The Center for Cooperative Research
U:     P:    
Not registered yet? Register here
 
Search
 
Current timeline only
Advanced Search


Main Menu
Home 
History Engine Sub-Menu
Timelines 
Entities 
Forum 
Miscellaneous Sub-Menu
Donate 
Links 
End of Main Menu

Volunteers Needed!
Submit a timeline entry
Donate: If you think this site is important, please help us out financially. We need your help!
Email updates
 



  View mode (info):
  Ordering (info):
  Time period (info):

Period

Before Katrina (140)
Pre-Impact Katrina (195)
During Katrina (76)
Immediate Katrina Aftermath (19)
After Katrina (3)

Organization

Federal (140)
Federal: FEMA (64)
Louisiana: State (73)
Louisiana: NOLA (46)
Louisiana: SELA (42)
Mississippi: State (4)
Mississippi: Biloxi (0)
Mississippi: Gulfport (0)
Mississippi: Other Local (0)
Alabama: State (0)
Florida: State (0)
States: Other States (0)
Private Sector (19)
Academia/Professional (0)
Media (27)
NGOs (17)
General Public (9)

Knowledge

Flood Risk (28)
Evacuation Problem (22)
Public Safety Risk (3)
Environmental Risk (5)
Organization Capacity (10)
Levee Breach/Flooding (58)
Sheltering (1)
Response Level (1)
Advisories
Increased Chance of Hurricane (1)

Disaster Management Legislation Relevant to Katrina

Legislation (3)

Emergency Preparedness/Response Plans

Evacuation (13)
Shelter (4)
Response (7)
Recovery (1)

Policies that Affected Intensity of Katrina Impact

Environmental Policies/Programs (16)
Land Development (3)
Flood Control Programs (23)
Disaster Mitigation (12)
Disaster Preparedness (11)
Resource Allocation (29)
FEMA Restructuring (16)
Outsourcing (5)
Political Patronage (9)

Progress and Impact Hurricane Katrina

Florida (3)
Louisiana: State (2)
Louisiana: NOLA (20)
Louisiana: SELA (18)
Mississippi: Local (0)
Mississippi: State (0)
Mississippi: Biloxi (0)
Mississippi: Gulfport (0)
Mississippi: Other Local (0)
Alabama: State (0)

Execution of Emergency Plans

Evacuation (22)
Sheltering (2)
Emergency Response (122)
Other States' Assistance (0)

Response in Wake of Katrina Disaster

Response to Evacuation Execution (0)
Response to Emergency Response (1)
Investigations (0)

Recovery from Katrina

Infrastructure (bridges; roads) (0)
Governmental Services (water, electricity, etc) (0)
Industry (oil industry, etc.) (0)
citizenship (0)

Statements

Policies (5)
Warnings (15)
Plans (0)
Mitigation (4)
Katrina (6)
Execution of Emergency Plans (25)
Response (0)
Recovery (0)

Specific Cases and Issues

Coastal Wetlands (27)

Other

Other (3)
Click here to join: Suggest changes to existing data, add new data to the website, or compile your own timeline. More Info >>

 

Hurricane Katrina

 
  

Project: Hurricane Katrina

Export to XML Printer Friendly View Email to a Friend Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size


Between 8:00-9:00 pm August 26, 2005: Weather Experts Predict New Orleans Hit

       CNN's Larry King focuses on Hurricane Katrina tonight. Meteorologists Sam Champion (WABC-TV) and Rob Marciano (CNN) both predict that that Katrina will be a Category 3 or four storm that could hit near New Orleans or western Florida by Monday morning. Marciano warns that the storm could be “as bad if not worse than Hurricane Charlie coming on shore.” Champion characterizes the situation for people from “Pensacola all the way to New Orleans” as “bad news. I think its trouble. I think it certainly is one of those things that you get up and you watch very carefully.” [CNN-Larry King Live, 8/26/2005]
People and organizations involved: Sam Champion, Rob Marciano, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Charlie
          

5:00 pm EDT August 23, 2005: National Hurricane Center issues first Advisory for Tropical Depression 12

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues its first advisory for Tropical Depression 12, noting that a tropical storm or hurricane watch may be required for southern Florida later in the evening. [NHC Advisory 1, 8/23/2005] The NHC probabilities notice indicates Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida are most likely to be directly impacted. [NHC Probabilities 1, 8/23/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

11:00 pm EDT August 23, 2005: NHC Advisory: Tropical Depression 12 is Organizing

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues its second forecast/advisory for Tropical Depression 12, indicating that the storm is organizing and moving northwest. It issues a tropical storm watch for portions of the Florida Keys and Florida East Coast. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 36 hours. [NHC Advisory 2, 8/23/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

5:00 am EDT August 24, 2005: NHC Advisory: Tropical Depression 12 Continues to Organize

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues its third advisory for Tropical Depression 12, indicating that the storm is organizing and moving northwest. The tropical storm watch for portions of the Florida Keys and Florida East Coast remains in effect. A hurricane watch may be required later today for portions of the Florida East Coast. [NHC Advisory 3, 8/24/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

9:20 am EDT August 24, 2005: Weather Underground Director Expects Katrina to Intensify, Threaten Gulf Coast Early Next Week

       Meteorologist Jeff Matthews, Director of the Weather Underground, a popular web-based weather service, reports that several models indicate that Katrina will enter the Gulf of Mexico by Sunday, “where it has an excellent chance of intensifying into a hurricane. Since the GFS is the only model calling for this stall, it is more believable to assume that Katrina will push into the Gulf of Mexico and threaten the US Gulf coast early next week.” [WUnderground Blog, 8/24/2005]
People and organizations involved: Jeff Matthews, Hurricane Katrina
          

11:00 am EDT August 24, 2005: NHC Advisory: Tropical Storm Warning for Southeast Florida

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues its fourth advisory for Tropical Depression 12, upgrading its forecast to a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch for the Southeast Florida Coast from Vero Beach to Florida City. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 36 hours. [NHC Advisory 4, 8/24/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

5:00 pm EDT August 24, 2005: NHC Advisory: Tropical Depression 12 Becomes Tropical Storm Katrina

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues its fifth forecast/advisory. Tropical Depression 12 has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Katrina. The NHC expects additional strengthening in the next 24 hours. The NHC models indicate that Katrina will keep building slowly eastward, moving across South Florida over the next 36-48 hours and into the Gulf of Mexico within 72 hours. The models, however, are inconsistent in predicting the next landfall. One model indicates Katrina will hit New Orleans, others indicate Katrina will make second landfall on the Northern Florida Peninsula. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: At 25.6 N, 77.2 W

Direction and speed: NW at 9 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: Near 45 mph with higher gusts

Probability that Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

West Palm Beach, FL: 29 percent

Panama City, FL: 10 percent

Gulfport, MS: 3 percent

New Orleans, LA: 2 percent [NHC Probabilities 5, 8/24/2005; NHC Advisory 5, 8/24/2005; NHC Discussion 5, 8/24/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

11:00 pm EDT August 24, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Warning for South Florida

       In its sixth advisory, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues a hurricane warning for Southeast Florida Coast from Vero Beach to Florida City. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected in the warning area within the next 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for the East-Central Florida coast. The NHC expects Katrina to become a hurricane on Thursday before reaching the Southeast Florida coastt. In its discussion, The NHC indicates that Katrina has turned west in the past few hours and is expected to continue to move slowly on a westward track for the next 24 to 48 hours. The models continue to diverge significantly on where Katrina will head after entering the Gulf of Mexico. Tracks cover the coast from Mississippi eastward. The official forecast turns Katrina northward over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. One model indicates that Katrina will barely touch the east coast of Florida before moving north, while another model indicates Katrina will travel south of due west across South Florida and the Keys as a very intense hurricane. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: Near 26.0 N, 78.0 W., moving west at 8 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: Near 50 mph, with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 1001 mb

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

West Palm Beach, FL: 40 percent

Panama City, FL: 9 percent

Gulfport, MS: 4 percent

New Orleans, LA: 3 percent [NHC Probabilities 6, 8/24/2005; NHC Discussion 6, 8/24/2005; NHC Advisory 6, 8/24/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

5:00 am EDT August 25, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina will Become Hurricane before Landfall in Florida

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) repeats its hurricane warning for the Southeast Florida Coast from Vero Beach to Florida City. The tropical storm watch remains in effect for the east-central Florida coast. The NHC expects Katrina to strengthen into a hurricane before her center reaches Florida coast. Models are beginning to “agree” that Katrina will turn northward, although “there is still a notable spread.” The NHC predicts that Katrina will become a hurricane before landfall, will weaken while crossing the Florida peninsula, and then will re-intensify over the Golf of Mexico. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 26.2 N, 78.7 W

Direction and Speed: West at near 8 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 50 mph

Estimated Central Pressure: 1000 mb

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

West Palm Beach, FL: 64 percent

Panama City, FL: 11 percent

Gulfport, MS: 5 percent

New Orleans, LA: 4 percent [NHC Advisory 7, 8/25/2005; NHC Discussion 7, 8/25/2005; NHC Probabilities 7, 8/25/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

