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Sat Sep 3 2005
5 Days With Little Federal Response Left Thousands Dead
Katrina Timeline
Katrina_Satelite.jpg Hurricane Hits Florida:
On Wednesday August 24th Katrina became a Category 1 hurricane, as it crept toward an overnight landfall on Florida's densely populated southeast coast. Two people were killed by falling trees after it made landfall along the Miami-Dade and Broward county line between Hallandale Beach and North Miami Beach The death toll had risen to seven by Friday August 26th as South Floridians coped with local floods, sweeping power outages and forests of toppled trees.

Katrina_Line.jpg Warning Signs: On Saturday 8/27, the National Hurricane Center in Miami extended a Hurricane Watch for Louisiana and President Bush declared a state of emergency in Louisiana. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for some of Louisiana's low-lying areas and Katrina was expected to increase to become a Category 4 hurricane; "This is a very, very dangerous hurricane," said NHC Director Max Mayfield on CNN Saturday. At 5pm, Mayor Ray Nagin called for a voluntary evacuation of the city but Greyhound & Amtrak stopped service in New Orleans late Saturday Night.
By Sunday 8/28, news reports called Katrina the most powerful hurricane ever to menace the United States and said it was expected to slam into the nation's most storm-vulnerable city, New Orleans. "Some 25 feet of standing water is expected in many parts of the city -- almost twice the height of the average home -- and computer models suggest that more than 80 percent of buildings would be badly damaged or destroyed" On Sunday, Mayor Nagin issued a mandatory evacuation order and the City of Chicago offered the federal government help but was refused.

The_Storm.jpg Monday 8/29: As the hurricane hit the coast, news reports were sparse. First reports that came in reported that since the storm was downgraded to a category 4 storm damage was expect to be less than was feared. Levees broke in the late morning but much of the city remained unflooded.
Katrina derails production | Hurricane Tears Holes in Superdome Roof | Democracy Now: Global Warming And Hurricanes

Bush_Guitar.jpg Tuesday 8/30: "Yesterday Katrina's remnants brought drenching rains, high winds and killer tornados to a swath of the central US as the system moved to the north-east. But sections of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama may remain virtual ghost lands for weeks or longer, populated by expanses of debris, downed trees and crumpled homes. Nowhere is more stricken than New Orleans, most of which lies below sea level. At first the city seemed to have dodged the worst of the storm. But overnight one of its protective levees buckled beneath the weight of water from nearby Lake Pontchartrain and broke open in two places." On Tuesday, President Bush delivered a speech on the 60th anniversary of V-J Day and mainly talked about the need to "stay the course" in Iraq.
Trent Lott's home destroyed | Prisoners Riot, Take Hostages in New Orleans

Superdome_Water.jpg Wednesday 8/31: The total number killed in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama remained unknown but officials feared it might be several hundred. New Orleans became an unimaginable scene of water, fear and suffering Tuesday after a levee breach in the 17th Street Canal sent billions of gallons of Lake Pontchartrain coursing through the city. As the day wore on, the only dry land was a narrow band from the French Quarter and parts of Uptown, the same small strip that was settled by Bienville amid the swamps. Mayor Ray Nagin said pumps were being overwhelmed and warned that a new deluge would bury the city in up to 15 feet of water. With solid water from the lake to the French Quarter, the inundation and depopulation of an entire American city was at hand.
Bush rules out significant federal aid to hurricane victims | New Orleans police ordered to stop saving lives and start saving property | Katrina refugees will go to Houston's Astrodome | narrow escape from martial law

Scream.jpg Thursday 9/1: About 100 people have died at the Chalmette Slip after being pulled off their rooftops, waiting to be ferried up the river to the West Bank and bused out of the flood ravaged area. The mayor of New Orleans issued a "desperate SOS" Thursday as violence disrupted efforts to rescue people still trapped in the flooded city and evacuate thousands of displaced residents living amid corpses and human waste. "They don't have a clue what's going on down there," Mayor Ray Nagin told WWL-AM Thursday night. "They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn - excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed." Fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flood-stricken New Orleans slipped toward chaos. "We are out here like pure animals. We don't have help," the Rev. Issac Clark, 68, said outside the New Orleans Convention Center, where corpses lay in the open and he and other evacuees complained that they were dropped off and given nothing - no food, no water, no medicine. Residents expressed growing frustration with the disorder evident on the streets, raising questions about the coordination and timeliness of relief efforts. Video from the city's convention center showed a group chanting "we want help, we want help," as mothers tried to console their tired and hungry children.
A "witch's brew" of heavy metals, chemicals, sewage, fuel and pesticides is swilling through New Orleans and the waterways of Louisiana and other US coastal states. | Anger spreads across New Orleans | satellite views of New Orleans: before and after

Convention_Center_2.jpg Friday 9/2: Bush finally made it to the US flood zone amid fury at his administration's failure to give prompt help to New Orleans. As a Louisiana senator awarded a "grade F" to the response to the crisis and warned of more than 10,000 dead, large-scale aid was at last beginning to arrive in the swamped and lawless city. 46-year-old Michael Levy said, "They should have been here days ago. I ain't glad to see 'em" — words that brought shouts of "Hell, yeah!" from those around him. He added: "We've been sleeping on the ... ground like rats. I say burn this whole ... city down."

Visual Timeline | A Short Katrina Timeline | ThinkProgress's Timeline | dkosopedia: Hurricane Katrina Chronology | Wikipedia Timeline | Timeline of the levee breach
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