Hurricane Katrina: Landfall
We woke up around eight o’clock this morning, as hurricane Katrina was making landfall. We got some breakfast downstairs and returned to our room to watch the news. In short, there were varying varieties of bad news. Flooding is really bad in some areas. The streets are bone dry in others. We went out to get some dinner in the early evening. We went to the Blues City Cafe. We visited this restaurant once before when we were in Tennessee for the Liberty Bowl. The ribs there are quite good and I ordered a half rack today. After dinner we drove across the river into Arkansas to a Wal-Mart so we could get a few things, mostly food items. We had the news on again when we got back to the hotel. We had the TV on and watched an internet broadcast of New Orleans broadcast TV. I’m not going to detail the news reports we saw. I’ll try and let it suffice to say they were all pretty bad. While New Orleans did not exactly suffer a direct hit, the damage shown on TV was difficult to comprehend. Most of the city is underwater. Almost every road is impassable. The twin spans were “totally destroyed.” High rise buildings down town have windows blown out everywhere. The most striking image in that respect is the right side of the Hyatt hotel, which is missing almost every window on the right face of the structure. The white ‘membrane’ that covered the Superdome roof is mostly gone. None of it seems real.
A WWL TV message board has posts related to conditions in individual neighborhoods. “Stella” wrote the following, which pertains to our subdivision:
I just spoke to a relative who is a firefighter in Algiers. They rode the hurricane out in the Mary Joseph home on Woodland. Here’s a summary of his report of an hour and a half trip out and about, although they were not able to get far.
1. There is about 2 feet of water in the streets of Tall Timbers. Definitely not in some of the houses they were able to check, but not guarenteeing it wasn’t in some.
2. Trees are down everywhere. Anything of 3 inches diameter or less was definitely knocked down. DeGaulle is impassable due to fallen trees. Berkely is impassable due to fallen trees. The report was “take Cindy tree damage and multiply by 10”.
3. There was NO water in the streets of Bocage or anywhere else they were able to get to around the lower Eton/MacArthur area.
4. Now for the worst part. Of the areas they saw (very limited), 1/4 to 1/3 had significant roof damage or no roofs.
I was unable to reach any friends of mine today. Cell phones are little more than paper-weights right now.