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Old 08-31-2005, 07:58 AM   #121
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i don't mean for this to come off as insensitive or callous especially after taking in all the devestation and destruction, it's hard to believe but it could have been worse:

Meteorologists: It Could Have Been Worse
Aug 31 10:51 AM US/Eastern

AP National Writer


Devastating as Katrina was, it would have been far worse but for a puff of dry air that came out of the Midwest, weakening the hurricane just before it reached land and pushing it slightly to the east.

The gust transformed a Category 5 monster into a less-threatening Category 4 storm, and pushed Katrina off its Big Easy-bound trajectory, sparing New Orleans a direct hit _ though not horrendous harm.

"It was kind of an amazing sequence of events," said Peter Black, a meteorologist at the Hurricane Research Division of the federal government's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.

On Sunday, meteorologists watched in awe as one of the most powerful hurricanes they had ever seen churned northward over the Gulf of Mexico on a direct bearing for New Orleans. Fed by unusually warm waters in the central gulf, Katrina easily pumped itself up to a Category 5 monster, with top winds approaching 175 mph. That afternoon a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration aircraft flying through the storm pegged its minimum barometric pressure at 902 millibars, making Katrina the fourth most powerful hurricane ever observed.

But by the time it reached land Monday, Katrina was no stronger than any of a dozen or more hurricanes that have hit the United States in the past century. Hurricane Camille had a substantially lower central pressure when it slammed into Mississippi in 1969. Hurricane Charley blasted the Sunshine State with higher winds when it came ashore near Tampa last year.

So if it wasn't so powerful, how did Hurricane Katrina inflict so much destruction?

The storm's sheer size was one factor. As powerful as Hurricane Charley was, that storm's swath of destruction was only about 10 miles wide. Katrina battered everything from just west of New Orleans to Pensacola, Fla., a span of more than 200 miles. At noon Monday, hurricane force winds extended to 125 miles from Katrina's center.

"This storm was quite a bit larger, so the extent of the damaging wind field would have covered a much larger geographic area," said Marc Levitan, a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Louisiana State University.

Geography also played a role in the hurricane's destructiveness. The Gulf of Mexico's northern fringe is an extremely shallow shelf extending up to 120 miles offshore. That makes the region's coastline extremely vulnerable to the storm surges that hurricanes create as their winds and low pressure pile up water and push it ashore.

And Katrina was moving fairly slowly, about 12 to 15 mph. That gave the storm surge more time to build up as the hurricane approached the coast and then moved inland.

Those circumstances made Katrina "nearly a worst-case scenario," said Hurricane Research Division meteorologist Stanley Goldberg. Some witnesses reported storm surges of more than 25 feet along the Mississippi coast, among the highest ever recorded. The waters around New Orleans rose as much as 22 feet.

But the catastrophic sequence of events that appeared highly likely on Sunday afternoon _ a Category 5 hurricane washing over the Big Easy's ramparts and filling it like a bowl _ did not come to pass.

Instead, a different scenario unfolded. Several levees failed on Tuesday, unleashing floods that placed the city of 480,000 in peril long after Hurricane Katrina had dissipated.

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Old 08-31-2005, 09:12 AM   #122
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This is a major tragedy for us here in the U.S. It is especially sad that this is happening to some of the poorest areas in the U.S. A lot of these people simply couldn't afford to leave their homes, even if they wanted to do so. God bless these people.

It will no doubt take many years to rebuild the beautiful, historic city of New Orleans which, for those of you who haven't been there, a real treasure. So much history, culture, etc. In Mississippi, not only were there the most casualties, but the casinos that were destroyed along the coast bring in the bulk of that's state's economic income. They are taking a big hit from this in many ways.

Our prayers are with EVERYONE along the Gulf Coast at this time.

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Old 08-31-2005, 09:27 AM   #123
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
In the news they say the rescue boats are,.. like, they see dead people floating in the water.
Eesh . That's...disturbing...

Some other really sad stories here, too . I've never been to New Orleans, but I've seen clips of it on TV-I always thought it'd be a fascinating city to visit, what with the history and everything. Such a shame that things happened this way. But Irvine's article's interesting...thank god it didn't get worse. This is bad, yes, but considering that it could've gotten worse...

Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I'm glad your relatives are safe sula, sorry about their losses
Ditto *s sula* Glad others' relatives are all right and such, too. Hopefully we'll hear from verte soon as well *Crosses fingers*.

