We are preparing to get hit by hurricane Katrina beginning tonight. Fortunately, here in the Baton Rouge area, it looks like we will only see 50 - 70 mph winds and about three inches of rain. New Orleans will not be so lucky.
New Orleans residents are preparing for the worst storm in their history. My brother, a reporter for the Times-Picayune, will have to stay. His partner is leaving with their two dogs and heading north. I'm pretty worried about K and he's pretty worried about himself. They are being told that even if the eye passes to the east of the city, the storm surge will still be strong enough to breach the levees. This means that New Orleans, soup bowl that it is, will have standing water for an undetermined amount of time. There are pumps that pull the water out but it could take months for them to catch up. K isn't worried about flooding in their house but he's worried they may lose the roof.
My friend M and her daughter Megs are on their way here from New Orleans. They have been on the road over two hours now and are only about half way here. They're going to ride out the storm with us. M's husband D is a computer tech of Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans and can't leave. He has to go to work this afternoon after he finishes boarding up their house. M's very worried because her mother refuses to leave but insisted M leave - go figure.
Katrina will leave a path of devastation in her wake. The winds are now up to 175 mph and with the low barametric pressure at the center it makes her just a huge tornado. If she jogs just a big to the west then Baton Rouge will be in much more danger. It's hard to pray and ask God to send her in another direction because she will devastate whatever she touches. The folks on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the Gulfport and Biloxi areas will be dealt a huge blow. They will be in the northeast quadrant and that is the worst part of any hurricane. The mayor of Biloxi has been on the Weather Channel all day today and the poor man looks scared out of his mind. He always looks like he's about to burst into tears. I can't say that I blame him. There's nothing you can do but run from a storm like this one.
Just say your prayers, folks, that everyone in the path of this storm remains safe.