Late Night Katrina Update

File Under: Hurricane Katrina

The Delta Institute is committed to bringing you the latest news and information resulting from Hurricane Katrina. As we start to get more of a scope of just how damaging and deadly this storm system was, TDI will try to bring you the latest news, in a nice, condensed, I’m-in-a-hurry-for-work-so-say-it-quick kind of way. This may very well be one of the costliest storms ever, and one of the deadliest hurricanes in recent history.

Regular “news” will be sporadic for most of the week. Currently, there are plans for photo’s and the such to be posted over the weekend. But with this story carrying such gravity (TDI did call it “The Story of the Year”, after all), expect mostly Katrina-related stories for the rest of the week.

Katrina is now being blamed for 50 deaths in Harrison County, Mississippi. The bulk of deaths occured in an apartment complex in Biloxi. 3 others were killed by falling trees, and 2 died in a traffic accident in Alabama. In total, 55 are dead as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina.

Scores of people had to be rescued from rooftops and attics as the floodwaters rose. Others are feared dead in flooded neighborhoods, which may not have been reached in time by rescuers. “Some of them, it was their last night on Earth,” said one New Orleans official of those who ignored evacuation orders. “That’s a hard way to learn a lesson.”

More than a million people are still without power between Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. It could be two months before electricity is restored to everyone. 10 major hospitals in New Orleans are on emergancy generator power. Baby formula, generators, water, ice, communications equipment, first aid supplies, and more are being sent by the federal government. The Pentagon is sending experts to help with search-and-rescue operations.

Katrina is now a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds at a powerful 65 mph. Heavy rainfall and tornadoes are now a big threat as the storm system continues to move northeast. Oil refineries are reporting that damage to their equipment is minimal.

St. Bernard Parish, LA, has an estimated 40,000 homes swamped by Katrina’s storm surge. 200 people have been rescued in boats from rooftops, attics and other locations across the New Orleans area. Similar scenes are happing in Mississippi as well. Some rescuers are sawing through roofs to get to stranded people.

Across the devestation scenes, in some cases, debris was stacked 4 to 5 feet, covering cars. Some houses have been washed from their foundations. New Orleans was spared a direct hit, sparing that city from becoming the new Atlantis. But Mississippi, along with the rest of Louisiana, and parts of the Florida Panhandle, were not so fortunate.

More to come throughout the day on Tuesday. Click here for a press wire slideshow of the devestation across the southern coast. It is one thing to see the structural damage, of the homes destroyed. It’s another thing to see pictures of the families who live inside those houses, who now find themselves without a place to stay.

Katrina is dying, leaving wide-spread destruction in it’s wake not seen in a long time, with a death count not seen in a half century. Stay tuned to TDI and your news outlets of prefence for all the latest from this constantly developing story.

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