- THE MAGAZINE
LOUISIANA: After hitting Florida last week, Katrina strengthened to a Category 5 storm over the Gulf of Mexico but weakened slightly and came ashore early Monday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 145 mph. Forecasters said the potential 15-foot storm surge, down from a feared 28 feet, was still substantial enough to cause extensive flooding. Near Lake Ponchartrain, entire neighborhoods of one-story homes were flooded up to the rooflines. (Look at Katrina's aftermath in New Orleans) Evacuations: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered the entire city of 485,000 to evacuate. For those who couldn't, the city opened 10 shelters, including the Superdome, urging people to bring three to five days worth of supplies. The mayor estimated that 80 percent of the city's residents had left. Some 370,000 customers in southeast Louisiana were estimated to be without power. About 9,000 spent the night at the Superdome. Power failed at around 5 a.m. Monday, and three hours later the wind tore away metal and left two holes in the roof, one 15 to 20 feet long. Officials said the holes were not dangerous.
MISSISSIPPI: Winds hit 135 mph, as the storm pounded the Mississippi coast. Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan called it "a devastating hit." A 22-foot storm surge recorded in Bay St. Louis. The Wolf River in Harrison County poured out of its banks. Gulfport Memorial Hospital in Biloxi experienced major damage. The storm's winds dropped to 125 mph -- a Category 3 storm -- as it pushed inland near the Louisiana-Mississippi line. Evacuations: Residents all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast headed inland Sunday. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said Monday that about 8,500 people were in 79 shelters. American Red Cross shelters were filled to capacity. Gov. Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency.
ALABAMA: Gov. Bob Riley declared a state of emergency. The storm hammered Alabama's coast Monday with huge waves and tree-bending winds. Water swirled in the streets of Gulf Shores, where an all-day curfew was declared. In downtown Mobile floodwaters covered an interstate ramp and swirled toward the sandbagged Mobile Register building. Power outages: Alabama Power Co. reported about 150,000 customers without power, mostly in the Mobile area. Evacuations: All coastal and low-lying areas of south Mobile County and the beachfront and flood-prone areas of Baldwin County were told to leave. Flooding reported on Dauphin Island. Gulf Shores under curfew all day Monday.
FLORIDA: Katrina hit the southern tip of Florida on Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane. Deaths: 11, according to state tally in South Florida. When the storm made landfall Monday in Louisiana, its fringes flooded streets in the Florida Panhandle and eroded beaches. Gusts of up to 56 mph were reported. Power outages: Some 28,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Panhandle. About 314,000 residential and business customers in South Florida remained without power from the earlier strike. With Florida dodging the worst of the second hit, Gov. Jeb Bush said "everything we got here that we don't need" would be made available to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Evacuations: As the storm aimed at the Gulf Coast, people on Navarre Beach, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key were urged to evacuate. Damage: Initial computer modeling estimates pegged the insured wind damage from the first strike at $600 million to $2 billion.
TEXAS: Evacuees from Louisiana took shelter in churches and hotels along Interstate 10 in Southeast Texas. Most of Houston's 58,000 hotel rooms were booked.
OUTLOOK: The National Hurricane Center projected Katrina would head north and turn toward the northeast, carrying its center through Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio on Tuesday and Wednesday, then Ontario and possibly western New York state. In Tennessee the entire middle third of the state was under either an inland tropical storm warning or watch. Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher put the National Guard on alert for relief missions.
GULF OF MEXICO: Crude oil futures spiked to more than $70 a barrel for the first time Monday. Wholesale gasoline prices in the New York and Gulf Coast markets soared by 25-35 cents a gallon. Oil companies shut down 1 million barrels of refining capacity in the Gulf, but that amount could be far higher because not every producer reports data, said Peter Beutel, an oil analyst with Cameron Hanover.