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Katrina Timeline

Source: CNN Online

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August 25

4 p.m. [all times Eastern Standard Time]: Katrina officially becomes a Category 1 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center .

7 p.m.: Lumbering ashore in south Florida, Katrina causes nine deaths and kills power to more than 1.2 million people.

11 p.m. : Despite being over land for more than four hours, Katrina's maximum sustained winds are still being clocked at 75 mph. It came ashore with 80 mph winds between Hallandale Beach and North Miami Beach .

 

August 26

5 a.m. : After weakening briefly to a tropical storm, Katrina regains hurricane status and moves on to the Gulf of Mexico .

11:30 a.m. : The hurricane is upgraded to Category 2, with the storm's feeder bands continuing to pound the lower Florida Keys .

4 p.m. : The National Hurricane Center warns that Katrina is expected to reach dangerous Category 4 intensity before making landfall in Mississippi or Louisiana . Hours later, in anticipation of a possible landfall, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declare states of emergency.

 

August 27

5 a.m. : Katrina is upgraded to a Category 3, or major hurricane, with the Gulf Coast in its path.

During the day, residents of Louisiana 's low-lying areas are told they must evacuate; residents in other low-lying areas are urgently advised to do so. President Bush declares a state of emergency in Louisiana .

Highways leading out of New Orleans are filled with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Several major interstates are converted to one-way routes away from the city.

11 p.m.: The National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border, an area that includes New Orleans. A warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.

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August 28

2 a.m. : Katrina escalates to Category 4 strength, heading for the Gulf Coast . The last time Mississippi or Louisiana saw landfall from a Category 4 or stronger storm was 1969 with Hurricane Camille.

7 a.m. : Hurricane Katrina intensifies to Category 5, the worst and highest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

10 a.m.: As Katrina hits 175 mph winds, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuations as the storm seems to beat a direct path to the city.

During the day, Bush declares a state of emergency in Mississippi and orders federal assistance. The National Hurricane Center says low-lying areas along the Gulf Coast could expect storm surges of up to 25 feet as the storm, with top sustained winds of 160 mph, hits early the next day.

 

August 29

4 a.m. : Hurricane Katrina is downgraded to a strong Category 4 storm.

7 a.m. : Katrina makes landfall on the Louisiana coast between Grand Isle and the mouth of the Mississippi River .

11a.m. Katrina makes another landfall near the Louisiana-Mississippi state line with 125 mph winds.

The storm's daylong rampage claims lives and ravages property in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, where coastal areas remained under several feet of water.

Two major flood-control levees are breached, and the National Weather Service reports "total structural failure" in parts of New Orleans . A section of the roof of the Louisiana Superdome, where 10,000 people are taking refuge, opens. Many are feared dead in flooded neighborhoods still under as much as 20 feet of water.

In Mississippi , dozens are dead and Gov. Haley Barbour describes "catastrophic damage" along the coast. More than 1.3 million homes and businesses in Louisiana , Mississippi and Alabama were without electricity, according to utility companies.

10 p.m.: More than 12 hours after making landfall, one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the northern Gulf Coast in half a century is downgraded to a tropical storm. Remnants head north toward Tennessee and the Ohio River Valley , spurring harsh storms and tornadoes.

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August 30

New Orleans is left with no power, no drinking water, dwindling food supplies, widespread looting, fires -- and steadily rising waters from major levee breaches. Efforts to limit the flooding are unsuccessful and force authorities to try evacuating the thousands of people at city shelters.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says Katrina inflicted more damage to the state's beach towns than did Hurricane Camille, and its death toll is likely to be higher. In Mobile , Alabama , the storm pushed water from Mobile Bay into downtown, submerging large sections of the city.

The U.S. military starts to move ships and helicopters to the region at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Katrina is downgraded to a tropical depression.

 

August 31

President Bush flies over the Gulf Coast in Air Force One to survey the damage. He later announces a major federal mobilization to help the victims.

The entire region is declared a public health emergency amid fears of diseases that could spread because of the contaminated, stagnant water.

Evacuations from the Louisiana Superdome to the Houston Astrodome begin. About 20,000 people are expected to be transferred from New Orleans to Houston .

When asked about the number of dead, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin replies, "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

 

September 1

In flooded New Orleans , stranded people remain in buildings, on roofs, in the backs of trucks or gathered in large groups on higher ground.

Violence disrupts relief efforts as authorities rescue trapped residents and try to evacuate thousands of others living among corpses and human waste. Those stranded express growing frustration with the disorder evident on the streets, raising questions about the coordination and timeliness of relief efforts.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announces that 4,200 National Guard troops trained as military police will be deployed to New Orleans over the next three days. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco requests the mobilization of 40,000 National Guard troops.

Gasoline prices spike as high as $5 a gallon in some areas as consumers fearing a gas shortage race to the pumps.

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September 2

Tired and angry people stranded at the convention center in New Orleans welcome a supply convoy carrying food, water and medicine.

President Bush visits Alabama , Mississippi and Louisiana , and later signs a $10.5 billion disaster relief bill.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimate it will take 36 to 80 days to drain the city.

Texas officials say nearly 154,000 evacuees have arrived there.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus criticize the pace of relief efforts, saying response was slow because those most affected are poor.

 

September 3

While thousands of people waiting to be evacuated from the squalor of flood-stricken New Orleans , two major fires rage along the waterfront.

FEMA announces that 90,000 square miles were affected by Katrina, an area greater than the size of the United Kingdom .

Utility companies work to restore power to more than 1 million Gulf Coast customers.

The Army Corps of Engineers brings in pumps and generators from around the nation to help get New Orleans pumps back on line and bail out the city.

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