Links have been updated wherever possible to access archived versions of original news reports.
8:00 PM update
Katrina is a tropical storm as of 8pm EDT, maximum sustained winds 65 mph, but "strong winds and heavy rains remain a threat." It is now moving east of north at a faster rate, 21 mph. This track should put it into west-central Tennessee early tomorrow. The Times-Picayune reports ["Nothing but rooftops"] late this afternoon, "For miles in the 9th Ward, there were only rooftops, with floodwaters lapping at the eaves, visible from I-10. Rows of homes were swallowed by water."
5:30 PM update
The 5pm EDT advisory has Katrina as a minimal hurricane, maximum sustained winds 75 mph, moving north through Mississippi. Catastrophic damage ["Catastrophic power failure
Monday 2:10 p.m."] to New Orleans' entire electrical system is expected to take over a month to repair.
4:30 PM update
For something lighter, check out Wonkette for what a man on the street in New Orleans told Fox News.
3:30 PM update
"Thousands of homes swamped, I-10 blocked as Katrina pummels region": Team coverage from the Miami Herald summarizes the current state of damage reports.
3:00 PM update
As of 3pm EDT, Katrina is a Category 1 storm, maximum sustained winds 95 mph, moving due north 20 miles from Hattiesburg, MS. Serious flooding is reported in the New Orleans area.
1:00 PM update
Katrina has been downgraded to Category 2, maximum sustained winds 105 mph, still moving north 40 miles SSW of Hattiesburg, MS. Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel reports 10 feet of water surrounding his location in Gulfport, first floor flooded. Most of downtown Mobile is flooded, according to CNN.
The eye of Hurricane Katrina has now made final landfall between Slidell, LA and Bay St. Louis, MS. The strongest winds are in Mississippi. Widespread phone as well as power outages are reported in New Orleans.
In case you think the storm doesn't affect you directly in the Washington DC area, CNBC reports that oil prices are up over $2 a barrel to around $68.50 after being over $70 overnight in Asia. Natural gas prices are up 18% for the day on the futures contract which expires today.
11:00 AM update
The 11:00 EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center puts the center 35 miles ENE of New Orleans, moving N at 16 mph, max winds 125 mph, min pressure 927 mb. Jim Cantore's producer reports from Gulfport by phone that their rental cars and satellite truck have been flooded by storm surge, 27 feet above sea level, and water is coming in to the first floor of the building where they are staying. Biloxi, to the east, is reporting wind gusts to 78 kt.
10:30 AM update
official report, at 9am EDT, put the center about 40 miles southeast of the city, moving north at 15 mph, maximum sustained winds 135 mph. Cable news channels are showing daylight through some rips in the fabric covering of the Superdome, allowing rain to fall inside. The Times-Picayune online reports from a morning emergency services teleconference:
In New Orleans, water topped a levee along the Industrial Canal. The city's 911 emergency system was out of service and Charity Hospital was on emergency power and windows had been blown out on five floors. . . . And a 20-foot tidal surge knocked out four pumping stations; only one was able to get back into service.We will keep you posted through the day as conditions warrant.