11:00 am EDT August 25, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina is Strengthening as It Moves Towards Florida

       In its eight advisory, The National Hurricane Center (NHC) retains the hurricane warning for southeast Florida, and tropical storm watches and warnings elsewhere, noting that the storm continues to strengthen. Models continue to agree Katrina will travel westward across the southern Florida peninsula for next 48 hours or so, but continue to diverge significantly in forecasting when and where Katrina will move north towards Florida panhandle or northwest Florida. One model indicates Katrina will move across northeast Florida, while another indicates Katrina will hit the western Florida panhandle. Katrina could still become a Category 1 hurricane prior to Florida landfall, and expected to re-strengthen after entering the Gulf of Mexico. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 26.2 N, 79.3 W

Direction and Speed: West at 6 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 60 mph

Estimated Central Pressure: 997 mb

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

West Palm Beach, FL: 99 percent

Panama City, FL: 13 percent

Gulfport, MS: 7 percent

New Orleans, LA: 5 percent [NHC Advisory 8, 8/25/2005; NHC Discussion 8, 8/25/2005; NHC Probabilities 8, 8/25/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

(12:00 pm) EDT August 25, 2005: Florida Says Evacuation Orders are Forthcoming

       Several counties anticipate issuing evacuation orders. Currently, Palm Beach plans to begin evacuations at 1:00 pm today. Voluntary and mandatory evacuations will begin in areas of Broward County, Martin County including the Barrier Islands, and low-lying areas of Miami-Dade County. [Florida Situation Report 1, 8/25/2005]
          

5:00 pm EDT August 25, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina is Now a Hurricane

       Tropical Storm Katrina becomes Hurricane Katrina, according to the latest advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Hurricane Katrina now has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane. The NHC expects that Katrina could strengthen before making landfall, and then weaken as it moves inland across South Florida through Friday. Models indicate that Katrina will move slight south of due west for next 12 hours, before moving northwest than north after 48 hours. NHC models agree on westward motion for next 36 hours, but continue to diverge significantly after that. One model takes Katrina northeast after 72 hours across the Florida panhandle, while three other models take Katrina significantly westward, indicating Katrina landfall between Mobile, Alabama and Grand Isle, Louisiana. However, the NHC gives two of the three models indicating a westward turn “less weight” because they have not been accurate over past 24 hours. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 26.1 N, 79.9 W

Direction and Speed: West at near 6 mph

Estimated Central Pressure: 985 mb

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

West Palm Beach, FL: 99 percent

Panama City, FL: 14 percent

Gulfport, MS: 8 percent

New Orleans, LA: 7 percent [NHC Probabilities 9, 8/25/2005; NHC Advisory 9, 8/25/2005; NHC Discussion 9, 8/25/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

(7:00 pm EDT) August 25, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Katrina Makes Landfall in Florida

       At 7:00 pm, the eye of Hurricane Katrina makes landfall near North Miami Beach with winds of 80 mph and higher gusts. [NHC Advisory 9A, 8/25/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina
          

11:00 pm EDT August 25, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Katrina Pounds South Florida

       The eye of Hurricane Katrina, now a Category 1 hurricane, is moving southwest across Miami-Dade County, and expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico Friday morning. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Katrina to strengthen as it moves into the Gulf. Two models indicate Katrina will become a major hurricane. Indications are that Katrina will move westward before being forced northerly over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. “All indications are that Katrina will be a dangerous hurricane in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico in about 3 days.” Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: Miami-Dade County, Florida

Direction and Speed: Southwest at near 8 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: Near 75 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 961 mb

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 16 percent

Gulfport, MS: 9 percent

New Orleans, LA: 7 percent [NHC Advisory 10, 8/25/2005; NHC Discussion 10, 8/25/2005; NHC Probabilities 10, 8/25/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina
          

4:00 am August 26, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Katrina Enters Gulf of Mexico

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports that Katrina has regained hurricane strength upon leaving Florida and entering the Gulf of Mexico. NHC expects Katrina to continue, with slight increase in speed, over next 24 hours. Models generally agree that Katrina will migrate westward, gradually turning northwest. The “consensus” of models has shifted westward. Indications are now stronger that Katrina will be a dangerous hurricane in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico within the next couple of days. The official forecast indicates Katrina winds will strengthen to 100 mph, although two models forecast a major hurricane. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 25.3 N, 81.5W

Direction and Speed: Due west at near 5 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 75 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 987 mb

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 17 percent

Gulfport, MS: 11 percent

New Orleans, LA: 8 percent [NHC Advisory 11, 8/26/2005; NHC Discussion 11, 8/26/2005; NHC Probabilities 10, 8/26/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

6:00 am August 26, 2005: The ‘72-Hour Evacuation Window’ Closes

       Hurricane Katrina will make landfall in Louisiana in only 72 hours, and critics will later charge that, by failing to call for an evacuation at this hour, local and state officials fail to execute their own emergency plans properly. Other critics will question why the federal government does focus efforts towards Louisiana and, particularly, the New Orleans area today. However, at this hour, Katrina has just reconstituted as a Category 1 hurricane, and it appears more likely to head towards the Florida Panhandle (“Northeastern Gulf Coast” than towards Louisiana . Indeed, the first National Hurricane Center Advisory to indicate that Katrina threatens New Orleans is still several hours away , and, according to its own reports, FEMA has not yet activated the Region 6 Response Coordination Center, which serves Louisiana .
Note 1 - The particular plan(s) implemented by local, state, and national officials during this crisis remains unclear. While various government websites contain several “plans,” it is not clear that the posted plans are the operative documents at this time, and some reports indicate that officials are operating under another plan (or plans) [Chicago Tribune, 9/11/2005]

Note 2 - Contrary to many published reports, the New Orleans Emergency Plan for Hurricane Evacuations (“NOLA Plan”), or the version of this Plan available online, does not require evacuation 72 hours in advance of all hurricanes, and does not address the concept of “mandatory” evacuations at all. Rather, the Plan contemplates a maximum time of 72 hours to prepare for a hurricane. The NOLA Plan contemplates that, “Slow developing weather conditions (primarily hurricane) will create increased readiness culminating in an evacuation order 24 hours (12 daylight hours) prior to predicted landfall.” [New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, Annex 1: Hurricanes, Part 2, Section II]
In another place, the NOLA Plan states as follows: “Using information developed as part of the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force and other research, the City of New Orleans has established a maximum acceptable hurricane evacuation time standard for a Category 3 storm event of 72 hours. This is based on clearance time or is the time required to clear all vehicles evacuating in response to a hurricane situation from area roadways. Clearance time begins when the first evacuating vehicle enters the road network and ends when the last evacuating vehicle reaches its destination.” The NOLA Plan continues: “Evacuation notices or orders will be issued during three stages prior to gale force winds making landfall.”
Precautionary Evacuation Notice: 72 hours or less

Special Needs Evacuation Order: 8-12 hours after Precautionary Evacuation Notice issued

General Evacuation Notice: 48 hours or less [New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, Annex 1: Hurricanes, Part 2, Section IV (A)]

Note 3 - The two Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation and Sheltering Plans posted on the Louisiana State website each reference a table which “give[s] information on the times at which action to evacuate people must be taken if the total number of people in the risk area is to be evacuated in Category 3 (Slow), 4 and 5 hurricanes” for parishes in Southeastern Louisiana. However, the referenced table is missing from the Plans. [Supplement 1A, 1/2000; Supplement 1B, 7/2000]
Therefore, the timetable contemplated under these plans for implementing evacuation orders remains unclear.
People and organizations involved: New Orleans Emergency Plan, Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force, City of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina
          

6:30 am August 26, 2005: Katrina Threatens Florida Panhandle, but ‘New Orleans Should Keep Wary Eye’ on Storm, says Weather Underground Director

       Meteorologist Jeff Matthews, Director of the Weather Underground, reports on the latest modeling: “Although Katrina is currently moving just south of due west, the computer track models unanimously agree that a trough moving across the central US this weekend will ‘pick up’ Katrina and force it on a northward path towards the Florida Panhandle. ... While New Orleans [certainly] needs to keep a wary eye on Katrina, it seems that the Florida Panhandle has its usual hurricane magnet in place, and the same piece of coast punished by Ivan and Dennis is destined for another strike by a major hurricane.” [WUnderground Blog, 8/26/2005]
People and organizations involved: Jeff Matthews, Hurricane Katrina
          

10:00 am August 26, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Katrina Moves West in Gulf of Mexico

       Katrina gains strength as it moves westward away from Florida, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The NHC expects Katrina to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane by Saturday. Most of the models indicate that Katrina's path will flatten out in more westward direction over next 12 hours. Two models indicate “large jump” west over Louisiana, while most other models indicate Katrina will move inland over the Northeast Gulf Coast. The NHC expects Katrina to strengthen into a major hurricane. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 25.1 N, 82.2 W