Interesting point about the looting, too. I could understand poorer families doing that for necessities, yeah, that would make sense. I see both sides of the coin here-I see the poor families' side, and then I also see the side of those whose stuff was stolen. Meh. If it's a necessity item, hopefully more people will start sharing these things with the poorer families and whatnot.

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Old 08-31-2005, 10:28 AM   #124
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Alot of the looting video I have seen has been from a grocery store. Yeah, it could be people just being cheapskates but who knows when food will be able to be shipped in to that area? As bad as it is, it seems to be more of a "I need food and water" and less of an LA riots type situation.

The video coming in from Mississippi is unbelievable. They are saying the storm surge went a mile inland, which I think is further than the tsunami went into. And whole neighborhoods, towns!, are just gone. You can see foundations and that's it. It reminded me alot of the 9/11 destruction. The only difference was that there was alot of death and destruction but it was centrally located. Lower Manhattan was a mess but you could still live in NYC. This is just....there is nothing to go live in. It's not a job that's's a job and a house and a car and a grocery store and a post office and on and on.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:33 AM   #125
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Federal officials declare public health emergency for entire Gulf Coast. Details soon.

Off of

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Old 08-31-2005, 10:34 AM   #126
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Normal Conditions deteriorate in Katrina's wake

Water still rising in New Orleans; death toll at least 120

Wednesday, August 31, 2005; Posted: 1:11 p.m. EDT (17:11 GMT)

(CNN) -- Rescuers and residents along the Gulf Coast struggled Wednesday to cope with the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina, as New Orleans faced a horrifying trio of challenges -- rising water, stranded people and a refugee situation that is getting worse by the hour.

The death toll from the storm is estimated to be at least 120, but officials expect it to be much higher.

In Mississippi alone, the death toll was as high as 110, an emergency official told CNN.

More than 2.3 million people don't have power in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.

Katrina forced operators to close more than a tenth of the country's refining capacity and a quarter of its oil production, which sent gasoline prices surging and prompted the White House to tap the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. (Watch the video of the energy secretary's comments on capping gas prices -- 4:16)

But some analysts say that gas prices are still likely to climb to more than $4 a gallon. (Full story)

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco told CNN Wednesday morning that officials were facing enormous challenges as they tried to stabilize the situation in New Orleans, where floodwaters continued to rise. (See the video of water surging into the saturated city -- 1:53)

"We've got an engineering nightmare trying to fill the breach of the levee where the waters are pouring into the city," she said.

The floodwaters also overwhelmed pumping stations that would normally keep the city dry. About 80 percent of the city was flooded with water up to 20 feet deep after the two levees collapsed. (Map)

The Army Corps of Engineers is bringing in heavy, twin-rotored Chinook helicopters to drop 3,000-pound sandbags into the gap, officials said.

Blanco said that conditions were deteriorating rapidly at the Louisiana Superdome -- a refuge for thousands of people who could not evacuate the city. (See the video of conditions in the dimmed and damaged stadium -- 3:53)

Authorities have taken hundreds of people rescued from roofs and attics to the cavernous stadium, which had overflowing toilets, no water and no power to air condition the sweltering building.

Many of those refugees will be taken to Houston, Texas, and housed there at the Astrodome, the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness announced Wednesday.

Several hundred Army troops will assist in the evacuation, a National Guard spokesman said.

Mayor: 'We've had our hands full'
National Guard troops moved into the downtown New Orleans business district, and state police squads backed by SWAT teams were sent in to scatter looters and restore order, authorities said late Tuesday. (Full story)

CNN's John Zarrella said that one man told him that he was driven out of his neighborhood because of the looting.

"I ran with my family for our lives," Zarrella quoted the man as saying.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin told CNN Wednesday that communication was a problem for authorities trying to coordinate the relief efforts -- cell phone service was down, e-mail wasn't working and most of their radio systems had dead batteries.

He said that the city was practically cut off, with bridges, including one on a key interstate out of the city, in pieces.

"We evacuated probably close to a million people in the metropolitan area (before the storm), but there was still a couple hundred thousand still here," he said. (Full story)

"So all of the resources initially were focused on rescue, and we have rescued thousands of people that are trapped in attics and on roofs.

"That was the main priority with getting people out, with the challenge of rescue, rising waters. Then we've had looting. We've had our hands full."

