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Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast Monday, August 29th 2005.

August 29, 2005


At 6:10 AM CDT (1110 UTC), Hurricane Katrina made its second landfall as a Category 3 hurricane near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana, with sustained winds of more than 125 mph (201 km/h). Katrina also made landfall in St. Bernard parish and St. Tammany parish for a total of three landfalls in Louisiana.


Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast Monday, August 29th 2005.

See Photos

By 8:00 AM CDT (1300 UTC), in New Orleans, water was seen rising on both sides of the Industrial Canal.

Mayor Nagin reports that water is flowing over levee.
 See Story Line   See Photos
"I’ve gotten reports this morning that there is already water coming over some of the levee systems. In the lower ninth ward, we’ve had one of our pumping stations to stop operating, so we will have significant flooding, it is just a matter of how much."

At approximately 8:14 AM CDT (1314 UTC), the New Orleans office of the National Weather Service issues a Flash Flood Warning for Orleans Parish and St Bernard Parish, citing a levee breach at the Industrial Canal. The National Weather Service predicted three to eight feet of water and advised people in the warning area to "move to higher ground immediately."

By 9:00 AM CDT (2100 UTC), there was 6-8 feet of water in the Lower Ninth Ward

At 10:00 AM CDT (1500 UTC), Hurricane Katrina made its third landfall near Pearlington, Mississippi and Slidell, Louisiana, with sustained winds of 120 mph (193 km/h) after crossing Breton Sound. Also at 10:00 AM. while at a Medicare event in El Mirage, Arizona, President Bush said, "I want to thank the governors of the affected regions for mobilizing assets prior to the arrival of the storm to help citizens avoid this devastating storm."

By 11:00 AM CDT (1600 UTC), there was approximately 10 feet (3 m) of water in St. Bernard Parish. Many rooftops could not be seen here as they were submerged. Therefore, there was much more than 10 feet of water in many places.

Later that morning, President Bush calls Secreatry Chertoff to discuss immigration.
“I spoke to Mike Chertoff today — he’s the head of the Department of Homeland Security. I knew people would want me to discuss this issue [immigration], so we got us an airplane on — a telephone on Air Force One, so I called him. I said, are you working with the governor? He said, you bet we are.”
White House Report

Navy Ship sits unused awaiting Bush's orders, while Bush ate cake.

After the Hurricane struck, Bush continued on his scheduled photo ops eating cake with John McCain,

and playing guitar for the cameras.

Meanwhile, a US Navy ship with amphibious landing vehicles, hospital facilities with 600 beds, 9 million meals (MREs) and the capacity to make 100,000 gallons of water per day- sat unused for a week- awaiting Bush's orders.
In a BBC interview with Lt. Commander Sean Kelly says they could not act alone, they were waiting for Bush.

At 11:00AM CDT  Michael Brown finally requests that DHS dispatch 1,000 employees to region. Brown gives them 2 days to arrive:

"Brown’s memo to Chertoff described Katrina as ‘this near catastrophic event’ but otherwise lacked any urgent language. The memo politely ended, ‘Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our responsibilities."

11:00AM Katrina makes another landfall near the Louisiana-Mississippi state line with 125 mph winds. The storm's daylong rampage claims lives and ravages property in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, where coastal areas remained under several feet of water.

Two major flood-control levees are breached, and the National Weather Service reports "total structural failure" in parts of New Orleans.

A section of the roof of the Louisiana Superdome, where 10,000 people are taking refuge, opens. CNN Report
Many are feared dead in flooded neighborhoods still under as much as 20 feet of water.

In Mississippi, dozens are dead and Gov. Haley Barbour describes "catastrophic damage" along the coast. More than 1.3 million homes and businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were without electricity, according to utility companies.
CNN Report

At least eight Gulf Coast refineries shut down or reduce operations.

Airports close in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Biloxi, Mobile and Pensacola.
Hundreds of flights are canceled or diverted. 

Top Bush administration officials who stuck to their vacations as tens of thousands cried for help in New Orleans, gained another twist with revelations that Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld was taking in a ball game in San Diego Monday night -
nearly 24 hours after Katrina hit the coast.

Around 11:00 AM CDT: Reports now indicate that the power is out at the Superdome and the winds had blown away a portion of the metal sheathing and large portions of the Superdome's fabric covering. A buoy located 65 miles south of Dauphine Island, Alabama has recorded a wave of 48 feet in height. Storm surges along the coast are said to be at or falling from their maximum levels.

