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Katrina
Saturday
August 27, 2005

 
Katrina bound for New Orleans

5:00 AM EDT Katrina is upgraded to a Category 3, or major hurricane, with the Gulf Coast in its path.

27 Aug 2005, Saturday, 5:00 a.m. EDT (Excerpts from NOAA-NHC Advisory): HURRICANE KATRINA ADVISORY NUMBER 16   NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   5 AM EDT SAT AUG 27 2005    ... KATRINA BECOMES A MAJOR HURRICANE WITH 115 MPH WINDS ...    AT 5 AM EDT ... 0900Z ... THE EYE OF HURRICANE KATRINA WAS LOCATED BY   RADAR AND RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT NEAR LATITUDE 24.4 NORTH ... LONGITUDE 84.4 WEST OR ABOUT 435 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND ABOUT 165 MILES WEST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA.   KATRINA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 7 MPH ...  11 KM/HR. A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.   MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 115 MPH ... WITH HIGHER GUSTS. KATRINA IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.   RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT DATA AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT KATRINA HAS BECOME A LARGER HURRICANE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 40 MILES FROM THE CENTER ... AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 150 MILES. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE OCCURRING JUST OFFSHORE OF THE NORTHERN COAST OF WESTERN CUBA.   THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE RECENTLY REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT WAS 945 MB ... 27.91 INCHES.

Hurricane Katrina continues to feed off the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico and stalk the U.S. Gulf Coast.

9:25 a.m. CDT 
(CNN, Telephone Interview with Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco about mandatory evacuation of New Orleans):
"That is not going to come right away, ahhh, we're going to evaluate the effect of the voluntary evacuation."

At 9:30 a.m. Katrina was located about 40 miles southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana and about 65 miles southwest Of Biloxi, Miss.

With maximum sustained winds of 135 mph and higher gusts, Katrina is moving north at 15 mph.

Hurricane force winds extend 105 miles from the center of the hurricane, and tropical storm force winds extend outward 230 miles, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At 10:00 AM EDT, officials in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, St. Tammany Parish, and Plaquemines Parish ordered a mandatory evacuation of all of their residents. Jefferson Parish and St. Bernard Parish ordered voluntary evacuations, recommending that all residents evacuate, particularly those living in lower areas. Jefferson Parish officials did declare a mandatory evacuation for the coastal areas of Grand isle, Crown Point, Lafitte, and Barataria. Tolls were suspended on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway as well as the Crescent City Connection, to speed up the evacuation process.

27 Aug 2005, Saturday, 10:00 a.m. CDT (Excerpts from NOAA-NHC Advisory): HURRICANE KATRINA ADVISORY NUMBER 17   NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   10 AM CDT SAT AUG 27 2005    ... CATEGORY THREE KATRINA MOVING WESTWARD IN THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO ... EXPECTED TO TURN WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AND STRENGTHEN ...    AT 10 AM CDT ... 1500Z ... A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN COAST OF LOUISIANA EAST OF MORGAN CITY TO THE MOUTH OF   THE PEARL RIVER ...  INCLUDING METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE   PONCHARTRAIN. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS   ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA ... GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.   AT 10 AM CDT ... 1500Z ... THE CENTER OF HURRICANE KATRINA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 24.5 NORTH ... LONGITUDE 85.0 WEST OR ABOUT 405 MILES ...  655 KM ... SOUTHEAST OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND ABOUT 200 MILES ...  325 KM ... WEST OF KEY WEST FLORIDA.   KATRINA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 7 MPH ... 11 KM/HR. A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.   MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 115 MPH ... 185 KM/HR ... WITH HIGHER GUSTS. KATRINA IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS ...  AND KATRINA COULD BECOME A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE.   ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 940 MB ... 27.76 INCHES.

At 5:00 PM EDT, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin announced a state of emergency and a called for a voluntary evacuation. He added that he would stick with the state's evacuation plan and not order a mandatory evacuation until 30 hours before the expected landfall. This would allow those residents in low-lying surrounding parishes to leave first and avoid gridlocked escape routes. However, he did recommend that residents of low-lying areas of the city, such as Algiers and the 9th Ward, get a head start. Nagin said the city would open the Superdome as a shelter of last resort for evacuees with special needs. He advised anyone planning to stay there to bring their own food, drinks and other comforts such as folding chairs. "No weapons, no large items, and bring small quantities of food for three or four days, to be safe," he said

