Monday, August 29, 2005

KATRINA COMES ASHORE

11:35 a.m.
Downtown Mobile, Ala., is in trouble. Very high water, very serious flooding. A two-level causeway seems fine until you realize the lower deck is under water. WKRG-TV is showing a causeway coming up from the water -- an entrance ramp from the soup.

10:43 a.m.
President Bush will reportedly free up strategic oil reserves. Probably a savvy move after oil jumped past $70 a barrel overnight. Higher prices at the pump are almost a certainty.

About 45 percent of the country's crude oil production in the Gulf was shut down for the storm, according to MSNBC.

The latest footage from New Orleans shows a lot of rain, some wind, countless damaged buildings. Water outside the Times-Picayune building is hubcab-deep, according to the newspaper, "and rising quickly."

10:32 a.m.
CNN's Bill Hemmer is now Fox's Bill Hemmer. He still looks like Dudley DoRight.

New Orleans will be battered for several more hours and the winds have flipped around and are coming from the north, whipping waves off Lake Pontchartrain. The storm surge is expected to top out at 15 feet; that will still cause tremendous problems for some parts of NO.

10:20 a.m.
Katrina is now down to a Category 3. Storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain now at its peak. The Times-Picayune reports that some areas of the city are under several feet of water; the newspaper's building has several shattered windows.

Down in the French Quarter, Fox's Shepard Smith reports that signage still stands in the party zone. The Quarter is "in very good shape," Smith reports. That said, "multiple reports" that the Pontchartrain levees have been topped and the lake is spilling into the city.

Some media naysayers are already blaming reporters for hyping this storm. Of course, if the media had downplayed the story, the naysayers would blame them for every storm-related death.

9:10 a.m.
Steve Harrigan of Fox is standing outside in Gulfport, Miss., making a lot of "whoa" noises as he gets blown around. He acts like he wants to take one for the team. He may get his wish.

9 a.m.
Generator power inside the SuperDome. The lights are still on, but the AC is off. Getting warm in there.

The western eyewall of the hurricane is directly east of New Orleans. Biloxi is about to get slammed, and police there say they can't respond to any more calls.

WVUE reports that 10 people are trapped in an apartment complex in Harvey, and that eastern NO is filling with water.

8:50 a.m.
From the National Weather Service in New Orleans: MANY REPORTS ARE COMING IN STATING TOTAL STRUCTURAL FAILURE IN THE NEW ORLEANS METRO AREA. SEEK SUBSTANTIAL COVER NOW!!! THIS IS A LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION.

Tornadoes swarming New Orleans. Winds gusting up to 120 mph.

8:36 a.m.
The levee has been breached along the industrial canal at Tennessee Street. Three to eight feet of water expected to gush into the 9th Ward of New Orleans.

MSNBC just finished a clever demonstration of storm surge heights. A meteorologist clambered aboard a lift and took it up -- six feet, 10 feet, 17 feet. Seeing the gap between him and the floor was sobering.

In Harvey, La., a hotel collapse. Early reports say people are trapped.

8:25 a.m.
The lightning rod atop the SuperDome has come crashing down onto the field. Daylight peeks through several small holes in the roof. Siding and roofs along the Gulf Coast are peeling away with great rapidity.

Egads, Anderson Cooper has emerged from his lair and is yammering live from Baton Rouge, at the Mississippi River. He shouts into the wind and winces from the driving rain. Perhaps he should learn to turn around.

Odd thing about Cooper. He's shouting into the wind. His colleague, Miles O'Brien, is also in Baton Rouge. He's able to stand without discomfort and talk without screaming into the mic.

8:10 a.m.
CNN reports about 10-percent of the SuperDome roof has peeled away. Authorities moving people under the second-level overhangs. About 10,000 people are inside. Over at the Hyatt, windows are breaking at the 25th floor.

Boats are floating up the street in coastal Mississippi.

The worst weather will hit over the next two hours, according to forecasters. About 97,000 people remain in New Orleans. Nearly 400,000 people in Louisiana are without power.

This is grim.

8 a.m.
Sections of the SuperDome roof are coming off, according to CNN. The eyewall floats just east of New Orleans with 7.56" of rain already dumped on the city.

Biloxi, Miss., is in the most danger at this hour.

7:46 a.m. Monday
A few words about Shep Smith of Fox News.

The dude's on Bourbon Street. He's live on the phone. He sounds positively manic, describing pieces of roof flying into the intersection. Windows blown out. Still a half-hour away from the "worst of it in New Orleans." Standing water, about curb-high, in the French Quarter.

Smith began his phoner by making some groaning noise and bitching about someone trying to make him move. That's what happens when you don't know you're on the air.

7:42 a.m. Monday
In New Orleans, the mayor says: Levy systems overwhelmed. Some pumps have stopped pumping. Water starting to rise in some areas of the city.

The SuperDome looks like a refugee camp for frustrated Saints fans.

CNN has live footage from Biloxi, Miss. The Comfort Inn sign is not long for this world. In Pascagoula, 113 mph wind gusts.

1 comment:

Amy said...

"Steve Harrigan of Fox is standing outside in Gulfport, Miss., making a lot of "whoa" noises as he gets blown around."

My Mom just posted about that at reallyrandom.info. This is officially her first blog post ever.

I'm appreciating your posts. Every time I hit refresh you've just updated.