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Katrina
Friday
August 26, 2005

Gulf of Mexico

Katrina weakens over land to a tropical storm before moving out over the Gulf of Mexico.

Katrina Regained Hurricane Strength as it Moved Over Gulf of Mexico

It grows to a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds, veering north and west toward Mississippi and Louisiana.

- 10,000 National Guard troops are dispatched across the Gulf Coast.

At 1:00 AM EDT, maximum sustained winds had decreased to 70 mph and Katrina was again downgraded to a tropical storm.

26 Aug 2005, Friday, 1:00 a.m. EDT (Excerpts from NOAA-NHC Advisory): TROPICAL STORM KATRINA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 10A ... CORRECTED   NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 1 AM EDT FRI AUG 26 2005    ... CORRECTED TO REMOVE REFERENCE TO HURRICANE STATUS IN LOCATION AND TO DISCONTINUE WARNING FOR LAKE OKEECHOBEE ...     ... KATRINA WEAKENS SLIGHTLY WHILE PASSING OVER MAINLAND MONROE COUNTY FLORIDA ... EXPECTED TO RESTRENGTHEN SOON OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO ...    AT 1 AM EDT ... 0500Z ... THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM KATRINA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 25.4 NORTH ... LONGITUDE 81.1 WEST OR ABOUT 40 MILES SOUTHEAST OF MARCO ISLAND FLORIDA ... AND ABOUT 60 MILES NORTHEAST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA.   KATRINA IS MOVING TOWARD THE SOUTHWEST NEAR 8 MPH AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS.   MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 70 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS. GRADUAL RE-STRENGTHENING IS EXPECTED ONCE KATRINA EMERGES OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO LATER THIS MORNING.   TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES FROM THE CENTER.   ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 990 MB ... 29.23 INCHES.

At 5:00 AM EDT, the eye of Hurricane Katrina was located just offshore of southwestern Florida over the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles (80 km) north-northeast of Key West, Florida. Maximum sustained winds had again increased to 75 mph (121 km/h) and Katrina was upgraded again to a category 1 hurricane.

26 Aug 2005, Friday, 5:00 a.m. EDT (Excerpts from NOAA-NHC Advisory): HURRICANE KATRINA ADVISORY NUMBER 11   NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   5 AM EDT FRI AUG 26 2005    ... KATRINA REGAINS HURRICANE STATUS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO ...    AT 5 AM EDT ... 0900Z ... THE CENTER OF HURRICANE KATRINA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 25.3 NORTH ...  LONGITUDE 81.5 WEST OR ABOUT 50 MILES ...  85 KM ...  NORTH-NORTHEAST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA.   KATRINA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 5 MPH ...  7 KM/HR ...  AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS ...  WITH A SLIGHT INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED.   MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 75 MPH ...  120 KM/HR ...  WITH HIGHER   GUSTS. KATRINA IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.   ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 987 MB ... 29.15 INCHES.

Hurricane Katrina has battered southern Florida with high winds and heavy rain, leaving 11 people dead before moving out over the Gulf of Mexico.

The 11th named storm of this year's Atlantic hurricane season came ashore Thursday, August 26, 2005 between Hallandale Beach and North Miami Beach, packing 130 kilometer-per-hour ( 80.8 mph) winds. It knocked down trees, flooded streets. In at least one location spotted on radar, 20 inches of rain fell, and 10 inches were reported in several areas across the state. About 50 homes were flooded in Homestead and another 40 mobile homes suffered damage in Broward County.
Katrina's aftermath left more than one million people without power.
 That included 777,000 customers in Miami-Dade County, 533,000 in Broward County and 64,000 in Palm Beach County.
"The strong winds, heavy rain and loss of power have combined to wallop our nursery industry in South Florida," said state Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson.

Katrina grows into a monster

In early afternoon, the National Hurricane Center officially shifts the possible track of Katrina from the Florida Panhandle to the Mississippi/Louisiana coast. Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana. The declaration included activation of the state of Louisiana's emergency response and recovery program under the command of the director of the state office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to supply emergency support services. Following the declaration of a state of emergency, federal troops were deployed to Louisiana to coordinate the planning of operations with FEMA.

By 11:00 PM EDT, the National Hurricane Center predicted that Hurricane Katrina would strike the town of Buras-Triumph, Louisiana, 66 miles (106 km) southeast of New Orleans

26 Aug 2005, Friday, 11:30 a.m. EDT (Excerpts from NOAA-NHC Advisory): HURRICANE KATRINA SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 13   NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   1130 AM EDT FRI AUG 26 2005    ... KATRINA RAPIDLY STRENGTHENING AS IT MOVES SLOWLY WESTWARD AWAY FROM SOUTH FLORIDA AND THE FLORIDA KEYS ...    AT 1130 AM EDT ... 1530Z ... THE CENTER OF HURRICANE KATRINA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 25.1 NORTH ...  LONGITUDE 82.2 WEST OR ABOUT 45 MILES NORTHWEST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA AND ABOUT 75 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF NAPLES FLORIDA.   KATRINA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 7 MPH ... AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS.   RECENT REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE UNIT HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT NOW INDICATE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 100 MPH ...  WITH HIGHER GUSTS. KATRINA IS NOW A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS ... AND KATRINA COULD BECOME A CATEGORY THREE OR MAJOR HURRICANE ON SATURDAY.  THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE RECENTLY REPORTED BY RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS 971 MB ... 28.67 INCHES.

