth hurricane to hit Florida in just over a year.

Contributing: The Associated Press; USA TODAY's Tom Vanden Brook and Larry Copeland; USATODAY.com's Randy Lilleston.

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August 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm
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I remember reading something about the water situation around 10 years ago and said it would never happen (yes, I know, I was 11 at the time). It's weird knowing that this is the most powerful hurricane in nearly 36 years and it could nearly wipe out one of the most notable cities in the country. Hopefully the damage isn't too bad and the death toll is minimal.

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August 29th, 2005, 6:56 pm
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I am a little surprised with all the doomsday scenarios I had heard over the years I was expecting a direct hit category 5 to do much more damage. I guess the Dutch have nothing to worry about.

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August 29th, 2005, 11:37 pm
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It is so nice to see everyone donating and coming to together to help these unfortunate people out, but I wonder if any other country is going to help these people. You know damned well that if this happened in any other country, the USA would be first in line with asissitance. Has France, England, Germany, or anyone committed any sort of support or assistance? How about the UN? I mean hell, they are based in OUR country, what about them? Are they sending any peacekeepers? any assistance? If anyone knows the answers to any of these questions, please let me know.

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September 1st, 2005, 1:32 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
I wonder if any other country is going to help these people.


I've seen a number of coutries offer to assist in anyway they can, Canada and Germany were two that I recall off the top of my mind. Also, unlike disasters in other countries, the US government has made no call for international aid so far.

Plus, it is tough to give aid when people our shooting at the supply planes and dumping over the supply boats wasting everything on board.

These type of events bring out both the best and worst in people.

I've been proud to live in Texas the past few days. The people and cities of Houston and Dallas (and others) have really stepped up. Houston has been amazing so far. I know in Dallas we have been setting up all kinds of shelters and the Dallas School district has said they will enroll every child that was a victim of the hurricane. Even the colleges are taking in the college students from those areas. The donations are pilling up, the only trouble seems to be getting them to the people who need it.

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September 1st, 2005, 2:10 pm
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As the hurricane relates to the Lions...



Quote:
Hurricane's aftermath


The Lions, and other teams that are scheduled to play the Saints, await word from the NFL on site changes that will be brought about by Hurricane Katrina.

The Saints and Lions are ticketed for Dec. 24 in New Orleans. But the Superdome is not expected to be suitable for play this season, if ever.

"The only communication we've gotten is that they're looking at it right now and reviewing all options," said Tom Lewand, chief operating officer for the Lions. "The first communication we got was that relief efforts are first and foremost."

Alternative sites have been mentioned for Saints home games, including Shreveport, La.; Baton Rouge, La.; San Antonio and Los Angeles.

The Saints open their season at Carolina. Their first home game is scheduled for Sept. 18.

"Right now, it's everybody making assumptions about what the possibilities are of even playing at the Superdome this year," Lewand said.

"That's all it is, is conjecture. The only thing you can do is be patient and not try to jump to any conclusions, one way or another."

... The NFL has donated $1 million for hurricane relief, and the Lions will run public-service announcements during the Channel 50 telecast of tonight's exhibition.

Detroit News / Mike O'Hara




This hurricane damage is a disaster beyond what I would have ever imagined. The Lions game means nothing compared to what is going on in St Louis and vacinity.

It's nice to see a few countries offer help to us; but it's also disheartening when our own citizens are looting, raping and killing.

You're right Pablo this stuff brings out the best and worst in people.

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September 2nd, 2005, 9:16 am
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What's scary is I just found out my grandfather was actually in New Orleans when the storm hit. I don't know why he was there. Luckily he was okay and is out of there now.


September 2nd, 2005, 1:31 pm
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Brian wrote:
What's scary is I just found out my grandfather was actually in New Orleans when the storm hit. I don't know why he was there. Luckily he was okay and is out of there now.



I'm glad he's OK!

I've been in one hurricane and it's not fun!! You have no idea until you're in one.

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September 2nd, 2005, 2:32 pm
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I do not understand why people want to blame. Now I am going to lead an investigation me myself to investigate what went right and which democrats made all the mistakes.

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September 6th, 2005, 10:20 pm
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I already gave $50.00 to support them.

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September 9th, 2005, 8:07 pm
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October 10th, 2005, 5:29 pm
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