Direction and Speed: West at near 7 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 80 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 981 mb

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 18 percent

Gulfport, MS: 12 percent

New Orleans, LA: 10 percent [NHC Discussion 12, 8/26/2005; NHC Advisory 12, 8/26/2005; NHC Probabilities 12, 8/26/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

10:30 am August 26, 2005: NHC Special Advisory: Katrina Now a Category 2 Hurricane; Rapidly Strengthening

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues a special advisory that Katrina, now a Category 2 hurricane, is rapidly gaining strength as it moves westward. Forecasters expect Katrina to strengthen during the next 24 hours and may become a Category 3 hurricane. Given the drop in pressure, the NHC predicts that Katrina will rapidly strengthen to near Category 4 hurricane within 72 hours. (In fact, Katrina will become a Category 4 hurricane in 61 hours , and will make landfall in only 67 hours .) Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 25.1 N, 82.2 W

Direction and Speed: West near 7 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: Near 100 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 971 mb

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 18 percent

Gulfport, MS: 13 percent

New Orleans, LA: 11 percent [NHC Special Advisory 13, 8/26/2005; NHC Special Discussion 13, 8/26/2005; NHC Special Probabilities 13, 8/26/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

After 11:00 am August 26, 2005: Internet Weather Forums, Blogs, Begin to Buzz about Katrina's Threat to New Orleans

       Around this time, various weather forums and bloggers begin to discuss the threat to New Orleans that Katrina poses. Brendan Loy, a self-described “meteorology nerd” from Indiana, posts the following blog, titled “New Orleans in Peril,” at 11:37 am: “At the risk of being alarmist, we could be 3-4 days away from an unprecedented cataclysm that could kill as many as 100,000 people in New Orleans. Such a scenario is unlikely—the conditions would have been just right (or rather, just wrong)—but IMHO, it's not nearly unlikely enough to feel good about things. If I were in New Orleans, I would seriously consider getting the hell out of dodge right now, just in case.” Loy continues: “Normally, watches go up approximately 48 hours before the leading edge of the storm is expected to hit, but I wonder whether the NHC might fudge that a bit, and issue watches earlier, if New Orleans looks like the target, in light of the time-consuming logistical nightmare that a citywide evacuation would be. On the other hand, an evacuation that ultimately proves to have been unnecessary is economically costly and, more importantly, may have a vigilance-lowering ‘boy who cried wolf’ effect, especially since it would be the second time in as many years. So this is going to be a tough call for the NHC. Here's hoping they get it right... and here's praying that New Orleans is spared.” [The Irish Trojan's Blog, 8/26/2005] (See also, generally, [Weatherundergound (.com) blogs, 8/26/2005] )
People and organizations involved: Brendan Loy
          

4:00 pm August 26, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Katrina, now Category 2, Likely to Become Major Hurricane

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports that Katrina, now a Category 2 hurricane, continues to move west-southwest away from Florida, and is expected to gradually turn west on Saturday. Models have now shifted significantly westward. The NHC states that the “projected landfall is still about 72 hours away.” (In fact, Katrina will make landfall in only 55 hours.) The NHC expects that Katrina will strengthen over the next 24 hours, becoming a Category 3—or major—hurricane later today, and may be a Category 4 hurricane at landfall. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 24.8 N, 82.9 W (approximately 70 miles west-northwest of Key West, Florida)

Direction and Speed: West-southwest at near 8 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: Near 100 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 965 mb

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from the center up to 25 miles; and tropical storm force winds extend up to 85 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 17 percent

Gulfport, MS: 16 percent

New Orleans, LA: 15 percent [NHC Discussion 14, 8/26/2005; NHC Probabilities 14, 8/26/2005; NHC Advisory 14, 8/26/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

4:23 pm August 26, 2005: ‘Threat to New Orleans Grows,’ warns Weather Underground Director

       Meteorologist Jeff Matthews, Director of the Weather Underground, reports that the latest computer models indicate, “the threat of a strike on New Orleans by Katrina as a major hurricane has grown. The official NHC forecast is now 170 miles west of where it was at 11am, and still is to the east of the consensus model guidance. It would be no surprise if later advisories shift the forecast track even further west and put Katrina over New Orleans. Until Katrina makes its northward turn, I would cast a very doubtful eye on the model predictions of Katrina's track.” [Wundergound Blog, 8/26/2005]
People and organizations involved: Jeff Matthews, Hurricane Katrina
          

6:30 pm EDT August 26, 2005: National TV News Programs Report that Hurricane Katrina Threatens New Orleans; Recall Hurricane Camille

       CBS News reports that new models indicate that Katrina may shift west towards New Orleans. Noting that New Orleans is “among one of the most vulnerable hurricane places, if not the most vulnerable in the country,” the reporter reminds viewers that although hurricanes generally weaken before hitting land, “Hurricane Camille didn't in '69; there's no guarantee that this one will. This could very well be a Category 4.” ABC News contains a similar report tonight, nothing that Katrina could hit near New Orleans and be a catastrophic hurricane. MSNBC reports that four out of five computer models indicate that Katrina will hit between New Orleans and the Mississippi-Alabama Border.
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Camille
          

10:00 pm August 26, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina, Now a Category 2 Hurricane, Getting Stronger

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports that Katrina continues to move west-southwest, but will likely turn west, then west-northwest on Saturday. Katrina is following the typical pattern observed in intense hurricanes, and likely will become a Category 4 hurricane. Indeed, some models indicate it could become a Category 5 hurricane. NHC warns, “most of the reliable numerical model tracks are now clustered between the eastern coast of Louisiana and the coast of Mississippi.” The official forecast indicates that Katrina will move over the north central Gulf of Mexico in approximately 48 hours. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 24.6 N, 83.6 W

Direction and Speed: West-southwest at 8 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 105 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 965 mb

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from the center up to 25 miles; and tropical storm force winds extend up to 85 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 15 percent

Gulfport, MS: 18 percent

New Orleans, LA: 17 percent [NHC Probabilities 15, 8/26/2005; NHC Discussion 15, 8/26/2005; NHC Advisory 15, 8/26/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

4:00 am August 27, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina Becomes a Category 3 Hurricane

       Katrina, now Category 3 hurricane, will only strengthen during the next 24 hours, The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports. Katrina's eye is now clearly visible, and central pressure is dropping. Models now agree Katrina will move west-northwest later today, before turning northwest and north over the next 2-3 days. Katrina is likely to be a major hurricane upon landfall. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 435 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Direction and Speed: West at near 7 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 115 mph, with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 945 mb

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from center up to 40 miles; tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 150 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 11 percent

Gulfport, MS: 16 percent

New Orleans, LA: 17 percent [NHC Advisory 16, 8/27/2005; NHC Discussion 16, 8/27/2005; NHC Probabilities 16, 8/27/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

6:10 am August 27, 2005: ‘48-Hour Window’ Closes

       Hurricane Katrina will make landfall in Louisiana in only 48 hours . Governor Blanco has declared a state of emergency , and requested that President Bush declare a state of emergency, to enable direct federal assistance in the potential disaster . FEMA has apparently sent 10-20 staff members to Louisiana by this time .
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina
          

6:18 am August 27, 2005: Weather Underground Director to New Orleans: ‘Evacuate NOW!’

       Meteorologist Jeff Matthews, Director of the Weather Underground, urges New Orleans residents to leave: “Emergency management officials in New Orleans are no doubt waiting to see where Katrina makes her turn before ordering evacuations. However, if I lived in the city, I would eva[cu]ate NOW! The risks are too great from this storm, and a weekend away from the city would be nice anyway, right? GO! New Orleans needs a full 72 hours to evacuate, and landfall is already less than 72 hours away, so I would get out now and beat the rush. If an evacuation is ordered, not everyone who wants to get out may be able to do so.” Matthews also speculates that Katrina could be the costliest hurricane ever: “Insurers estimate that Katrina already did about $1 to $4 billion in damage. ... This is a shocking number for a Category 1 hurricane, and bodes ill for the residents of New Orleans and the US insurance industry if Katrina makes a direct hit on New Orleans as a Category 4 storm, which would likely cost $100 billion. But, New Orleans' amazing run of luck could well continue at the expense of Mississippi or Alabama or Florida. Like Camille in 1969, Katrina may come ashore far enough east of New Orleans to largely spare it.” [Wundergound Blog, 8/27/2005]
People and organizations involved: Jeff Matthews, Hurricane Katrina
          

Morning, August 27, 2005: Alabama Governor Offers Assistance to Louisiana, Mississippi Governors

       Alabama Governor Bob Riley offers Louisiana Governor Blanco and Mississippi Governor Barbour assistance if necessary, upon reviewing this morning's National Weather Service report showing that Katrina's most serious impact will most likely be in Louisiana and Mississippi. [Alabama Press Release, 8/27/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Weather Service, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Haley Barbour, Bob Riley, Hurricane Katrina
          

10:00 am August 27, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Watch for Southeastern Louisiana

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues its first hurricane watch for the southeastern coast of Louisiana, from east of Morgan City to the mouth of the Pearl River, including New Orleans. A hurricane watch likely will be required for other portions of northern gulf coast later today. Models also indicate Katrina will strengthen and could become a Category 5 hurricane, and the hurricane will likely move west-northwest during the next 24 hours. Katrina's eye has begun a concentric eyewall cycle. Models now agree that Katrina is likely to make landfall in the next 72 hours over the northern Gulf Coast, however, the models disagree about where Katrina will make landfall: Two models indicate landfall will be near Morgan City or Intracoastal City, Louisiana. The other guidance ranges from Grand Isle, Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida. The official NHC forecast calls for landfall in Southeastern Louisiana—in 48-60 hours. (In fact, Katrina will make landfall in only 38 hours .) Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 405 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Direction and Speed: West at 7 mph.