27 Aug 2005, Saturday, 7:00 p.m. CDT (Excerpts from NOAA-NHC Advisory): HURRICANE KATRINA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 18A   NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   7 PM CDT SAT AUG 27 2005    ... DANGEROUS HURRICANE KATRINA BEGINS TO MOVE TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST ...    A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF COAST FROM INTRACOASTAL CITY TO THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER.   AT 7 PM CDT ... 0000Z ... THE CENTER OF HURRICANE KATRINA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 24.8 NORTH ... LONGITUDE 85.9 WEST OR ABOUT 360 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.   KATRINA HAS BEGUN TO MOVE TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 7 MPH. THIS GENERAL MOTION SHOULD CONTINUE TONIGHT AND SUNDAY.   MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 115 MPH ... WITH HIGHER GUSTS.   KATRINA IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS ... AND KATRINA COULD BECOME A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE LATER TONIGHT OR SUNDAY.   HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 45 MILES FROM THE CENTER ... AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 160 MILES. NOAA BUOY 42003 LOCATED NORTHWEST OF THE CENTER RECENTLY REPORTED SUSTAINED WINDS OF 54 MPH WITH A GUST TO 64 MPH AND 25-FOOT WAVES.   THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE WAS 944 MB ... 27.88 INCHES.

Eleven deaths have been attributed to Katrina as it passed over Florida. New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, declares a state of emergency and urges residents in low-lying areas to evacuate. Mississippi Governor,

On Saturday at 7 p.m., the Hurricane Center placed the storm 360 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with winds of 115 mph. The forecast projected the storm sweeping directly over the city.   The Hurricane Center posted a hurricane warning from Morgan City to the Alabama-Florida line.

By mid-afternoon, officials in Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, Lafourche, Terrebonne and Jefferson parishes had called for voluntary or mandatory evacuations. 

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin followed at 5 p.m. [Friday], issuing a voluntary evacuation.
 Nagin said late Saturday that he's having his legal staff look into whether he can order a mandatory evacuation of the city, a step he's been hesitant to do because of potential liability on the part of the city for closing hotels and other businesses.
"Come the first break of light in the morning, you may have the first mandatory evacuation of New Orleans," Nagin told WWL-TV . . .
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a test. This is the real deal,"
Nagin said at his news conference a little later.

Nagin said the city would open the Superdome as a special-needs shelter today at 8:00AM. He advised anyone planning to stay there to bring food, drinks and other comforts, such as folding chairs, as if planning to go camping.
Citizens must call to verify that they qualify for admittance to the shelter, city officials said. Phone lines will be open at 7:00AM.

Nagin spokeswoman Tami Frazier stressed that the mayor does not want citizens to plan on staying in the Dome - instead, they should make arrangements to leave the city if possible.
"We don't anticipate having to turn people away," Frazier said. "But (staying in the Dome) should not be a situation that you're counting on."

Nagin added, "No weapons, no large items, and bring small quantities of food for three or four days, to be safe."

The Regional Transit Authority will deploy 10 buses equipped with a special lift to help handicapped residents get to the Superdome this morning, RTA spokeswoman Rosalind Blanco Cook said. Once at the Dome, residents' needs will be assessed. Those who are critically ill will be taken by ambulance to a medical facility in Baton Rouge, she said. Others will be brought to Baton Rouge in the Para transit buses. Beginning at noon, as officials prepare to open the Dome as a shelter of last resort, the RTA will begin ferrying passengers to the facility [the Superdome] from 12 locations around the city.

Haley Barbour, declares a state of emergency.
Office of the Governor

 A mandatory evacuation is ordered for Hancock County. Northern Gulf Coast residents begin to jam the highways and there is a rush for supplies and gas.
Residents either prepare for Katrina's landfall or start their evacuation.

 Governor Blanco asks President to Declare an Emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina.
Office of the Governor

President Bush declares a state of emergency in Louisiana.

Statement on Federal Emergency Assistance for Louisiana, 

[In an almost unprecedented action, the President declares a State of Emergency before the actual landfall of a hurricane, two days before.],

"The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005, and continuing.   The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, Catahoula, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll, West Feliciana, and Winn.   Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.   Representing FEMA, Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named William Lokey as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area."

FEDERAL EMERGENCY DECLARED, DHS AND FEMA GIVEN FULL AUTHORITY TO RESPOND TO KATRINA: “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.”
White House

Forecasters fear it is the storm the people of his city have long worried could hit. In a news conference, Nagin said he expected the city's levee system to fail, and also expected power to go down.

At 11 p.m. The National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border, an area that includes New Orleans. A warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.

That night, National Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield briefed President Bush, Governor Blanco, Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Mayor Nagin on the status of Hurricane Katrina

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