Goodbye Big Easy


New Orleans, as we know it, doesn’t exist anymore. Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath has geographically changed that city. The winds and storm surge has given way to flooding.




                “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event”


                  Katrina Batters the Superdome


FINAL UPDATE: Katrina Status as of 10:55 PM PDT, 8/29/05


Katrina Status as of 8:22 PM PDT, 8/29/05


Katrina Status as of 5:15 PM PDT, 8/29/05


Katrina Status as of 2:30 PM PDT, 8/29/05

  • Katrina hit Mississippi ‘like a ton of bricks”
  • Oil rig breaks loose, hits Mobile River bridge
  • Katrina weakening but still Category 1 with 75 mph winds
  • “Life-threatening storm surge flooding” occuring
  • Six Louisiana parishes “devastated”
  • New Orleans: No sewage, water, power or gas


Katrina Status as of 12:00 PM PDT, 8/29/05

  • Position of center: 20 miles west-southwest of Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Latitude: 31.4 north, Longitude: 89.6 west
  • Top sustained winds: 95 mph
  • Looters Grab Things From Warehouses – A WDSU TV news crew captured images of looters hauling items out of a New Orleans warehouse. People were seen using shopping carts and hand-held carts to haul off cleaning supplies, beer and other items. It’s not clear yet where the video was shot.


Katrina Status as of 10:57 AM PDT, 8/29/05

  • Storm “dismantling” Gulfport, Mississippi, area
  • 10 feet of water covers Gulfport streets
  • Hurricane now Category 2, with 105 mph wind
  • Mobile Bay spills into downtown
  • “Total structural failure” in parts of New Orleans
  • East side of New Orleans under 5 to 6 feet of water


Katrina Status as of 9:50 AM PDT, 8/29/05

FLORIDA: Katrina hit the southern tip of Florida on Thursday as a much weaker Category 1 hurricane, then headed into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened to a Category 5 storm.

  • Deaths: Nine
  • Evacuations: As the storm aimed at the Gulf Coast, people on Navarre Beach, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key were urged to evacuate Sunday.
  • Power outages: About 314,000 customers in South Florida remained without power Monday morning.
  • Monetary damage estimates: Initial computer modeling estimates pegged the insured wind damage at $600 million to $2 billion.

LOUISIANA: Katrina hit the U.S. coast a second time, this time as a Category 4 storm as it makes landfall at Grand Isle.

  • Evacuations: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered the entire city of 485,000 to evacuate. For those who couldn’t, the city opened 10 shelters, including the Superdome, and urged people to bring three- to five-days worth of supplies. Early Monday, the Superdome’s power went out, but emergency generators kicked in.
  • Nagin estimated that 80 percent of the city’s residents had left, leaving about 97,000 still in town.

ALABAMA: Gov. Bob Riley declared a state of emergency.

  • Evacuations: All coastal and low-lying areas of south Mobile County and the beachfront and flood-prone areas of Baldwin County were told to leave.
  • Flooding reported on Dauphin Island.
  • Gulf Shores under curfew all day Monday.

MISSISSIPPI: Gov. Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency.

  • Evacuations: Residents all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast headed inland Sunday.
  • The state is expecting between 250,000 and 350,000 evacuees from Louisiana.
  • Shelters were open all along the coast and well to the north. In Biloxi, an estimated 1,000 people took shelter in schools. Several hundred people took shelter in the Jackson area.

GULF OF MEXICO: Oil companies shut down 1 million barrels of refining capacity in the Gulf, but that amount could be far higher because not every producer reports data, said Peter Beutel, an oil analyst with Cameron Hanover.

  • Bush Weighs Tapping Strategic Oil Reserve – President Bush weighed a decision on whether to release some oil from the nation’s petroleum reserves to help refiners hurt by Hurricane Katrina, administration officials said Monday. A decision was expected later in the day.