Nagin said that at least 30 buildings had collapsed but that no attempt had been made to determine a death toll.

"There are dead bodies floating in some of the water," Nagin said Tuesday. "The rescuers would basically push them aside as they were trying to save individuals."

Across Lake Pontchartrain, in Slidell, Louisiana, police Capt. Rob Callahan said there were about 100,000 fish on the ground in his neighborhood, which is about four miles inland.

Mayor Ben Morris is among thousands of homeless residents who have been unable to communicate with anyone outside Slidell.

"I really don't know where my wife is or children are," he told CNN's Miles O'Brien. "They left town which, thank God, they did, but there's no way -- our telephones don't work, our cell phones don't work -- so there's no way to talk to the outside world." (Watch video of Slidell's mayor touring his town -- 2:06)

Troops 'cutting their way to the coast'
In Mississippi, where fallen trees blocked many highways, about 3,000 members of the National Guard were "using chainsaws to cut their way in to the coast," said Brad Mayo, a public information officer for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

Eighteen urban search-and-rescue crews made up of FEMA teams and crews from other states are heading to the coastal region, Mayo said, along with 39 medical disaster teams, four veterinary disaster teams and two mental health teams.

Some areas were still inaccessible by road, Mayo said, and crews were using boats to get around.

Wednesday, state officials reopened U.S. Highway 49 from Jackson to Seminary, Mississippi, just north of Hattiesburg. That should help the 1,700 trucks bringing in ice, food, water, fuel and medical supplies to the affected areas. "We're shipping ice in from Memphis," Mayo said.

An emergency official in Jackson told CNN on Wednesday the death toll there is as many as 110.

The official said the confirmed death toll -- deaths certified by a coroner -- stands at 13, but in Harrison County alone officials said they had at least 100 bodies.

In the hardest hit areas in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties, emergency officials are setting up M*A*S*H-style hospitals in tents and portable structures to try to help those injured or rescued.

Mayo said the state is asking for doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians from neighboring states for their help. Those who want to assist should contact their state's licensing board, which should then get in touch with Mississippi's board for accreditation.

Gov. Haley Barbour compared the devastation to a nuclear blast Tuesday after touring the coast.

"I can only imagine that this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago," he said. (See aerial video of the aftermath -- 3:02)

"There were 10- and 20-block areas where there was nothing -- not one home standing," he said.

Other developments

One of two pipeline companies supplying gasoline to the eastern seaboard of the United States said Wednesday it hopes to be back in partial operation soon. The other pipeline is still waiting for an indication on when electricity to pumps can be restored.

The U.S. Navy was dispatching ships to the area, including the USNS Comfort, a floating hospital based in Baltimore, and an amphibious ready group led by the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima.

Louisiana Gov. Blanco declared Wednesday a day of prayer. "As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope and comfort.
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:00 PM   #127
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Prepare for the worst, as the death toll will be much higher than a few hundred.
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:05 PM   #128
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:07 PM   #129
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They're concerned for the potential of cholera, typhoid and other dehydrating diseases.
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:11 PM   #130
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It's almost like the tsunami all over again, on a much lesser scale.
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:35 PM   #131
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
I just talked to my mom and found out that my aunt and her husband who live in New Orleans did get out in time. But their house is sure to be totally ruined. Still, that's a small thing compared to the value of still having their lives. I'm quite relieved.

very excellent news
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Old 08-31-2005, 02:17 PM   #132
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Originally posted by U2Girl1978
They're concerned for the potential of cholera, typhoid and other dehydrating diseases.
Aren't those the diseases only third-world countries should worry about? Glad our government spent money in Iraq instead of spending money at home. Glad we have all that oil coming out of Iraq to push gas prices down.

And look, I'm not just blaming Bush. Republicans and Democrats voted to go to Iraq and Republicans and Democrats voted to send US tax dollars to fight a war half a world away instead of building better levees in New Orleans. Yet I bet you none of them will stand up and say "We made a mistake." And I can understand the surge is prices after a storm like this but $3 a gallon when oil companies are making record profits?

Republicans and Democrats better get their act together to take care of this catastrophe. How can anyone have money to donate when they are paying $3 for a gallon of gas that only cost $1.80 last year at this time?
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Old 08-31-2005, 02:27 PM   #133
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Originally posted by sharky
And look, I'm not just blaming Bush. Republicans and Democrats voted to go to Iraq and Republicans and Democrats voted to send US tax dollars to fight a war half a world away instead of building better levees in New Orleans.
But the Democrats don't set the agenda. Our GOP-dominated federal government, however, does.

