If you are following the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina and you have never been in a hurricane before, then you might be thinking that since the “eye” of Katrina is now in Central Mississippi, we folks down on the coast are “in The clear”.
In the last several hours we have been experiencing the “back” of the storm.
Local news has been reporting that there are still 50-75MPH wind gusts and we get bands of torrential rain still.
A few facts.
At 2:00PM CST winds were still being clocked at Category 1 speeds.
196,000 people are without power in the State of Alabama. We are among the lucky few that have power. A good deal of the town I live in outside of Mobile is still without power.
5319 people are in shelters. Shelter population is expected to rise as people with damaged residences seek a place to stay.
A drilling rig broke free and collided with a bridge in Mobile.
All of Mobile and Baldwin Counties are under a curfew until Dawn Tuesday.
From New Orleans, there are reports of people stranded on their roofs. There have been unconfirmed reports of bodies floating.
Tree limbs continue to fall, and we have had a few hit our roof with no damage.(Thankfully) But, we have been startled several times by the loud boom the branches make as they hit the roof.
An interesting observation I made about the wind; occasionally rather than a wind exerting a side force on the trees, we also get incredible downdrafts, that bend the limbs of the trees downward toward the ground on all sides. I had never seen that before.
Last report I saw, we have had 13+ inches of rain since last night and more still on the way.
I feel sorry for the folks in New Orleans and Mississippi and know full well they bore the brunt of Katrina’s force. I also know that all of the State of Mississippi will endure the force of Katrina on into the night.
But even as the eye of the storm marches northward, we on the coast are not out of the woods yet.
One last personal note, I’m out of cigarettes, and since businesses are closed or without power and the existing curfew; I have no way to get anymore “smokes” until tomorrow. It’s gonna be another long night.
All in all, that’s a problem I can live with.