Maximum Sustained Winds: 115 mph, with higher gusts.

Estimated Central Pressure: 940 mb.

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from center up to 65 miles; tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 12 percent

Gulfport, MS: 18 percent

New Orleans, LA: 19 percent [NHC Advisory 17, 8/27/2005; NHC Discussion 17, 8/27/2005; NHC Probabilities 17, 8/27/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

10:25 am August 27, 2005: Weather Underground Director Again Urges New Orleans Evacuation

       Meteorologist Jeff Matthews, Director of the Weather Underground, reports that, “Katrina has increased markedly in size the past 12 hours, and will deliver a widespread damaging blow wherever she comes ashore. ... I'd hate to be an Emergency Management official in New Orleans right now. Katrina is pretty much following the NHC forecast, and appears likely to pass VERY close to New Orleans. I'm surprised they haven't ordered an evacuation of the city yet. While the odds of a catastrop[h]ic hit that would completely flood the City of New Orleans are probably 10 percent, that is way too high in my opinion to justify leaving the people in the city. If I lived in the city, I would eva[cu]ate NOW! There is a very good reason that the Coroner's office in New Orleans keeps 10,000 body bags on hand. The risks are too great from this storm, and a weekend away from the city would be nice anyway, right? GO! New Orleans needs a full 72 hours to evacuate, and landfall is already less than 72 hours away. Get out now and beat the rush. You're not going to have to go to work or school on Monday anyway. If an evacuation is ordered, not everyone who wants to get out may be able to do so—particularly the 60,000 poor people with no cars.” [Wundergound Blog, 8/27/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, Jeff Matthews
          

11:00 am August 27, 2005: NHC Director briefs FEMA on Katrina, Warns that Storm Surge May Overwhelm New Orleans Levees

       During FEMA's daily video conference, Max Mayfield, National Hurricane Center Director, warns FEMA officials that Hurricane Katrina could make landfall near New Orleans as a Category 4 hurricane: “This one is different... It's strong, but it's also much, much larger.” Mayfield also warns FEMA that the anticipated storm surge could overwhelm the levees. Mayfield will later recall that he sees many “newcomers to the disaster world” around the table during this conference. However, he knows that many professionals listening in from the Gulf states have been through his hurricane prep course and they know that this is no drill: “The emergency guys, they know what a Cat 4 is,” Mayfield states. Jack Colley, State Coordinator for Texas' Division of Emergency Management similarly recalls that, “Clearly on Saturday, we knew it was going to be the Big One. ... We were very convinced this was going to be a very catastrophic event.” [Washington Post, 9/11/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina, Max Mayfield, Federal Emergency Management Agency
          

Afternoon August 27, 2005: LSU Hurricane Center Warns that Levees Will Fail

       Ivor Van Heerden, a scientist at the LSU Hurricane Center tells the Time-Picayune that the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina will weaken the Lake Pontchartrain levees and cause additional overtopping: “The bottom line is this is a worst-case scenario and everybody needs to recognize it,” he said. “You can always rebuild your house, but you can never regain a life. And there's no point risking your life and the lives of your children.” [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/27/2005]
People and organizations involved: Ivor Van Heerden, Hurricane Katrina
          

Afternoon-Evening August 27, 2005: Katrina's Threat to New Orleans Dominates National TV; Flood Risk, Lack of Evacuation Options for Poor Highlighted

       Throughout this afternoon and evening, Katrina's threat to New Orleans dominates the airwaves and the internet. Residents, officials, and weather experts repeatedly plead with residents to evacuate and warn of the inevitability of massive flooding Katrina will bring. Douglas Brinkley, historian and New Orleans resident, sums up the twin problems as follows: “Unfortunately, this is an economically depressed city. And a lot of poor people living in shotgun shacks and public housing don't have the ability to get in a car and just disappear. And we've made openings at the Superdome where people will be fed and have a place to sleep if they want to get out of their low-lying house.” With respect to the flooding threat, Brinkley laments: “The Army Corp. of Engineers has done a good job with the levee system. Not good enough. I've heard it, it's almost become a cliché, but it is like a tea cup or bowl here in New Orleans. And if you get hit from the east, Pontchartrain water comes flooding in. And that's—at all costs, we don't want that to happen. By and large, more than any major city in the United States, New Orleans is unprepared for a disaster from a hurricane. It's just the—one of the names you called it the Big Easy. It's also the City Time Forgot, and sometimes we let things get into disrepair, you know. Potholes and weak levees are recipes for potential disaster when a hurricane like Katrina comes around the bend.” Online news and blogs buzz with the coming catastrophe. [Weatherunderground (.com), 8/27/2005]
People and organizations involved: New Orleans Superdome, US Army Corps of Engineers, Hurricane Katrina
          

Afternoon August 27, 2005: NHC to New Orleans: ‘This is really scary’

       Max Mayfield, Director of the National Hurricane Center, warns the Times-Picayune that Hurricane Katrina poses an imminent danger to New Orleans: “The guidance we get and common sense and experience suggests this storm is not done strengthening. ... This is really scary. This is not a test, as your governor said earlier today. This is the real thing.” Katrina “is a very, very dangerous hurricane, and capable of causing a lot of damage and loss of life if we're not careful.” “This thing is like Hurricane Opal,” Mayfield says, referring to the 1995 Category 3 hurricane that hit the Florida panhandle. “We're seeing 12-foot seas along the Louisiana coast already.” [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/27/2005]
People and organizations involved: Max Mayfield, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Opal
          

4:00 pm August 27, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Watch Extended to Florida-Alabama Border

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expands the hurricane watch westward to Intracoastal City, Louisiana and eastward to the Florida-Alabama border, and states that a hurricane warning likely will be required for portions of the Northern Gulf Coast later tonight or Sunday. Landfall in southeast Louisiana is likely in “a little under” 48 hours. (In fact, Katrina will make landfall in 32 hours .) According to the NHC, Katrina will likely strengthen, and may become a Category 5 hurricane before landfall. Katrina likely will move west-northwest during the next 24 hours. Models continue to diverge, with some indicating Katrina will turn northward, while others indicate Katrina will shift westward. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 380 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Direction and Speed: West at 7 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 115 mph, with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 945 mb

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from center up to 45 miles; tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 12 percent

Gulfport, MS: 20 percent

New Orleans, LA: 21 percent [NHC Advisory 18, 8/27/2005; NHC Discussion 18, 8/27/2005; NHC Probabilities 18, 8/27/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

7:00 pm August 27, 2005: NHC Advisory: Dangerous Hurricane Katrina moving in Gulf

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports that “dangerous Hurricane Katrina” is now moving west-northwest, and is expected to strengthen. Portions of the northern Gulf Coast are already experiencing 12-foot waves. The Central Gulf Coast can expect 5-10 inches of rainfall, with 15 inches in some areas, on Sunday. The expanded hurricane watch from Intracoastal City, Louisiana and eastward to the Florida-Alabama border remains in effect; a hurricane warning likely will be required for portions of the Northern Gulf Coast later tonight. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 360 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Direction and Speed: West at 7 mph.

Maximum Sustained Winds: 115 mph, with higher gusts.

Estimated Central Pressure: 944 mb.