11:07 AM CDT (Fox News, Shepard Smith, phone report]: Shep reports,  "Levees have been topped in a few places and there is some flooding as a result of that. ah, there was also a levee break in the 9th ward, ah, just off Tennessee Street and we know that there is some flooding there, in fact they issued a flash flood warning for up to 8 feet of rain - of flooding."

About 11:15 AM CDT: The Lake Pontchartrain causeway is reported flooded and possibly damaged.

Around 11:32 AM CDT (ABC 33-40, Birmingham): Alabama Governor, Bob Riley has declared a state of emergency in Alabama and has scheduled a news conference for 2:00 p.m. James Spann, ABC 33-40's most excellent head broadcast meteorologist states, "Late reports now, we're getting reports now that homes, businesses, and public buildings have been reported to have 10, 12, up to 14 feet of water inside. There are calls to emergency officials of people going into attics trying to escape rising flood waters, ah, during the official conferences we heard yesterday, ah, one of the officials, I forget which one, one of the Presidents of the Parishes down there said, unless you have a flotation device, if you stay, your life is in real danger."

Pam and Linda [News Anchors], "that is a sign of just how serious this thing is." One of the news anchors recalled that one of the officials of Jefferson Parish said yesterday, "I am expecting that some of the people who are die hards . . .
will die hard." 
This Jefferson Parish official followed this statement with, "Please, get out."

At 2:00 PM CDT (1900 UTC), New Orleans officials confirmed a breach of the 17th Street Canal levee. There was also confirmation of breaches at two other canals.

In a press conference at 3:00 PM CDT (2000 UTC), New Orleans Homeland Security Director Terry Ebbertt stated that he was positive that there were casualties resulting from the storm, based on calls to emergency workers from people trapped in trees and homes. He said that, "Everybody who had a way or wanted to get out of the way of this storm was able to. For some that didn't, it was their last night on this earth." Police were fanning out across the city to assess damage, rescue people, and get a good look at the situation before nightfall. The hardest-hit areas of the city were the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans East, Gentilly, Lakeview, St. Bernard parish, and Plaquemines parish.

Governor Blanco ordered 68 school buses into New Orleans from surrounding parishes to begin evacuating any survivors that remained in the city. FEMA Director Michael Brown also urged local fire and rescue departments outside Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi not to send trucks or emergency workers into disaster areas without an explicit request for help from state or local governments. Brown sought the approval from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff five hours after landfall to dispatch 1,000 Homeland Security workers into the region. Brown acknowledged that this process would take two days. He described Katrina as a, "near catastrophic event."

Brown defined the role of requested assigned personnel and additional aid from the United States Department of Homeland Security: "Establish and maintain positive working relationships with disaster affected communities and the citizens of those communities. Collect and disseminate information and make referrals for appropriate assistance. Identification of potential issues within the community and reporting to appropriate personnel. Convey a positive image of disaster operations to government officials, community organizations and the general public. Perform outreach with community leaders on available Federal disaster assistance."

8:00PM CDT – Gov. Blanco AGAIN requests assistance from President Bush:

"Mr. President, we need your help. We need everything you’ve got."

Bush goes to bed without acting on Blanco's requests

10:00PM More than 12 hours after making landfall, one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the northern Gulf Coast in half a century is downgraded to a tropical storm. Remnants head north toward Tennessee and the Ohio River Valley, spurring harsh storms and tornadoes.

Starting Monday evening: Various interviews with various authorities and individuals start explaining some of the reasons that people did not evacuate. These reasons include "hurricane fatigue", which was caused by repeated evacuation of areas that ended up not affecting the areas being warned. Also, some of the people who survived hurricane Camille or Betsy thought that if they survived Camille or Betsy, they could survive any storm. The storm struck at the end of the month and people on monthly payrolls or benefit plans, who lived paycheck to paycheck, did not have the money for the gas nor hotel rooms. Poverty was said to be the reason many New Orleans residents were not able to evacuate. Some people just did not want to leave the homes for various reasons. Some had surgery within weeks of the approach of Katrina and some were very elderly or just not healthy and they and their immediate family would or could not evacuate. Some would not leave their pets behind and some stayed behind to protect their property from thieves and looters.

President Bush declared a major disaster for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, under the authority of the Stafford Act.

Hurricane Katrina came and went in a few short days, but she left behind a trail of death and destruction and Political embarrassment that will be burned forever in the nation's memory.
 Effects of widespread damage and flooding may be felt for years to come.

See Havoc created from Hurricane Katrina

August 29 photos

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