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Is it possible?

posted by awelborn

That this will be as apocalyptic as it sounds?

And…in anticipation: Catholic Charities will be collecting assistance.

Terry Teachout has a list of bloggers from the Gulf Coast, who are posting as they can.

I’m really uncomfortable with this Superdome thing. Really.

From a resident (a writer) who just made it out:

This is what I managed to take: Three dogs, three dog crates, a change of clothes, dog food, some wine and cheese.

Everything else, I think I’ll never see again.



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James Freeman

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:05 am


Amy writes:
Is it possible?
That this will be as apocalyptic as it sounds?

Not only is it possible, it is now — may God help us all — probable.
I grew up in Louisiana, and I remember Hurricane Betsy, which was no Katrina, and what it did in N.O. and well inland. I also remember Camille, and what it did to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
We may well see the utter destruction of a great city this day, with all that means for the poor souls still there . . . and for all the rest of us in America.
Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi, miserere nobis . . . .
St. Louis, King of France, pray for the people of your namesake.



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Fr. Kenneth

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:07 am


Unfortunately yes, it is more than quite possible. It’s actually factual. And factually actual to boot.
Please do keep us in prayer.



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Victor Morton

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:25 am


Yes. A flood of Biblical proportions is a geological certainty if there is a major breach of the levees that keep Lake Ponchartrain and the Mississippi River from doing what water in nature wants to do — i.e., seek the low ground and thus fill up the below-sea-level bowl in which New Orleans sits and turn it into a lake. And a lake filled with petrochemicals from destroyed refineries.
Not to speak of the possibility that little will be left standing from the 150 mph winds. Even if Katrina veers away from New Orleans at the last minute, she is so big that it would hardly matter — if she spun east toward Mississippi, which is likelier than spinning west toward Lafayette, New Orleans would miss the eye but might take a worse lashing from the stronger left side of the storm. All but the largest human structures simply cannot withstand Category 5 storms — period. (And that’s the threat to the levees.) This next I hasten to add, is unlikely. Probably. But if there’s a wrong thing with the 30-year-old Superdome (all the older domed stadiums have been torn down) — Lord have mercy.
A colleague of mine who used to work for the Times-Picayune called in and told me (I’d gathered all this by mid-day anyway) that “New Orleans is fornicated.” Actually, that’s not quite what he said, but .. well, you know.
From all appearances, barring the miracle I’ve been praying for under my breath all day, this looks like The Big One.



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Lynn

posted August 29, 2005 at 12:45 am


Our Lady of the Assumption, Patroness of the Acadians, protect us.



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MJ

posted August 29, 2005 at 5:20 am


Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us. She’s averted a hurricane before, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen this time.
MJ



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Samuel J. Howard

posted August 29, 2005 at 5:20 am


It emerged in news reports last year that emergency management officials in New Orleans had stocked ten-thousand body bags.
Luckily it’s been downgraded to a 4, but it still looks very bad.



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Dale Price

posted August 29, 2005 at 6:52 am


Well, if not precisely miraculous, it looks like the Big Easy might not take the worst of it after all. According to Drudge, NO is now expected to avoid the worst of the storm surge.
Keep praying, though.
And a donation to the Red Cross would be in order in any event.



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Susan

posted August 29, 2005 at 6:57 am


My sainted mother-in-law died in New Orleans on Thursday. They had the funeral Friday morning, and my husband, the eldest could not get there in time (Wash. D.C. to NO). His sister, said, “Frank……don’t come….you won’t be able to get back out….this thing is heading right toward us.” All the family quickly had a funeral. My mother-in-law died at 84, one hour after the last rites. Ironically, her name is Catherine. The whole family evacuated to Texas. Believe me, they have seen storms since the 60′s, but this one is the worst. Our Lady of Prompt Succor pray for all of the poor in Louisiana who cannot get out! There are many! We went to the shrine in Washington for Mass yesterday to petition for mercy!



