30 August 2005

Katrina still devastating parts of the coast...

36 hours after landfall, the people in New Orleans emergency shelters 
are being evacuated as levee after levee is breached by flood waters and 
the shelters are filling with water.  Water from the Mississippi River 
and from Lake Pontchartrain is now pouring into the city, bringing the 
water level up to at least 25 feet in parts of the city.  Also, as time 
goes by, we start to get more reports from the coast of Mississippi and 
realize how complete and extensive the destruction really is.  Gulfport 
and Biloxi are in very bad shape to say the least, and strong tornadoes 
generated by Katrina's spiral bands have ravaged parts of Georgia.  This 
is very similar to Hurricane Camille in 1969, but Katrina was LARGER.

The death toll from the storm is now around 70, but there are a LOT of 
people unaccounted for, so that number could rise drastically in the 
coming days and weeks.  Nearly all communication and transportation is 
cut off, so information out of the area and assistance into the area are 
greatly hindered.   I'll once again provide a link to the American Red 
Cross for donations: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.asp.  

Although Gulfport was hit very hard by the eastern eyewall, New Orleans 
may end up being the worst off, as the city sits submerged for weeks or 
even months without power, water, or sewer services.  The ultimate 
doomsday forecast that was made for the city has sadly come to fruition.

The terrorist attacks on the US in 2001 had a total cost of about $40 
billion.  Hurricane Andrew in 1992 cost $42 billion.  All four big 
hurricanes in 2004 (Charley, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan) added up to 
about $46 billion.  Hurricane Katrina could potentially be twice those 

For those who are interested, I have created radar loops of Katrina's 
two landfalls: the first on Thursday afternoon near Miami, and the 
second on Monday morning near New Orleans.

The tropical wave I mentioned yesterday over the central Atlantic 
between Africa and the Lesser Antilles has remained unchanged.  There is 
still a disorganized broad surface circulation and a more impressive 
anticyclone aloft.  It's located roughly at 14N 38W and tracking W at 
10kts.  Conditions still appear favorable for gradual development.
Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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