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calendar   Monday - August 29, 2005

I’m Glad I Left

I woke up this morning and decided I made the right decision to move two years ago. If not, I’d be at ground zero right now. You see, I was living in a little town called Long Beach, Mississippi and working at the NASA Stennis Space Center. Long Beach is just to the west of Gulfport, halfway to New Orleans and the huge NASA reservation is due north of there about 20 miles inland, just across I-10. I lived and worked in that area for over two years and madea lot of friends. I hope they all made it out safely because the eye of Hurricane Katrina is about to pass over them with 145 mph winds ....

imageimageNEW ORLEANS (AP) - Hurricane Katrina turned slightly to the east before slamming ashore early Monday with 145-mph winds, providing some hope that the worst of the storm’s wrath might not be directed at this vulnerable, below-sea-level city.

Katrina, which weakened slightly overnight to a Category 4 storm, turned slightly eastward before hitting land, which would put the western eyewall - the weaker side of the strongest winds - over New Orleans. But National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield warned that New Orleans would be pounded throughout the day Monday and that Katrina’s potential 20-foot storm surge was still more than capable of swamping the city.

Katrina, which a day before had grown to a 175-mph, Category 5 behemoth, made landfall about 6:10 a.m. CDT east of Grand Isle in the bayou town of Buras. The storm hammered the Gulf Coast with huge waves and tree-bending winds. Exploding transformers lit up the predawn sky in Mobile, Ala., while tree limbs littered roads and a blinding rain whipped up sand on the deserted beach of Gulfport, Miss.

Katrina’s fury also was felt at the Louisiana Superdome, normally home of professional football’s Saints, which became the shelter of last resort for about 9,000 of the area’s poor, homeless and frail. Electrical power at the Superdome failed at 5:02 a.m., triggering groans from the crowd. Emergency generators kicked in, but the backup power runs only reduced lighting and cannot run the air conditioning.

About 370,000 customers in southeast Louisiana were estimated to be without power, said Chenel Lagarde, spokesman for Entergy Corp., the main energy power company in the region. At the hotel Le Richelieu in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the winds blew open sets of balcony doors shortly after dawn. Seventy-three-year-old Josephine Elow pressed her weight against the broken doors as a hotel employee tried to secure them.

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/29/2005 at 07:45 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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