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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 (81)
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
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)
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Hurricane Katrina

 
  

Project: Hurricane Katrina

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(7:15 am) August 29, 2005: New Orleans Mayor Tells NBC that Water is Overtopping New Orleans Levee System, Lower 9th Ward is Flooding

       New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin tells NBC's Today Show that his city is “still not out of the woods as it relates to that worst-case scenario.” Already he has received reports that water is overtopping the levee systems, and in the Lower 9th Ward, a pumping station has filed. “So we will have some significant flooding, it's just a question of how much.”
People and organizations involved: Ray Nagin
          

(8:00 am) August 29, 2005: Katrina's Winds Tears Hole in Roof of Superdome

       Katrina's winds tear two sections from the roof of the Superdome, and rain begins to pour in through the holes, where thousands of New Orleans residents have sought refuge from the storm, was damaged and there are reports of water pouring into the building. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Superdome
          

(9:00 am) August 29, 2005: Floodwaters in Lakeview Area of New Orleans are Already above Porch Steps

       Floodwaters in the Lakeview area of New Orleans are rising above house porches. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
Note - The 17th Street Canal, whose floodwall breaches at some point today, borders Lakeview on the west.

          

(Around 9:00 am) August 29, 2005: New Orleans' London Avenue Canal Floodwall is Breached

       Floodwalls in the London Avenue canal are breached today, probably around this time, according to Al Naomi, Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans project manager. [Times-Picayune Blog, 9/07/2005 Sources: Al Naomi]
Note - Today's Army Corps news release will not mention this breach. [Army Corps News Release (PDF), 8/29/2005]
The Army Corps initially will indicate that this breach occurs on August 30. [Army Corps News Release (PDF), 8/31/2005]
          

9:30 am August 29, 2005: New Orleans' Phone System is Failing

       Around this time, portions of the New Orleans' telephone system fails. Remote phone switching stations and wireless phone antennas, or cell sites, are switching to backup battery or generator power, but most of these sources are temporary. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
          

After 10:00 am August 29, 2005: Associated Press Reports New Orleans' Industrial Canal Floodwall Breach

       The Associated Press reports that, according to the National Weather Service, a floodwall has been breached on the Industrial Canal near the St. Bernard-Orleans parish line . Three to eight feed of flooding is possible. [Sources: National Weather Service] The Associated Press will report on breaches in New Orleans' levee system at least 15 times before the end of the day, identifying both the Industrial Canal floodwall breach and the 17th Street Canal floodwall-levee breach.
          

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
          

11:00 am August 29, 2005: St. Bernard Parish Reports Industrial Canal Floodwall Breach: ‘We Cannot See the Tops of the Levees!’

       The St. Bernard Parish website reports on the breach to the Industrial Canal floodwall, near the St. Bernard-Orleans parish line (Tennessee St.), citing the National Weather Service advisory . According to Larry Ingargiola, Director of St. Bernard's OEP, both parish shelters, housing 300 residents, are suffering significant flooding damage. Chalmette High is losing its roof; many windows are broken at St. Bernard High. “We cannot see the tops of the levees!” [St. Bernard Parish, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: National Weather Service, Chalmette High School
          

1:00 pm August 29, 2005: Several Areas in Greater New Orleans Area are under Water

       Residents in the Lower 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish report heavy flooding. Residents are being rescued from rooftops by passing boaters. Reportedly, floodwaters are as high as 12 feet well into Chalmette. Homes on Champagna Drive are nearly under water, and businesses are flooded. The first floor of Chalmette High School, a St. Bernard Parish shelter of last resort, is flooded and residents are reporting that they can see only the rooftops of nearby homes. St. Bernard Parish's government building reportedly has at least eight to ten feet of water. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Chalmette High School
          

(1:45 pm) August 29, 2005: Kenner Officials: Flooding Serious

       According to Kenner officials, Williams Boulevard is now flooded north of I-10 to just before the lake levee, although Lake Pontchartrain has not overtopped the levees. Officials report that throughout Williams and elsewhere, businesses, homes, and apartments flooded and have significant roof damage. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005] (Kenner is located in Jefferson Parish.)
          