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from center up to 45 miles; tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles. [NHC Intermediate Advisory 18A, 8/27/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

(7:00 pm) August 27, 2005: LSU Hurricane Center Predicts Katrina's Storm Surge Will Cause Extensive Flooding of New Orleans Area

       Around 7 pm this evening, LSU Hurricane Center scientists share their latest prediction models with emergency officials at the Emergency Operations Center in Baton Rouge. On the giant screen looming over the officials, scientists post the sum of all fears: New Orleans will go under. Everyone knows what that means: a major water rescue of untold thousands. [Time, 9/4/2005] The model predicts that Katrina's storm surge may weaken and overtop New Orleans' levees, causing massive flooding of Plaquemines Parish, New Orleans' 9th Ward, Michoud area, and Mid-City, as well as large parts of Slidell. [Daily Advertiser, 8/27/2005; Times-Picayune Blog, 8/27/2005] The Times-Picayune will publish the projected storm surge map the next morning. [Times-Picayune (PDF), 8/28/2005] Reportedly, the Center also e-mails their modeling results to state and federal agencies, including the National Hurricane Center. [NBC Dateline, 9/9/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Emergency Operations Center, National Hurricane Center, LSU Hurricane Center
          

Between 7:00-8:00 pm August 27, 2005: NHC Director Urges Residents in Southeast Louisiana to Evacuate

       Max Mayfield, Director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) appears on CNN to warn that Hurricane Katrina is a very dangerous storm: “Well, it's very serious. And it can not only cause a lot of damage, but large loss of life if people don't heed the advice of those local officials. This could be stronger than Hurricane Betsy in 1965. And I know there's been a lot of focus on New Orleans, as there should be, but we don't want to forget about Mississippi and Alabama. They're going to have a tremendous storm surge, not only near, but well out to the east to where the center of this hurricane makes landfall.” Mayfield states that “I certainly would [evacuate] if I lived in a place that did not have some high terrain. And that's much of southeast Louisiana. This has always been our greatest, you know, concern anywhere on the Gulf of Mexico. And I think when we start talking about storm surge values, up as high as Camille, you know, that will get people's attention. We're going to very likely put up the hurricane warning later tonight.”
People and organizations involved: Max Mayfield, Hurricane Betsy, Hurricane Katrina
          

Evening August 27, 2005: NHC Director Calls Governors of Louisiana and Mississippi

       NHC Director Max Mayfield personally calls Louisiana Governor Blanco and Mississippi Governor Barbour. Mayfield tells Barbour that Katrina may be a “Camille-like storm.” He tells Blanco that this one will be a “big, big deal.” “I wanted to be able to go to sleep that night,” he will later recall. According to Mayfield, Blanco is unsure that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has fully grasped the situation and urges Mayfield to call him. [Washington Post, 9/11/2005]
People and organizations involved: Max Mayfield, Ray Nagin, Hurricane Camille, Haley Barbour, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
          

(8:00 pm) August 27, 2005: NHC Director Calls New Orleans Mayor

       NHC Director Max Mayfield calls New Orleans Mayor Nagin: “This is going to be a defining moment for a lot of people.” [Washington Post, 9/11/2005; Houston Chronicle, 9/08/2005] Nagin will tell City Councilwoman Cynthia Morrell early Sunday morning, “Max Mayfield has scared me to death.” [MSNBC, 9/19/2005] Nagin will later recall that Mayfled's message “scared the crap out of me.” “I immediately said, ‘My God, I have to call a mandatory evacuation,’ ” according to a later Knight Ridder report. [Knight Ridder, 9/11/2005] Nagin will call for the evacuation Sunday morning at 9:30 am .
People and organizations involved: Max Mayfield, Cynthia Morrell, Ray Nagin
          

8:16 pm August 27, 2005: Weather Underground: Evacuation Order Too Late; Katrina's Storm Surge May Cause Levee Breach

       Meteorologist Jeff Matthews, Director of the Weather Underground, a popular web-based weather service, reports: “We may be on the verge of a rapid deepening phase, and Katrina is growing from a medium sized hurricane to a large hurricane. Where the pressure will bottom out after this deepening phase is anyone's guess, and I believe something in the 915—925 mb range is most likely, which would make Katrina a strong Category 4 or weak Category 5 hurricane by tomorrow afternoon.” He then laments: “New Orleans finally got serious and ordered an evacuation, but far too late. There is no way everyone will be able to get out of the city in time, and they may be forced to take shelter in the Superdome, which is above sea level. If Katrina makes a direct hit on New Orleans as a Category 4 hurricane, the levees protecting the city will be breached, and New Orleans, which is 6—10 feet below sea level, will fill with water. On top of this 6 feet of water will come a 15 foot storm surge, and on top of that will be 20 foot waves, so the potential for high loss of life is great. Given the current track and intensity forecast, I'd put the odds of this at about 20 percent” [Wundergound Blog, 8/27/2005]
People and organizations involved: Jeff Matthews, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Superdome
          

10:00 pm August 27, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Katrina Dangerous; Threatens Central Gulf Coast

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) elevates the hurricane watch to a hurricane warning for the area between area between Morgan City, Louisiana and the Alabama-Florida border. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected in the, within the next 24 hours. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.” The NHC warns that Katrina can cause a costal storm surge of 15-20 feet above normal, with higher surges to 25 feet near and to the east of where landfall occurs. Katrina's wind field is expanding and conditions are ripe for the hurricane to strengthen even further. “The bottom line is that Katrina is expected to be an intense and dangerous hurricane heading toward the North Central Gulf Coast ... and this has to be taken very seriously.” The NHC also issues a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch for parts west and east of the warning areas. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 335 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Direction and Speed: West-northwest at 7 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 115 mph, with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 939 mb

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from center up to 45 miles; tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 12 percent

Gulfport, MS: 23 percent

New Orleans, LA: 26 percent [NHC Advisory 19, 8/27/2005; NHC Discussion 19, 8/27/2005; NHC Probabilities 19, 8/27/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

August 28, 2005: Emergency Officials Blanket the Airwaves to Urge Evacuation, Predict Disaster

       Beginning this morning, and throughout the day, FEMA representatives and other officials appear on TV shows throughout the day. When asked to identify the biggest challenge to preparing for Katrina, FEMA Director Michael Brown replies as follows: “Primarily making sure that as many people as possible get out of the way of the storm. The more people that are in the way of the storm, the more potential they have of becoming a disaster victim.” When asked whether it is possible for the area to weather the storm without loss of life, Brown responds that such an expectation is unreasonable.
People and organizations involved: Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael D. Brown
          

1:00 am August 28, 2005: NHC Special Advisory: Katrina Now Category 4 Hurricane

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues a special advisory that, with sustained winds of 145 mph, Katrina has become a Category 4 hurricane. Katrina also continues to grow, as hurricane winds now extend 70 miles from the center, and NHC warns that Katrina can yet strengthen, and will likely move northwest later today. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 310 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Direction and Speed: West-northwest at 8 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 145 mph, with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 935 mb

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from center up to 75 miles; tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles [NHC Special Advisory 20, 8/28/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

1:30 am August 28, 2005: Louisiana State Police Issue Evacuation Report

       The Louisiana State Police issue a report outlining the status of evacuation orders in Southeastern Louisiana as of 1:30 am this morning:
Ascension Parish: Recommended Evacuation at dawn Sunday

Assumption Parish: Recommended Evacuation

Jefferson Parish: Recommended Evacuation, except for Grand Isle, Crown Point, and Barateria

Jefferson Parish—Grand Isle, Crown Point, and Barateria: Mandatory evacuation

Orleans Parish: Recommended Evacuation

Lafourche Parish: Evacuation ordered at dawn Sunday

Plaquemines Parish: 50 percent of residents have evacuated so far; 40 percent expected to evacuate between 2:00 and 6:00 am. All remaining residents should evacuate by 2:00 pm Sunday

St. Bernard Parish: Strong recommendation of evacuation

St. Charles Parish: Mandatory evacuation effective 9:00 am Sunday

St. James Parish: Recommended evacuation of low-lying areas for mobile and manufactured homes

St. John Parish: Recommended evacuation. If track of storm remains the same, a mandatory evacuation will be issued by 7:00 am.

Tangipahoa Parish: Precautionary evacuation. Further evacuation notification will begin at 7:00 am Sunday

Terrebone Parish: Recommended evacuation for south of Intercoastal City. Mandatory evacuation begins at 6:00 am Sunday. (All other areas under recommended evacuation) [Louisiana Police Press Release, 8/28/2005]

People and organizations involved: Louisiana State Police
          

2:00 am August 28, 2005: NHC Advisory: Potentially catastrophic Katrina bears down on Northern Gulf Coast

       The National Hurricane Center's (NHC) 2:00 am advisory leads with the warning that potentially catastrophic Hurricane Katrina is beginning to turn northward toward Southeastern Louisiana and the Northern Gulf Coast and that sustained hurricane-force winds are already occurring along the Southeastern Louisiana Coast. Katrina will likely make landfall with Category 4 or Category 5 intensity. The NHC warns that winds will be significantly stronger on upper floors of high-rise buildings than those near ground level. An 83 mph wind gust has been reported just east of the Chandeleur Islands (Mississippi), a 75 mph gust at Grand Isle, Lousiana, and a 60 mph gust has already been reported in New Orleans. Coastal storm surge flooding of 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels can be expected, with some surges reaching as high as 28 feet. Some levees in the greater New Orleans area may be overtopped. A bouy 50 miles east of the Mississippi River has reported waves as high as 40 feet already. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 70 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River; 130 miles south-southeast of New Orleans

Direction and Speed: North at near 12 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 155 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 910 mb

Size: hurricane winds extend 105 miles from the center; tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles [NHC Intermediate Advisory 25B, 8/29/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

4:00 am August 28, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina Becoming Stronger