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Sherry Weddell

posted August 29, 2005 at 7:41 am


Pray for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As a child growing up there (on the beach no less) we lost everything in Camille – the last category 5 storm to which Katrina is constantly being compared. The eye of the storm passed 3 miles from our house – around which 212 mph wind gusts were recorded.
All the scenarios being described (like having an axe handy to cut through your roof if trapped by high water) seem wild but actually happened to friends and classmates of mine during Camille. One classmate’s family was particularly striken: Her father tied the whole family to trees to try and survive the storm. The mother died that night, the father died two days later of a heart attack (an after-effect which was fairly common after Camille) and my classmate – the daughter – had a lung punctured when a tree limb was driven by the wind into her chest.
I’ve accepted that the world of my childhood is literally “gone with the wind” but it would be a national tragedy of immense proportions if beautiful, tawdry, historic New Orleans was destroyed – not to mention the thousands of people who could die today.
So please pray – and ask for an army of angels to protect, warn, guide, and deliver those in danger.



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Gerard E.

posted August 29, 2005 at 7:50 am


Direct hit about 90 minutes ago, at winds of only- ONLY- 145 MPH. Not quite like Andrew of ’92- still only the latest Category 5 hurricane to hit landfall- but fate of the Big Easy still in flux. 9000 poor souls jammed into the Superdome, where electricity stopped around 5:02 A.M. CST. Backup generators started operating, but no A/C in premises. The mayor proudly proclaimed estimate that 80 of citizens took heed and skeedaddled. Unlike reporter for our local all-news radio station, stuck on 5th floor of hotel during Vacation From Heck and filing reports until his cell phone expires. Then there’s the prospect of toxic waste, snakes and creepy-crawlies, other filth pouring into the streets after Katrina turns north and east. Still offering up prayers for Big Easy and its residents.



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Gerard E.

posted August 29, 2005 at 7:51 am


Direct hit about 90 minutes ago, at winds of only- ONLY- 145 MPH. Not quite like Andrew of ’92- still only the latest Category 5 hurricane to hit landfall- but fate of the Big Easy still in flux. 9000 poor souls jammed into the Superdome, where electricity stopped around 5:02 A.M. CST. Backup generators started operating, but no A/C in premises. The mayor proudly proclaimed estimate that 80% of citizens took heed and skeedaddled. Unlike reporter for our local all-news radio station, stuck on 5th floor of hotel during Vacation From Heck and filing reports until his cell phone expires. Then there’s the prospect of toxic waste, snakes and creepy-crawlies, other filth pouring into the streets after Katrina turns north and east. Still offering up prayers for Big Easy and its residents.



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Maclin Horton

posted August 29, 2005 at 7:56 am


I’m east of NO on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, maybe 150-170 miles as the crow flies from NO and 100 miles north of the southernmost reach of Louisiana. We’re going to have a hurricane–tropical storm winds are already here. I hate to think what it’s like in the middle of that thing. I imagine that at best it’s going to be pretty bad.
Actually, contra Victor above, it’s good that the eye may be passing east of NO. (My cable went out half an hour or so ago so I can’t get minute-by-minute updates any more.) Since the wind movement is counterclockwise, the east side of the storm is worse, because the wind on that side at landfall is coming straight off the water, unobstructed. On the west side, the wind has travelled some distance overland and been weakened somewhat. If we were this far on the west side of Katrina we would probably be feeling fewer effects.



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Kathleen

posted August 29, 2005 at 8:00 am


Here’s where you can listen to live reporting from the area.
http://msnbc.wm.llnwd.net/msnbc_1_live_8824
They are showing lots of webcams in various areas.
Been praying hard. Will continue to do so.
Eyewall now moving towards New Orleans according the the reporters.
I also have a horrible feeling about the Superdome.
Kathleen



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Sherry Weddell

posted August 29, 2005 at 8:12 am


It looks like an almost identical repeat of Camille – which was also suppposed to hit New Orleans but swerved north at the end and came through my home of Waveland, MS. Only 35 miles separates Waveland and Biloxi – the whole coast is very small.
They are predicting a storm surge of 20 feet which would cover everything. Our house was exactly 19 feet high and the water line in our house was halfway up the kitchen wall.
The second floor of front half of our house collapsed upon the first floor but the stairway in the back of the house survived and my bedroom upstairs survived. We almost stayed and only left when the water was rushing over the sea wall. I’ve often thought of what we’d have felt if we’d stayed, hearing the house collapse about us, not knowing that our little refuge in the back upstairs hall was going to stand.
I remember after an earlier hurricane that when my family arrived back the day after, the surface of the water was covered solid with debris that was literally alive with writhing snakes (cottonmouth water moccasins, anyone?), armadillos, and other local creepy crawlers. After Camille, all the houses about us had been swept into our backyard – our house was the only one that had any portion standing.



