Sunday, August 28, 2005

Please pray

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- New Orleans braced for a catastrophic blow from Hurricane Katrina overnight, as forecasters predicted the Category 5 storm could drive a wall of water over the city's levees.

The huge storm, packing 160 mph winds, is expected to hit the northern Gulf Coast in the next 12 hours and make landfall as a Category 4 or 5 hurricane Monday morning.


A statement from the National Weather Service in Slidell, near New Orleans, Louisiana, warned that much of the affected area "will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer."

Low-rise, wood-frame buildings will be destroyed, and concrete apartment buildings "will sustain major damage," it said.

"High-rise office and apartment buildings will sway dangerously, a few to the point of total collapse," the warning read.

"All windows will blow out. Airborne debris will be widespread, and may include heavy items such as household appliances and even light vehicles."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared a state of emergency Sunday and ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city. (Watch video of mayor's announcement)

Nagin exempted essential federal, state, and local personnel; emergency and utility workers; transit workers; media; hotel workers; and patrons from the evacuation order."We are facing a storm that most of us have feared," Nagin said. "I do not want to create panic, but I do want the citizens to understand that this is very serious and it's of the highest nature."

About 1.3 million people live in New Orleans and its suburbs, and many began evacuating before sunrise. (Watch video to see who's staying and who's leaving)

Highways out of the city were jammed, while thousands who opted to stay behind lined up to take shelter in the Louisiana Superdome.

City officials told stranded tourists to stay on third-floor levels or higher and away from windows.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said that New Orleans could expect a complete loss of electricity and water services as well as intense flooding. She added that the Superdome, the city's main shelter, "is not going to be a very comfortable place at some point in time." (See video from New Orleans, a city below sea level)

About 70 percent of New Orleans is below sea level, and is protected from the Mississippi River by a series of levees. (Full story)

Forecasters predicted the storm surge could reach 28 feet; the highest levees around New Orleans are 18 feet high.

Rest of the article. And please pray for all those in the path of Katrina, in particular for the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans. Especially pray that the levees hold.


  1. I'll definately be praying, but I also think they should have attempted to fix the levies over the past three years- esp since they might have sunk to hold only 12 feet of water... Won't do much against a 30 ft high wave!

  2. The patroness of the State of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans, the Archiocese of New Orleans (and the parish to which I belong)is Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Whenever the city is threatened she is traditionally invoked by many: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor Hasten to our Help." It looks like she came through yet again!

    Here in Central Louisiana it is overcast and unusually balmy and breezy, but we didn't even get any rain (so far).

  3. Woah, you're down south? Freaky... Be careful!

  4. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us!

    For the history and devotional prayers, see my blog at:

  5. brendan...excellent OLPS postings on your blog....are you in Louisiana?