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns that Katrina, still a Category 4 hurricane, continues to intensify and grow larger. The NHC reiterates the hurricane warning for Louisiana to Florida, and expands the area covered by a tropical storm warning. It warns further that, “While the details of the landfall intensity cannot be known at this time ... Katrina will be a very dangerous hurricane at landfall.... It must be emphasized that the exact landfall point cannot be specified and that Katrina is a large hurricane that will affect a large area,” warns the NHC. “NHC now expects Katrina's path to move north later today.” Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 275 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Direction and Speed: West-northwest at 10 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: Near 145 mph, with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 935 mb

Size: Hurricane force winds extend outward from center up to 85 miles; tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 11 percent

Gulfport, MS: 26 percent;

New Orleans, LA: 29 percent [NHC Advisory 21, 8/28/2005; NHC Probabilities 21, 8/28/2005; NHC Discussion 21, 8/28/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

6:36 am August 28, 2005: Katrina ‘Truly Historic,’ Incredible Amount of Damage Expected, says Weather Underground Director

       “Katrina is in the midst of a truly historic rapid deepening phase ... [and] is now the sixth strongest hurricane ever measured in the Atlantic,” states Jeff Matthews, meteorologist with the Weather Underground. “At the rate Katrina is deepening, she could easily be the third or fourth most intense hurricane ever, later today.” Katrina's “winds are likely to increase to ‘catch up’ to the rapidly falling pressure, and could approach the all-time record of 190 mph set in Camille and Allen. Winds of this level will create maximum storm surge heights over 25 feet, and this storm surge will affect an area at least double the area wiped clean by Camille, which was roughly half the size of Katrina. Katrina has continued to expand in size, and is now a huge hurricane like Ivan. Damage will be very widespread and extreme if Katrina can maintain Category 5 strength at landfall.” Masters warns that, “Given that the storm is so large and is already pushing up a huge storm surge wave in front of it, even a weakened Category 3 Katrina hitting at low tide will cause an incredible amount of damage. A stretch of coast 170 miles long will experience hurricane force winds, given the current radius of hurricane force winds around the storm. A direct hit on New Orleans in this best-case scenario may still be enough to flood the city, resulting in heavy loss of life and $30 billion or more in damage.” [Wundergound Blog, 8/28/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Allen, Hurricane Katrina, Jeff Matthews, Hurricane Camille
          

7:00 am August 28, 2005: NHC Special Advisory: Katrina Now a Category 5 Hurricane; Potentially Catastrophic

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns that Katrina is now a “potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane” and is headed for the Northern Gulf Coast. Although the NHC cannot predict the exact strength at landfall, Katrina is “expected to be a devastating Category 4 or 5 hurricane at landfall.” The NHC forecasts coastal storm surge flooding 15 to 20 feet above normal tide levels, with higher surges of up to 25 feet, as well as large and dangerous battering waves near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 250 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Direction and Speed: West-northwest at 12 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: Near 160 mph, with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 908 mb [NHC Special Advisory 22, 8/28/2005; NHC Special Discussion 22, 8/28/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

Morning August 28, 2005: FEMA's National Situation Update Focuses on Preparations for Hurricane Katrina

       FEMA's Situation Update indicates that it is starkly aware of the dire situation in New Orleans, including the lack of transportation for many of the poorer residents: “Katrina could be especially devastating if it strikes New Orleans because the city sits below sea level and is dependent on levees and pumps to keep the water out. A direct hit could wind up submerging the city in several feet of water. Making matters worse, at least 100,000 people in the city lack the transportation to get out of town.” FEMA outlines preparations as follows: FEMA's National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) Red Team and the National Emergency Response Team (Blue) have been fully activated. Region 4 (serving Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, among others) and Region 6 (serving Louisiana) are also fully activated. At the state level, both Mississippi's and Louisiana's Emergency Operations Centers are fully activated. [FEMA Situation Update, 8/28/2005]
People and organizations involved: Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Response Coordination Center, National Emergency Operations Center
          

10:00 am August 28, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina, Already as Strong as Camille, is Still Gaining Strength

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns that Katrina, already a potentially catastrophic hurricane headed for the Northern Gulf Coast, continues to gain strength. Katrina is getting stronger-and bigger. The NHC notes that Katrina is now as strong as Hurricane Camille was in 1969, only larger, and warns that storm surge flooding will be 18-22 feet above normal, with surges to 28 feet in some areas. Although hurricanes rarely sustain these extreme winds for long, the NHC reports no obvious large-scale effects that could cause Katrina to weaken substantially. Katrina's path likely will move northwest, then north-northwest over the next 24 hours. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 225 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Direction and Speed: West-northwest at 12 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 175 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 907 mb

Size: Hurricane winds now extend 105 miles from the center; tropical storm force winds extend to 205 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 12 percent

Gulfport, MS: 33 percent

New Orleans, LA: 35 percent [NHC Discussion 23, 8/28/2005; NHC Probabilities 23, 8/28/2005; NHC Advisory 23, 8/28/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Camille
          

10:11 am August 28, 2005: NWS Starkly Predicts ‘Human Suffering Incredible by Modern Standards’

       Minutes after the National Hurricane Center issues its Advisory, the National Weather Service for New Orleans issues an urgent weather message, “Devastating Damage Expected,” which could not be more stark: “Hurricane Katrina [is] a most powerful hurricane with unprecedented strength...rivaling the intensity of Hurricane Camille of 1969. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks...perhaps longer. At least one half of well constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail...leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed. The majority of industrial buildings will become non functional. Partial to complete wall and roof failure is expected. All wood framed low rising apartment buildings will be destroyed. Concrete block low rise apartments will sustain major damage...including some wall and roof failure. High rise office and apartment buildings will sway dangerously...a few to the point of total collapse. All windows will blow out. Airborne debris will be widespread...and may include heavy items such as household appliances and even light vehicles. Sport utility vehicles and light trucks will be moved. The blown debris will create additional destruction. Persons...pets...and livestock exposed to the winds will face certain death if struck. Power outages will last for weeks...as most power poles will be down and transformers destroyed. Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards. The vast majority of native trees will be snapped or uprooted. Only the heartiest will remain standing...but be totally defoliated. Few crops will remain. Livestock left exposed to the winds will be killed. An inland hurricane wind warning is issued when sustained winds near hurricane force...or frequent gusts at or above hurricane force...are certain within the next 12 to 24 hours. Once tropical storm and hurricane force winds onset...do not venture outside!” [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/28/2005; NWS, 9/28/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Weather Service, Hurricane Camille
          

Afternoon August 28, 2005: Times-Picayune Publishes Updated Flood Predictions

       The Times-Picayune Blog publishes the LSU Hurricane Center's updated flood prediction graphic, which indicates that Katrina's storm surge will cause massive flooding throughout the City of New Orleans. [Times-Picayune, 8/28/2005]
People and organizations involved: City of New Orleans
          

4:00 pm August 28, 2005: NHC Advisory: Hurricane Potentially Catastrophic; Levee Overtopping Possible

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) Advisory leads by warning, “Potentially catastrophic Hurricane Katrina headed for the Northern Gulf Coast.” Conditions are already deteriorating along portions of the central and northeastern Gulf Coast, and they will continue to deteriorate throughout the evening. Katrina, still a Category 5 hurricane, is likely to make landfall with Category 4 or 5 intensity. The NHC reiterates that storm surge flooding will be 18-22 feet above normal, with increased surge to 28 feet in some areas, and warns that “some levees in the greater New Orleans area could be overtopped.” Katrina's minimum central pressure is now the fourth lowest on record in the Atlantic. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 150 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Direction and Speed: Northwest at near 13 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 175 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 902 mb

Size: Hurricane winds extend 105 miles from the center; tropical storm force winds extend outward for 230 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 5 percent

Gulfport, MS: 38 percent

New Orleans, LA: 47 percent [NHC Probabilities 24, 8/28/2005; NHC Discussion 24, 8/28/2005; NHC Advisory 24, 8/28/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

5:23 pm August 28, 2005: Levee Breach, Submerged City Likely says Weather Expert

       “The area from New Orleans to the Mississippi-Louisiana border is going to get a catastrophic blow. I put the odds of New Orleans getting its levees breached and the city submerged at about 70 percent This scenario, which has been discussed extensively in literature I have read, could result in a death toll in the thousands, since many people will be unable or unwilling to get out of the city. I recommend that if you are trapped in New Orleans tomorrow, that you wear a life jacket and a helmet if you have them,” states Jeff Matthews, meteorologist with the Weather Underground, a popular web-based weather service. Masters notes: “Katrina [is] the fourth strongest hurricane ever, and the strongest hurricane ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico, surpassing Camille. ... Katrina has continued to expand in size, and now rivals Hurricane Gilbert and Hurricane Allen as the largest hurricanes in size. When hurricanes reach such enormous sizes, they tend to create their own upper-air environment, making them highly resistant to external wind shear. ... Katrina is so huge and powerful that she will still do incredible damage even at this level.” Recognizing that he has focused primarily on New Orleans, Masters states, “Katrina will do tens of billions in damage all along the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Mobile Bay could well see a 10-foot storm surge. And inland areas will take heavy damage as well; Katrina will still be a hurricane 180 miles inland, and cause widespread flooding throughout the Tennessee Valley.” Masters ends by urging readers to pray for those in Katrina's path. [Wundergound Blog, 8/28/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Gilbert, Jeff Matthews, Hurricane Allen
          

