8 Years Ago… Looking Back at Hurricane Katrina… Wednesday Update – 11:30am

Hurricane_Katrina

This time, 8 years ago, we were all watching with disbelief has one of the most destructive hurricanes of our time was bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina was making a turn to the north and had it’s sight set on Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, where horrible damage was about to occur. The official landfall would occur on the next morning, along the southeastern tip of Louisiana and then another landfall point along the Mississippi coast a few hours later. Nearly 2,000 people died as a result of the powerful hurricane and floods involved.

The day before the storm hit, the National Weather Service in New Orleans issued a statement that ran chills down my back. I have never seen a statement like this until Hurricane Katrina, and I hope I never see another statement like the one below… Again, this was issued on Sunday, August 28, 2005…

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA 1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005

…DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED…

.HURRICANE KATRINA…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!

The statement above was from the National Weather Service office out of New Orleans. This was issued the day before Hurricane Katrina Made Landfall.

Richard Scott

WVUA Chief Meteorologist

rscott@wvuatv.com

 

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