Useful resources on Katrina:

News Coverage from 8/27, 8/28 and 8/29: FEMA Prepares for Katrina’s Aftermath | New Orleans rocked by Hurricane Katrina | Monster Hurricane Katrina pounds New Orleans, Gulf coast | Filling a Bowl | Katrina closing in | 3 die in evacuation | First-ever mandatory evacuation | Making history? | Experts believe New Orleans will eventually be submerged | Coverage from MSNBC WDSU USA Today Latest stories | NHC: Katrina, with 155 mph winds, is expected to hit in or just east of the New Orleans area Monday morning as a catastrophic strong Cat. 4 with a storm surge 18 to 22 feet above normal and local storm surge flooding as high as 28 feet and 5-10 inches of rain/isolated 15 inches | Detailed text warningsKatrina a top-strength hurricane, aims for U.S | New Orleans braces as Hurricane Katrina bears down | Louisianans Flock To Shelters, Rush To Leave | Mayor orders mandatory evacuation in face of Katrina | Katrina could be strongest storm in recorded history | Katrina gets stronger, New Orleans evacuates | ABC News Coverage | Other News on Hurricane Katrina |

Images: NWS radar, loop, storm precipitation | Satellite | loop | IR satellite | loop | Interactive | hurricane tracker | Watches/warnings map & zoom |

Weather/Webcams: New Orleans | Mobile | FL Panhandle | Other cities

Web Coverage: WWL-TV 4, New Orleans | AccuWeather | | Hurricane Katrina (Wikipedia) | How Hurricanes Form (Flash Animation) |

Live Audio: WTIX-AM 690, New Orleans | WPMI-AM 710, Mobile | Streaming radio stations across the U.S. |

News Aggregators: NewsNow coverage of Katrina | search of “Katrina” articles | Google news search of “Katrina” | Yahoo news search “katrina” | AOL news search “katrina” | MSN News search “katrina” |

Articles, Photos, Links Tagged “Katrina”: Technorati | | Flickr “katrina” cluster |

Blog Coverage: WKRG-TV 5, Mobile storm watch blog | WPMI-TV 15, Mobile weather blog | WMBB-TV 13 storm blog | Central Florida Hurricane Center | | | Moreweather.comWeatherBlog | Report for WeatherBug Backyard | Katrinacane’s Friends | Daniel Rubin | | Katrina Live Blogging | Josh Britton | Storm Track Blog | Storm Digest Blog | BBC “Reporter’s Log” |

Help Storm Victims: American Red Cross: 1-800-HELP-NOW | FEMA | Catholic Charities | Salvation Army | Getting Help After the Storm | Cash Donations Sought for Katrina Victims | Additional List of Katrina Disaster Relief Agencies |

Official Government Communications: CITY Office of Emergency Preparedness | Latest Info from the Office of the LA State Police | Louisiana State Office of Emergency Preparedness | Conventions and Meetings Status | Status of the Airport, Airlines and Cruise Lines | Status of New Orleans Hotels | Official Weather Sites and Local TV News Sites | Status of Citywide Transportation | Status of the Convention Center, Louisiana Superdome, and N.O. Arena | Evacuation Routes | Emergency Preparation | School Closures | Lock, Bridge Closures |


Related: Delusional, Dysfunctional, Divisive, and Defiant


Costliest hurricanes or tropical storms to strike the U.S. mainland. (Figures are in 2004 dollars. All storms are hurricanes except Allison, which was a tropical storm.)

Hurricane, Year, Category, Damage

1. Andrew (South Florida, southeast Louisiana), 1992, 5, $43.67 billion
2. Charley (southwest and central Florida), 2004, 4, $15 billion
3. Ivan (Florida Panhandle and Alabama), 2004, 3, $14.2 billion
4. Hugo (South Carolina), 1989, 4, $12.25 billion
5. Agnes (Florida, Northeastern U.S.), 1972, 1, $11.29 billion
6. Betsy (South Florida, southeast Louisiana), 1965, 3, $10.8 billion
7. Frances (central Florida, Florida Panhandle) 2004, 2, $8.9 billion
8. Camille (Mississippi, southeast Louisiana, Virginia), 1969, 5, $8.89 billion
9. Diane (Northeastern United States), 1955, 1, $6.99 billion
10. Jeanne (central Florida), 2004, 3, $6.9 billion
11. Frederic (Alabama, Mississippi), 1979, 3, $6.29 billion
12. Unnamed, nicknamed “New England,” (New York, Rhode Island), 1938, 3, $5.97 billion
13. Allison (Texas), 2001, $5.83 billion
14. Floyd (Mid-Atlantic & Northeastern U.S.), 1999, 2, $5.76 billion
15. Unnamed, nicknamed “Great Atlantic,” (Northeastern U.S.), 1944, 3, $5.39 billion


How well did they predict the outcome of a hurricane like Katrina?


  1. New Orleans . . . doomed?

    Pundit Guy paints a very grim picture of what may happen to New Orleans in the next hour or two: Unless she receives a last minute act of Divine Intervention, New Orleans, as we know it, will cease to exist…

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