(9:30 pm) August 28, 2005: Wind Gusts Knock Out Power on Grand Isle and Port Fourchon

       Wind gusts, clocked at 80 mph, have knocked out the power in Grand Isle and Port Fourchon, and in south Plaquemines Parish, wind gusts have reached 74 mph, according to Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development representative Mark Lambert. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/28/2005 Sources: Mark Lambert]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina
          

10:00 pm August 28, 2005: NHC Advisory: Potentially Catastrophic Katrina Bears Down on Northern Gulf Coast

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) again leads its advisory by warning that “Potentially catastrophic Hurricane Katrina” continues to approach the northern gulf coast. Still a Category 5 hurricane, Katrina will likely turn north in the next 12-24 hours. Katrina remains quite large, and will likely cause storm surge flooding of 18-22 feet above normal, with increased surge to 28 feet in some areas. The surge may overtop New Orleans' levees. Some changes to Katrina's structure indicates that there could be some weakening, although Katrina likely will still be a very dangerous Category 4 hurricane at landfall. While “there is great significance for the City of New Orleans in the details of the path of Katrina, the path could vary 30-50 miles 12-18 hours from landfall.” Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 105 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River; about 170 miles south-southeast of New Orleans

Direction and Speed: North-northwest at near 10 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 160 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 904 mb

Size: hurricane winds extend 105 miles from the center; tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles

Probability that in the next 69 hours, Katrina's eye will pass within 75 miles of:

Panama City, FL: 2 percent

Gulfport, MS: 54 percent

New Orleans, LA: 59 percent [NHC Advisory 25, 8/28/2005; NHC Discussion 25, 8/28/2005; NHC Probabilities 25, 8/28/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

After 10:00 pm August 28, 2005: LSU Analyzes Advisory, Issues Revised Flooding, Damage Predictions

       The LSU Hurricane Center supercomputer generates new models based on the National Hurricane Center's 10:00 pm advisory. LSU's revised models indicate that the storm surge outside the levee system will be 16-18 feet in eastern Orleans Parish (reduced from the earlier estimated 20 feet). The revised model continues to predict extensive flooding in Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and eastern Orleans parishes. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: LSU Hurricane Center, National Hurricane Center
          

August 29, 2005: Navy's USS Bataan Heads Towards Northern Gulf Coast to Provide Hurricane Assistance

       The USS Bataan, a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship, and other US Navy assets are preparing to provide assistance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, if needed. The Bataan is currently underway in the Gulf of Mexico from Corpus Christi, Texas, and is now heading towards the northern Gulf Coast area. “If called upon, Bataan brings unique humanitarian capabilities to the scene.” [Navy Newsstand, 8/29/2005] The Bataan has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food, and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. [Chicago Tribune, 9/04/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, USS Bataan
          

12:00 am August 29, 2005: NHC Advisory: Potentially catastrophic Katrina bears down on Northern Gulf Coast

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC)'s midnight advisory leads with: “Potentially catastrophic [Category 5] Hurricane Katrina continues to approach the Northern Gulf Coast...sustained hurricane-force winds nearing the Southeastern Louisiana coast.” Already, a wind gust to 98 mph has been reported from Southwest Pass Louisiana. Katrina remains quite large, and will likely cause storm surge flooding of 18-22 feet above normal, with increased surge to 28 feet in some areas, and may overtop New Orleans' levees. Some changes to Katrina's structure indicates that there could be some weakening, although the NHC reiterates that Katrina likely will still be a very dangerous Category 4 hurricane at landfall. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 90 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River; 150 miles south-southeast of New Orleans

Direction and Speed: North-northwest at near 10 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: Near 160 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 908 mb

Size: hurricane winds now extend 105 miles from the center; tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles [NHC Intermediate Advisory 25A, 8/29/2005]

People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Hurricane Center
          

(2:00 am) August 29, 2005: Many New Orleans Police Fail to Report for Duty

       Only 82 of 120 New Orleans Police summoned for duty at 2:00 am actually report for duty, according to a later Newsweek report. The numbers will dwindle further throughout the day and even further in the days to come. [Newsweek, 9/19/2005]
          

2:40 am August 29, 2005: New Orleans Local Weather Statement Warns of Direct Hit on City

       The National Weather Service's New Orleans local weather statement reiterates the stark warnings announced yesterday: “Direct strike of potentially catastrophic and life threatening hurricane expected late tonight and early Monday.” The Statement recommends the following actions: “Protect you and your family. Follow local emergency managers recommendations. With the approach of hurricane force winds and heavy squalls people are urged to seek refuge of last resort in strong...well constructed buildings. If life threatening storm surge flooding develops...move to higher floors or house attics. Bring tools to make an emergency exit should these higher floors or attics become inundated.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2005; UNISYS Weather, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Weather Service
          

3:00 am August 29, 2005: Strong Wind Gusts and Rain Squalls Reach New Orleans

       New Orleans is now experiencing rain squalls, which are dumping up to two inches of rain per hour, and winds gusts of up to 70 mph. “That wind is strong,” says a New Orleans emergency worker from outside of City Hall. “It just blew the light of the top of an ambulance.” Around this same time, a monitoring buoy located 50 miles east of Plaquemines Parish records sustained winds of 57 mph, gusts up to 72 mph. Waves are cresting at 47 feet. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
          

4:00 am August 29, 2005: NHC Advisory: Extremely Dangerous Katrina Lashes Northern Gulf Coast

       The National Hurricane's 4:00 am advisory warns that Katrina, now a very strong Category 4 hurricane, remains very large, is extremely dangerous, and is nearing landfall. Tropical storm-force winds are already lashing the Gulf Coast from Southeastern Louisiana to the Alabama-Florida border. A buoy located 50 miles east of the Mississippi River has reported waves as high as 46 feet already. Storm surge flooding will be 18-22 feet above normal, with increased surge to 28 feet in some areas, and levees in the greater New Orleans area may be overtopped. Although it appears that Katrina will make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane later this morning, the NHC warns that “just because Katrina is no longer a category 5 hurricane does not mean that extensive damage and storm surge flooding will not occur. This is still an extremely dangerous and potentially deadly hurricane!” Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 90 miles south-southeast of New Orleans; about 120 miles south-southwest of Biloxi Mississippi

Direction and Speed: North at near 15 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 150 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 915 mb

Size: hurricane winds extend 105 miles from the center; tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles [NHC Advisory 26, 8/29/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

6:00 am August 29, 2005: ‘24 Hour Window’ Closes

       Hurricane Katrina will make landfall in Louisiana in only 48 hours . At Governor Blanco's request , President Bush has declared a state of emergency in Louisiana . Low-lying parishes have issued mandatory or recommended evacuations, and New Orleans has issued something between a voluntary and a recommended evacuation . FEMA apparently has sent 10-20 staff members to Louisiana by this time . FEMA publishes a graphic projecting the path of Hurricane Katrina this hour, based on the National Hurricane Center Advisory 21 . FEMA's graphic indicates that Katrina will pass through New Orleans approximately 32 hours from now, at 2:00 pm tomorrow. [FEMA Graphic (PDF), 8/28/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina
          

6:00 am August 29, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina winds begin pounding Northern Gulf Coast

       The National Hurricane Center's (NHC) 6:00 am advisory is bleak: “Extremely dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Katrina preparing to move onshore near southern Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.” Hurricane-force wind gusts are now hitting most of southeastern Louisiana, the New Orleans metropolitan area, and as far east as the Chandeleur Islands. Katrina's eye is now midway between Grand Isle and the mouth of the Mississippi River. The NHC expects Katrina to move onshore near Empire and Buras, Louisiana within the next hour, and reach the Mississippi border by early afternoon. The NHC continues to warn that that storm surge flooding will be 18-22 feet above normal, with increased surge to 28 feet in some areas, and that levees in the greater New Orleans area could be overtopped. A buoy located about 50 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi has reported wave heights of at least 47 feet. Other aspects of the NHC Advisory include:
Location: 70 miles south-southeast of New Orleans, and about 95 miles south-southwest of Biloxi, Mississippi

Direction and Speed: North at near 15 mph

Maximum Sustained Winds: 145 mph with higher gusts

Estimated Central Pressure: 918 mb

Size: hurricane winds extend 120 miles from the center; tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles [NHC Advisory 26A, 8/29/2005]

People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

6:11 am August 29, 2005: Weather Underground: New Orleans May be Spared Catastrophic Hit