Here's a little flashback for people:

Bush calls coast aid 'a good start'
He acknowledges feds' role in fighting erosion
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
By Bill Walsh
Washington bureau

WASHINGTON -- After his administration vociferously opposed sending $540 million to help repair Louisiana's eroding coast, President Bush said Tuesday that the money is a "good start" and acknowledged for the first time a federal responsibility to help shore up the state's land.

"I strongly believe there needs to be a federal-state relationship in solving this problem of the disappearing lands, of Louisiana's coast," Bush said. "It's a big project, but it's a good start."

Bush, who twice carried Louisiana in presidential elections, struck a conciliatory tone when asked about his opposition to Louisiana's coastal restoration financing Tuesday during a meeting with reporters.

On at least two occasions, the administration explicitly came out against efforts by Louisiana and other coastal states to receive a share of the annual royalties produced by oil and gas companies drilling off their shores. In July the administration took the unusual step of sending a letter to House and Senate negotiators urging them to kill the revenue-sharing plan in the final version of the national energy bill.

Though the revenue provision was added over Bush's objections, he plans to sign the energy bill, legislation he has long sought. The bill provides an array of incentives to boost the domestic production of fossil fuels and alternative sources of energy.

Bush's comments came during a wide-ranging discussion of foreign and domestic policies in the Roosevelt Room of the White House with reporters from eight newspapers, including The Times-Picayune. Bush also defended his decision to limit federal financing of embryonic stem cell research, continued to press for private investment accounts in Social Security, and pointed to the elections in Iraq and the writing of a new constitution as signs of success in the face of a rising death toll from the active insurgency in Iraq.

In one surprise to the six states that will share the $1 billion in offshore royalty revenue -- Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska and California -- Bush said Louisiana officials should use the money to attract more federal financing.

"I strongly urge the state of Louisiana to use the money that will be coming to them toward matching federal commitments for saving the lands," Bush said.

Louisiana officials have been told by federal officials they can't use the money to draw extra federal financing.

"That would be huge," said Sidney Coffee, Gov. Blanco's adviser on coastal issues. "If we could use that as cost share, that would finance so much of our near-term plans."

U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-Kenner, saw Bush's statement as a tacit admission that part of the offshore royalty revenue belongs to Louisiana, something other administrations have declined to accept.

"I think they are going down a path where they can't turn us down in the future," Jindal said. "There is a federal acknowledgment that this is a serious problem and the federal government has a responsibility to help fix it."

Bush said his administration signaled its support for sharing offshore oil and gas revenue with coastal states when he issued a plan in the final days of energy bill negotiations. It would have directed about $57 million to Louisiana over 10 years, far from the $14 billion the state says is needed, and pertained only to new oil and gas discoveries, not those currently under production.

"We agreed with enhanced sharing; it was just the timeliness of it," Bush said.

Adam Sharp, a spokesman for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., was skeptical that Bush has long been a supporter of federal-state revenue sharing, an idea popular in Louisiana.

"He's trying to profess that he's been for it all along when it was an 11th-hour proposal that significantly shortchanged the states," Sharp said. "We've been talking about this for years. If they have been supportive of the concept, I'm not sure that was expressed to anyone" on Capitol Hill.
Nothing is new here. I'm sure Bush, in the coming days, will pretend like he cared about fixing Louisiana's long-running coastal problems, but his record will speak otherwise.

Kind of reminds me how Bush gave $40 million in April 2001 to the Taliban for their efforts in the "war on drugs," and then claims after 9/11 that he was working against terrorism the entire time. Right.

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Old 08-31-2005, 02:34 PM   #134
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Originally posted by LarryMullen's_POPAngel
It's almost like the tsunami all over again, on a much lesser scale.
This is how it was with Ivan as well. In Gulf Shores, it hit with an 18 foot wall of water that moved the beach sand 1/2 mile in while the storm surge itself went in a mile or so. The only difference was, no one in their right mind stayed around long enough.....

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Old 08-31-2005, 02:53 PM   #135
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Another difference is that water could drain and there were escape routes for survivors. Aid could be brought directly to survivors in many cases, while in NO, people will have to be flown out to get aid.

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