2:30 pm August 29, 2005: Times-Picayune Photographer Reports Utter Destruction, 12 Foot Flood in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward

       Ted Jackson, a Times-Picayune photographer, who has waded into the Lower 9th Ward, reports “a scene of utter destruction. The wind still howled, floodwaters covered vehicles in the street and people were clinging to porches and waiting in attics for rescuers who had yet to arrive.” [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
          

(3:00 pm) August 29, 2005: New Orleans Director of Homeland Security Expects Casualties

       Terry Ebbert, New Orleans Director of Homeland Security, states that he is positive there are casualties resulting from Hurricane Katrina, based on the number of calls to emergency workers from people trapped in trees and attics. According to Ebbert, authorities lost communications with those pleading for help in some cases. “Everybody who had a way or wanted to get out of the way of this storm was able to.” “For some that didn't, it was their last night on this earth.” Police are fanning out across the city to assess the damage and rescue people where possible. The city also has 100 boats stationed at Jackson Barracks on the Orleans-St. Bernard parish line. According to Ebbert, the Lower 9th Ward, eastern New Orleans, Treme, and Lakeview near a levee breech seem to be the most devastated. Although damage is extensive, Ebbert says that if the storm had passed just 10 miles west of its track, the city would have been inundated with 25 feet of water. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Terry Ebbert, Hurricane Katrina
          

Afternoon August 29, 2005: Times-Picayune Describes Devastation, Massive Flooding in New Orleans' 9th Ward

       The Times-Picayune files a report describing New Orleans' devastated 9th Ward, where the flooding is so extensive that only rooftops poke out from beneath the waters for stretches of square miles. Residents fear for what has happened in the Lower 9th Ward, which edges St. Bernard Parish. “It's got to be worse in the lower 9,” a city police officer working the scene says. “It always is.” [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005] Treme and the city's 8th and 9th Wards are severely flooded. Eastern New Orleans is inaccessible by car due to the high water on Interstate 10 East. The farther east on Interstates 10 and 610, one goes, “the deeper the water and the danger.” Hurricane Katrina has caused the highway to end at the first exit for Louisa Street. For miles, there are only rooftops, with floodwaters lapping at the eves, visible from I-10. Rows of homes have been swallowed by water. Standing outside on the concrete interstate, in the whipping winds, signs can be spotted that so many of the city's residents did not evacuate. One man wades up to his chest below, holding an orange water cooler as a buoy. Another single man watches him from the rooftop of a trucking business. Bursts of orange lights can be seen from another house, from the highest window, where at least two people are stranded. Their house nearly swallowed by the flooding, they blink flashlights to attract attention, but are forced to wait. Rescue officials say that boats are coming, but they have not yet arrived. The visions of destruction are overwhelming. There is a yell here and there, a holler from somewhere, but no one in sight. Desperate images fill the neighborhoods: Small children and a woman standing on their front porch as water licks the raised house's top steps. A black van completely entrenched in the flooding. A drenched dog alone on a rooftop. Household-type items strewn in the dirty floodwater. In one case, rescuers use a boat to get a group of stranded people from their roof to the highway. They leave the group on the overpass, presumably to make other rescues. The interstate has become a kind of eerie desert. The stranded include an elderly woman in a wheelchair and a small barefoot boy. Both are accompanied by their respective families. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Hurricane Katrina
          

After 3:00 pm August 29, 2005: Army Corps Confirms New Orleans' Levee System Breaches; Catastrophic Flooding

       The Army Corp's Al Naomi calls the state emergency headquarters in Baton Rouge to inform officials of a catastrophic situation in the city. Water from the increasingly large breach in the 17th Street Canal floodwall, which will grow to 200 feet wide, is pouring out, and flooding New Orleans. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005] According to Al Naomi, Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans project manager, the Corps reports the other breaches in the levee system as well: “It was disseminated. It went to our OEP in Baton Rouge, to the state, FEMA, the Corps,” Naomi will later recall. “The people in the field knew it. The people here (in Corps offices) in Louisiana and Mississippi knew it. I don't know how communication worked in those agencies.” [Times-Picayune Blog, 9/07/2005] Yet, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La) will later recall that the mood in the state's headquarters is not one of panic this afternoon: “We were saying, ‘Thank you, God,’ because the experts were telling the governor it could have been even worse.” [Newsweek, 9/19/2005 Sources: Mary L. Landrieu]
People and organizations involved: Al Naomi, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
          

(4:00 pm) August 29, 2005: New Orleans Fire Department Reports at Least Three Breaches In Levee System