       Jeff Matthews, meteorologist with the Weather Underground, a popular web-based weather service, reports that it appears New Orleans will be spared a catastrophic hit. “As the eye passes east of the city later this morning, north winds of about 100 mph will push waters from Lake Pontchartrain up to the top of the levee protecting the city, and possibly breach the levee and flood the city. This flooding will not cause the kind of catastrophe that a direct hit by the right (east) eyewall would have, with its 140 mph winds and 15-20 foot storm surge. New Orleans will not suffer large loss of life from Katrina. ... [A]lthough the damage will be incredible, it could have been much, much worse.” [Wundergound Blog, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, Jeff Matthews
          

(6:10 am) August 29, 2005: Katrina Slams into Southeastern Louisiana

       Hurricane Katrina makes its second landfall in Southeastern Louisiana at approximately 6:10 am this morning. [NPR (Audio), 9/09/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina
          

6:30 am August 29, 2005: New Orleans Local Weather Statement: Expect Massive Flooding

       The New Orleans Local Weather Statement issued by the National Weather Service states that the eye of Hurricane Katrina is now less than 70 miles from New Orleans. “Severe tidal flooding will also develop along low lying areas surrounding Lake Pontchartrain...with severe inundation likely. ... Severe storm surge flooding is expected develop through the remainder of the morning...with highest values along the Louisiana coast east of the Mississippi River...Mississippi coast...and along the shore line of Lake Pontchartrain and Maurepas.” [UNISYS Weather, 8/29/2005; Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, National Weather Service
          

8:00 am August 29, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina pounds Southeastern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi

       Katrina, still an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds at 135 mph, is now moving north at nearly 15 mph and its eye is now approximately 40 miles southeast of New Orleans and 65 miles southwest of Biloxi. The National Hurricane Center expects Katrina to pass just to the east of New Orleans during the next few hours, and then move into Southern Mississippi. Katrina has grown yet again, with hurricane force winds extending 125 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extending 230 miles. NHC warns that storm surge flooding of “10 to 15 feet ... near the tops of the levees ... is possible in the Greater New Orleans area.” Minimum central pressure has increased to 923 MB. [NHC Advisory 26, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

8:14 am August 29, 2005: Flash Flood Warning for New Orleans; Industrial Canal Floodwall is Breached

       The National Weather Service (NWS) issues a flash flood warning for Orleans Parish, reporting that a breach has occurred along the Industrial Canal at Tennessee Street. It expects three to eight feet of flooding due to the breach. The warning includes New Orleans, including the 9th Ward, St. Bernard Parish, Chalmette, and Arabi. The NWS urges residents to “[m]ove to higher ground. A flash flood warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in the warning area move to higher ground immediately.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Weather Service
          

9:00 am August 29, 2005: New Orleans Local Weather Statement: Expect Massive Flooding

       The National Weather Service's Local Weather Statement for New Orleans advises that the eye of Hurricane Katrina is in eastern St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes, packing sustained winds near 135 mph, with higher gusts. A storm surge of 10 to 12 feet will be occurring in the southwest part of Lake Pontchartrain affecting the east banks of Jefferson, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and Livingston parishes. “Severe storm surge flooding is expected develop through the remainder of the morning ... with highest values along the Louisiana coast east of the Mississippi River...Mississippi coast...and along the shore line of Lake Pontchartrain and Maurepas.” [UNISYS Weather, 8/29/2005; Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Weather Service, Hurricane Katrina
          

9:51 am August 29, 2005: Weather Underground Report: New Orleans' Levees are Overtopped; Biloxi Will Suffer Katrina's Harshest Blow

       “Although the damage will be incredible, it could have been much, much worse,” states Jeff Matthews, meteorologist with the Weather Underground. Masters notes, however, that the National Weather Service “is reporting that the levees in Orleans and St Bernard parishes have been overtopped by the storm surge, and there are reports of life-threatening flooding, roof damage, and building collapses in the city.” Masters warns that “Bay Saint Louis, Biloxi, and Gulfport Mississippi will take the full force of Katrina's right eyewall, and a storm surge of 15-20 feet is likely along the west and central Mississippi coast.” Masters closes his post with a personal note: “A special thanks need to be given to the Air Force Hurricane Hunters based at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, who have flown Katrina around the clock while their families remained on the ground in Biloxi. Biloxi will suffer Katrina's harshest blow, and many of the Hurricane Hunters will see their homes destroyed or heavily damaged.” [Wundergound Blog, 8/29/2005] Tomorrow morning, Masters will recall the initial relief after Hurricane Andrew: “As news reports begin to filter in from the hardest hit areas, the scope of Katrina's destruction is slowly being realized. Remember in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, how there was a lot of relief about how much worse it could have been, and how well Miami fared? This cheerfulness faded once the search teams penetrated to Homestead and found the near-total devastation there [W]ith a two block long breach in the Lake Pontchartrain levee allowing the entire City of New Orleans to flood today, we are witnessing a natural disaster of the scope unseen in America since the great 1938 Hurricane devastated New England, killing 600. Damage from Katrina will probably top $50 billion, and the death toll will be in the hundreds.” [Wundergound Blog, 8/30/2005; 8:26 am EDT post]
People and organizations involved: Air Force Hurricane Hunters, Hurricane Andrew, National Weather Service, Keesler Air Force Base, Jeff Matthews
          

10:00 am August 29, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina moves towards Mississippi

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) advises that storm surge flooding of 10 to 15 feet—near the tops of the levees—is still possible in the greater New Orleans area. Katrina's center has now made landfall again near the Louisiana-Mississippi border, about 35 miles east-northeast of New Orleans, and about 45 miles west-southwest of Biloxi. Now a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds near 125 mph, Katrina is moving north at nearly 16 mph. The hurricane remains huge, with hurricane force winds extending 105 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extending 230 miles. NHC reiterates that storm surge flooding will be 15-20 feet above normal. Minimum central pressure has increased to 927 mb. [NHC Advisory 27, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

10:52 am August 29, 2005: NWS Repeats Report of Industrial Canal Floodwall Breach

       The National Weather Service's local weather statement for Mobile Alabama repeats the 8:14 am Flash Flood Warning , which reported that the Industrial Canal is breached at Tennessee Street. [Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Weather Service
          

10:52 am August 29, 2005: New Orleans Local Weather Statement: Life-Threatening Flooding

       The National Weather Service's local weather statement for New Orleans announces that “A significant and life threatening storm surge estimated around 20 feet has occurred with Katrina...causing levees to be overtopped in Orleans and St Bernard parishes. In addition, dangerous battering waves are occurring on top of the storm surge near the coast severe tidal flooding will continue in these areas for several more hours. Significant flooding is also occurring along the Mississippi Gulf Coast over Hancock...Harrison and Jackson counties. Extensive damage due to the wind and storm surge is occurring along the Mississippi coast. A storm surge of 10 to 12 feet has occurred in the southwest part of Lake Pontchartrain affecting the east banks of Jefferson, St Charles, St John the Baptist, and Livingston parishes.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/12/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Weather Service
          

12:00 pm August 29, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina is still dangerous, but weakening as it moves farther inland

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) advises that Katrina is now a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of nearly 105 mph. Katrina remains huge, with hurricane force winds extending 125 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extending 230 miles. Katrina's center is now 40 miles south-southwest of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Minimum central pressure has increased to 940 MB. [NHC Intermediate Advisory 27A, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

12:00 pm August 29, 2005: St. Bernard Parish Reports Widespread Flooding

       The St. Bernard Parish website reports: “Most of the parish has no power and widespread flooding is reported. Phone services are severely hampered into/out of the parish. Estimated 40,000 [h]omes are flooded.” [St. Bernard Parish, 8/29/2005]
          

2:00 pm August 29, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina is still Dangerous, but Continues to Weaken

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) advises that Katrina is now a still-dangerous Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of nearly 95 mph. The hurricane remains huge, with hurricane force winds extending 125 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extending 230 miles. Katrina's center is now 20 miles south-southwest of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. [NHC Intermediate Advisory 27B, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

4:00 pm August 29, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina Weakening, but Strong Winds, Heavy Rains Remain a Threat

       The National Hurricane Center (NHC) announces that Katrina continues to weaken over Mississippi. However, strong winds and heavy rains remain a threat. At 4:00 pm the hurricane warning for Lake Pontchartrain and from the mouth of the Pearl River eastward to the Alabama/Florida border is downgraded to a to a tropical storm warning. All other warnings are discontinued. The NHC notes, however, that tropical storm warning remains in effect for this area, although this warning likely will be discontinued this evening. Katrina's center is now 30 miles northwest of Laurel, Mississippi. [NHC Advisory 28, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina
          

10:00 pm August 30, 2005: NHC Advisory: Katrina weakens further in Mississippi

       Katrina continues to weaken over Northeastern Mississippi. As of 10 pm, all coastal warnings have been discontinued. [NHC Advisory 29, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina
          


Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under the Creative Commons License below:

Creative Commons License Home |  About this Site |  Development |  Donate |  Contact Us
Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use