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chris K

posted August 29, 2005 at 8:46 am


Last I heard, it looks like the surge will be the worst in Gulfport area. I know there have been thousands of prayers going out to Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Patroness of State of Louisiana. She has rescued them before. With prayer and fasting even wars can be stopped or lessened. How many are following these marching “orders”?



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Pat Gonzalez

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:19 am


Amy, I too have a bad feeling about the Superdome. May God protect New Orleans and its people. Prayers in progress here in Canada as well.



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Catherine L

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:20 am


I grew up in NO and have extensive family there still. Most of my relatives have evacuated, some who never, ever evacuated before. That fact alone strikes a quiver of fear in my heart.
The shrine to Our Lady of Prompt Succor is on a low-lying area of Nashville Ave. Let’s pray.



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RP Burke

posted August 29, 2005 at 10:45 am


Latest report is that the Superdome’s roof has been breached.



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Ken

posted August 29, 2005 at 11:45 am


And they’ve had one confirmed breach in the levee, in an industrial district on the east side of town.
And the same radio station’s “Hal Lindsay of Stock Pickers” is telling everybody to buy oil futures.



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Sandra Miesel

posted August 29, 2005 at 1:33 pm


In grazing NOLA, Katrina passed right over my childhood home in St. Tammany Parish. My few remaining relatives live on the West Bank so I’m watching for news of damage on that side.
As for the helpful Our Lady of Prompt Succor, when we prayed to her in grade school, it sounded like Our Lady of Promsuccah, which I assumed was some obscure placename comparable to Lourdes or Fatima. Didn’t see the words written out until years later.



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Chris-2-4

posted August 29, 2005 at 5:52 pm


So here’s the dilemna… “They” predicted devastation of biblical proportions. We called for prayer. Were our prayers answered in that the damage was “not as bad as feared” or were the predictions wildly exaggerated for news effect?
Oh, it’s a crisis of faith to answer…



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Catherine L

posted August 29, 2005 at 7:55 pm


I just turned on Fox News and saw an aerial shot of the Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans just blazing away, sitting in the middle of the Lake now, with sailboats piled all around it.



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Maureen

posted August 29, 2005 at 8:59 pm


What’s the problem? We prayed, Providence made sure it wasn’t as bad as predicted.
But it wasn’t exaggerated, Chris.
Check out these entries on the Weather Channel’s blog:
http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_7281.html
http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_7288.html
The Weather Channel folks knew enough to be really scared.
So I think we’ll give credit for this one to Notre Dame de Bon Secours….



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Lynn

posted August 29, 2005 at 9:09 pm


Amen!



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Ronny

posted August 30, 2005 at 9:39 am


Were our prayers answered in that the damage was “not as bad as feared” or were the predictions wildly exaggerated for news effect?
I am guessing that you did not grow up in a hurricane-prone coastal area.
When you are in the statistical bullseye of a category 5 storm, you don’t roll your eyes and dismiss hurricane warnings as “predictions wildly exaggerated for news effect.” From the news reports, some of those who did exactly that did not live to say “told you so” to everyone who evacuated.



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Maclin Horton

posted August 30, 2005 at 5:24 pm


I do not touch the question of if and how prayers are answered in this kind of situation. We got off easy here in Alabama compared to Louisiana and Mississippi. The water came up to my house and stopped. I told that to someone and she replied “God is good.” Well, yeah. But what does that say about the people who lost homes and lives 50 or 100 miles away? About all those Louisiana Catholics praying to Our Lady of Promsuccah?
Nope, I don’t touch it. And yeah, Ronny is absolutely right: it’s true that news people do get a bit hysterical, and may look a bit silly if a big storm weakens before it hits, like Dennis did a couple of months ago. But it’s hard to exaggerate the potential harm that a big one in the right place can do. Apparently it’s pretty much hell in NO now.



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