       New Orleans Firefighter Nick Felton reports that “downtown has major damage with windows and parts of buildings gone and, of course, major flooding with the water still rising. At this time feeder bands are still coming through the area and they are not responding yet. There are people on their rooftops waiting to be rescued. There have been three breaches of the levee system—in Kenner, at Lakefront along Lake Pontchartrain and west bank. Officials are very concerned about lower New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish. No one has been able to communicate with any [firefighters in St. Bernard Parish].” [IAFF Blog, 8/29/2005]
          

(4:00 pm) August 29, 2005: Oak Ridge Resident Reports 12 Foot Flood Near Violet Canal

       Neighborhoods near the Violet Canal, which runs through St. Bernard's Parish, have 12 feet of water in their homes, forcing residents to their rooftops, awaiting rescue. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
          

4:20 pm August 29, 2005: Surge from 17th Canal Street Levee Hits Mid-City Hospital

       Around this time, the basement at Lindy Boggs Medical Center begins taking on water, according to George Saucier, the Mid-City hospital's CEO. According to Saucier, the mini-flood at North Jefferson Davis Parkway and Bienville Street, described as an annoyance, probably was a chain-reaction result of a break in the levee along the 17th Street Canal, which separates Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. Water flowed from the break down Robert E. Lee Boulevard and into the bayou, before surging toward Canal Street, overflowing its banks and heading down North Jefferson Davis Parkway—and into the Mid-City hospital's basement. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Lindy Boggs Medical Center, George Saucier, Jefferson Parish
          

Evening August 29, 2005: Mayor Nagin Tells WWLTV City is in ‘State of Devastation’; ‘Incredible Amount of Water in City’

       Mayor Nagin appears on WWLTV to provide viewers with a “status report” on the city: “My heart is heavy. I don't have any good news to really share. Other than at some point in time the federal government will be coming in here in mass. But, the city is in a state of devastation. Eighty percent of it is under water, as much as 20 feet in some places. There's an incredible amount of water in the city. Residents are on roofs and trapped in attics, awaiting rescue. Fire, Police, and National Guard personnel are out rescuing those trapped right now. Both airports are under water. Twin spans in New Orleans East are totally destroyed. Three huge boats have run aground. An oil tanker has run aground and is leaking oil. There is a serious [floodwall-levee] break at 17th Street Canal,” and the water continues to rise. Houses have been picked up off their foundation and moved. The Yacht Club has burned; it's totally destroyed. A barge has hit one of the main structures of High Rise (a bridge/span) and we're not sure that the High Rise is structurally sound. All of Slidell is under water. Most of Metaraie is under water. “The list just goes on and on.” There are gas leaks throughout the city. It's not a pretty picture. On the somewhat good news side, many people have survived. Uptown is pretty dry. The French Quarter and Central Business District is dry, but they also have buildings that look like a bazooka was shot through. There is no clear path in or out of the city, whether east or west. I-10 West is still full of water. ... The water system has been contaminated except for the Central Business District and Algiers. We have no electricity and they expect electricity to be out about 4-6 weeks. “And the list goes on and on.” Nagin reports that flooding is worst in New Orleans East and in the Lower 9th Ward, but it's “coming from everywhere.” Nagin is basing his information on a briefing he received, apparently from Marty Evans, President of the Red Cross. Nagin states that he is reading from a briefing provided by a FEMA official (later identified as Marty Bahamonde). “The FEMA guy here is saying that 80 percent of New Orleans is under water and a significant portion of Metaraie and Kenner—everything north of I-10 is under water.” Nagin also reports that St. Bernard is in even worse shape: “There is total devastation in St. Bernard alone.” (WWLTV reporter notes earlier Associated Press report that 40,000 houses in that parish are under water.) [WWLTV (Audio), 8/29/2005]
People and organizations involved: Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Guard, Marty Evans, Marty Bahamonde, Ray Nagin
          

After 9:00 am August 29, 2005: Coast Guard Fields Dozens of Calls from Stranded Residents, Some New Orleans Residents Awaiting Rescue on Rooftops

       According to Petty Officer Cliff Roberts, at the Coast Guard's Command Center, the Guard has received about four dozen emergency electronic signals from vessels in Grand Isle, Venice, and elsewhere. “It's unbelievable.” The Coast Guard is also fielding calls from distressed residents unable to get through on 911 lines, and has received reports of people on rooftops at Villere and Louisa streets and in the 200 block of Almonaster Drive. [Times-Picayune Blog, 8/29/2005 Sources: Cliff Roberts]
People and organizations involved: US Coast Guard
          


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