With one jog to the east, Hurricane Katrina spared New Orleans the worst of her wrath, but the monster storm still wounded the historic city, flooding thousands of homes and scattering debris down deserted streets in a torrent of blinding wind and rain, a force so powerful it blasted out hundreds of windows, peeled away a portion of the Superdome's roof, and with a relentless fury, blew back everything in its path.
While many passed the storm in shelters, there were reports of others trapped in their homes. As distress calls came in, authorities struggled to coordinate rescue efforts.
Oliver Thomas, New Orleans Councilman, says, "We just pray and hope that those people are secure enough that they can wait till there's an appropriate time to help them and their families."
Thousands of those who evacuated from New Orleans came to Baton Rouge where we're still feeling the affects of Katrina. Inside a hotel, there's no power. People are safe, but they're desperate to know what's happening at home.
Katrina slammed ashore in Louisiana early Monday morning as a whopping category 4 hurricane with winds topping 145 miles per hour. By midday, the brunt of the storm had moved inland. Floodwaters overran entire towns in Alabama and Mississippi.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says, "We don't have much in the way of specific property damage reports, but we anticipate that it will be enormous."
With destruction everywhere along the Gulf coast, nervous residents are just bracing to see how much more power the storm has left.