Monday, August 29, 2005

Eye of the storm - Hurricane Katrina swamps New Orleans

This post originally was sent as an email to family and friends from inside The Times-Picayune's headquarters in downtown New Orleans.

Just got a wi-fi connection here at the office. Don't know where it's from, but I'm happy to have it.

Busy working but will update everyone.

The atmosphere here is pretty intense. Mixture of fear, adrenaline.

We're still safe here. Trees down all around us. Flooding approaching the back of the building - water about 3 feet deep in some parts of the parking lot. Lots of cars underwater.

The weather is unbelievable! Constant, terrible wind. Can't tell the difference anymore between sustained wind and gusts.

We're getting terrible reports already: 80 windows blasted out at the Hyatt hotel near the Superdome. As you've probably already heard, holes forming in the roof of the Superdome which is packed with about 30,000. They've been evacuated from the dome floor to the upper elevated levels.

A report that the miss. river is topping the levees downtown and beginning to flood the French Quarter. Also massive flooding in the lower 9th ward, on the east side of the industrial canal. Water so high there that some people have gone onto their roofs.

Looks like the phone lines are starting to fail.

Its looking like massive damage around the city already, and massive flooding too.

Cell phone systems starting to fail, but it looks like we still have landlines.

That's all for now.

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