The U.S. National Weather Service says Katrina temporarily lost some strength early Friday, but regained hurricane status as it moved over the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Katrina now heads through the gulf as a category 3 and at 4 p.m.The National Hurricane Center warns that Katrina is expected to to turn north andreach dangerous Category 4 intensity before making landfall in Mississippi or Louisiana hitting the western Panhandle on Monday.

Hours later, in anticipation of a possible landfall, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declare states of emergency.
Office of the Governor

The Panhandle got slammed by Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis, and some places haven't even been repaired from damage caused by those two storms.

Escambia County, which includes Pensacola Beach, is preparing for possible activation of its emergency headquarters.

About 300,000 residents in low-lying areas in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties east of Pensacola were under voluntary evacuation orders.

Military officials are already flying aircraft out of Panhandle bases.

Gasoline stations were crowded Friday with motorists.

Damage is immense 

Evidence of Katrina's fury stretched for miles along Florida's southeast Atlantic coast.

Millions were without power, and reports of 11 deaths.

Forecasters call this a "minor" hurricane, but those who lived through Katrina will tell you, this category one storm delivered a violent punch, and has already left behind some major damage.

One Florida resident described the storm as stronger than first thought.
"It was stronger than I thought it was going to be. I thought (there would be) just a little wind and rain, it was pretty strong."

Streets were turned into streams in several areas, and for some, boats were the only way to get around.

While flooding was a serious issue, severe winds also wreaked havoc, crumbling a Miami overpass, and flipping planes on their sides.

Katrina also tossed boats around, like children's play toys.

"They think category one is not as bad as category three, well it's a hurricane, that's why they define it that way,"
said Florida Governor Jeb Bush. 
"It's a scary thing to go through."

Which is something that will leave a lingering scar on this already battered state.

Katrina is the 11th named storm of the busy Atlantic hurricane season, which is a record so early in the year.

At 11:30 a.m as it moved out into the Gulf on Friday, Katrina became a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds and lashed the Florida Keys with strong outer bands that could dump from 15 to 20 inches over the island chain.

Katrina could make a second landfall in the Florida Panhandle early next week, and the National Hurricane Center said people on the U.S. Gulf Coast from Florida to Mississippi should monitor the storm.

In a special advisory issued, the National Hurricane Center said the storm could reach near Categoy 4 strength by midday Monday.

"It will be stronger than when it hit in Miami-Dade County,"
said state meteorologist Ben Nelson.

At 8 p.m., it was about 100 miles west of Key West. It was moving toward the west-southwest near 8 mph. It was on a path to make landfall anywhere from the Panhandle to Louisiana as early as Monday at possibly at Category 4 strength with sustained winds topping 130 mph.

GOV. Kathleen Blanco declares State of Emergency in Louisiana

Bush said 1,000 National Guard troops are already deployed and prepared to enter South Florida to assist law enforcement. He also said he would request a national disaster designation for Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Hurricane Katrina caused serious damage to the state's top nursery county, but officials said they won't know the extent of the damage or its costs until next week. Miami-Dade has the state's most nurseries, with 1,217 licensed retail and wholesale nurseries.

"The strong winds, heavy rain and loss of power have combined to wallop our nursery industry in South Florida," said state Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson said. "We will do all that we can to assist our growers."

26 Aug 2005, Friday, 11:00 p.m. EDT (Excerpts from NOAA-NHC Advisory): HURRICANE KATRINA ADVISORY NUMBER 15   NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   11 PM EDT FRI AUG 26 2005    ... STUBBORN KATRINA CONTINUES TOWARD THE WEST-SOUTHWEST ... EXPECTED TO BECOME AN INTENSE HURRICANE IN THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO ...    AT 11 PM EDT ... 0300Z ... THE EYE OF HURRICANE KATRINA WAS LOCATED BY RADAR NEAR LATITUDE 24.6 NORTH ... LONGITUDE 83.6 WEST OR ABOUT 460 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND ABOUT 115 MILES WEST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA.   KATRINA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-SOUTHWEST NEAR 8 MPH. A GRADUAL TURN TO THE WEST AND WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED ON SATURDAY.   MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 105 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS. KATRINA IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. KATRINA IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.   HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 25 MILES FROM THE CENTER ... AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 85 MILES. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 965 MB ... 28.50 INCHES.

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