(This is from airamerica)
The Beginnings of Hurricane Katrina:
Hurricane Katrina hit Florida late Thursday, August 25th, as a Category 1 hurricane. 9 people were killed. The storm then moved into the Gulf of Mexico, where it gained momentum and power. Below is a timeline of events over the next few days as the Bush administration ignored one of the biggest natural disasters ever to strike the United States.
Saturday, August 27th
Forecasters are predicting that Hurricane Katrina will hit Louisiana and Mississipi early Monday – and that it probably would be a Category 3 or 4 storm. Gulf Coast communities began to ask their residents to evacuate. Meteorologist warn that Katrina has the potential to be a major hurricane.
Bush was at his vacation home in Crawford Texas – avoiding Cindy Sheehan and the dueling protests outside his ranch and delivered his weekly radio address – asking for patience in Iraq – and saying that it will take more time for U.S. troops to complete their work in Iraq.
5pm – Mayor Ray Nagin called for a voluntary evacuation of the city. Greyhound & Amtrak stop service in New Orleans late Saturday Night.
Sunday, August 28th
At 11am - Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. Experts predict that Hurricane Katrina will hit the city with all the force and power of a Category 5 storm – and that 60-80% of the city’s homes will be destroyed.
"All indications are that this is absolutely worst-case scenario," Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, said Sunday afternoon.
Bush is still on vacation at his Crawford ranch. He holds a press conference in a helicopter hanger at his Crawford Texas Ranch – taking a moment to urge Gulf Coast residents to evacuate before hailing the Iraqi draft constitution an inspiring success.
Governors of Louisiana and Mississippi request additional security forces from the federal government.
Monday, August 29th
Katrina hit land at 6:10am.
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, which became the shelter of last resort for the area's poor, homeless and frail.
Electrical power at the Superdome failed at 5:02 a.m., but the backup power runs only reduced lighting and cannot run the air conditioning.
Entire neighborhoods were submerged up to the roofs. Numerous people had to be rescued from rooftops and attics as the floodwaters rose higher and higher.
President Bush hits the road to promote prescription-drug plan to. His first stop is Arizona, where he eats birthday cake with Senator John McCain and talks to senior citizens in Phoenix at a golf resort.
In late afternoon, there are early reports of broken levees. The National Weather Service reported that a levee broke on the Industrial Canal near the St. Bernard-Orleans parish line.
President Bush travels to Southern California to talk to more seniors about changes to Medicare. He also plays golf. He spends the evening in San Diego to prepare for a Tuesday speech commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War Two.
Tuesday, August 30th
Breaches in at least two levees allowed water from Lake Pontchartrain to inundate sections of New Orleans. Officials planned to use helicopters to drop 3,000-pound sandbags into the breach. Those helicopters were diverted to rescue missions.
An estimated 80 percent of New Orleans was under water, up to 20 feet deep in places, with miles and miles of homes swamped.
Unknown number of deaths.
Thousands remained in New Orleans Superdome, where storm ripped two holes in the vast roof; authorities forbid them to leave.
With a San Diego naval base and the USS Ronald Regan as a backdrop , the president made a speech to celebrate the anniversary of V-J day two weeks after the actual Aug. 14, 1945 anniversary. He compared WWII to Iraq and gave a fresh reason for American troops to continue fighting: protection of the Iraq's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorists. He spends 90 seconds of a 40 minute speech on Hurricane Katrina.
New Orleans Mayor, former Mayor, and Louisiana’s governor make continued appeals for Federal Aid.
Afterwards, President Bush plays a guitar presented to him by Country Singer Mark Wills, backstage following his visit to Naval Base Coronado, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. He then flies back to his vacation home in Crawford.
Wednesday August 31st
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says Hurricane Katrina probably killed thousands of people - an estimate that, if accurate, would make the storm the nation's deadliest natural disaster since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Bodies are starting to pile up at the morgue in Mississippi's Harrison County, with 40 corpses having been brought there already. Authorities have said the final death toll in the county will end up well above 100.
Health and Human Services Department declares a public health emergency, sends medical supplies, hospital beds and public health officers.
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco asks the White House to send more people to help with evacuations and rescues, thereby freeing up National Guardsmen to stop out-of-control looters.
President George W. Bush and his top advisers held a video conference on the Gulf Coast disaster. Most of the staff was still on vacation and away from Washington. Afterwards he flew back to Washington to coordinate the federal response
Bush cut short his working vacation in Texas by two days. Vice President Dick Cheney was still on vacation in Wyoming. White House chief of staff Andy Card was still in Maine
As Bush returns to Washington he does a flyover of devastated areas on Air Force One.
The President makes a recess appointment. RNC sends a desperate appeal to cut the estate tax. Hastert says it’s a bad idea to rebuild New Orleans.
More than 20 countries offer aid.
That evening Condi Rice goes to see Spamalot.
Thursday, September 1st
In the face of report after report that the levees were known to be vulnerable – Bush does an interview on Good Morning America and tells Diane Sawyer that no one expected the levees to break.
Looting, carjacking and other violence spread in the Gulf Coast region, with even rescuers being attacked.
The New Orleans mayor estimated the death toll in his city to be in the hundreds is not thousands. He pleaded for buses and supplies for survivors, saying, "This is a desperate SOS."
Half a day after the military began evacuating the Superdome, the arena held 10,000 more people than it did at dawn. Evacuees thinking it's the best place to get a ride out of town poured into the Superdome and swelled the crowd to about 30,000.
Frustration grew among the thousands still awaiting help at the New Orleans Convention Center, where bodies lie among the living. Earlier, helicopter transfers of the sick and injured at the Superdome were suspended amid security concerns.
Bush discusses relief efforts with Diane Sawyer – plans to tour area.
1pm - Condi Rice goes Shopping for Shoes on 5th Ave.
Dick Cheney is still on vacation.
By the end of the day, approximately 7400 National Guard troops were to be in Louisiana, up from 4700 that morning.
The Senate and House convenes to issue $10 billion aid package.
Dennis Hastert goes to a fundraiser in Indiana.