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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 September, 2004, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Hurricane Ivan: Your experiences
Motorists leave New Orleans on Interstate 10 Tuesday afternoon, 14 September 2004
Hurricane Ivan has caused huge waves and tornadoes on the US Gulf Coast.

The giant storm threatens to spread across Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida as it moves inland from the Gulf of Mexico

Two million people have been told to leave their homes along the southern coast of the US.

More than 60 people have been killed, mostly in Grenada, after the hurricane made a ruinous sweep of the Caribbean

Are you in the affected areas? What have you done to protect your family and home? Send us your comments and experiences.

Do you have any pictures of your experiences? If so, you can send them to BBC News Online.

The best photos sent to us will be published, so please send us your name, where you live and some brief details about the picture you have sent, along with the topic subject in the email header.

E-mail them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk

Your comments:

Most people didn't realize the severity of Ivan until this morning. Now you cannot find a C or D cell battery anywhere in the state. It's as if the weathermen said the word 'snow' instead!
Carrie, Auburn, Alabama

Most hotels are sold out here
Tina Qasem, Houston

While driving to work this morning in Houston, traffic this morning was at a stand still due to the large number of persons fleeing New Orleans and coming into Houston. A normal 30 minute commute became an hour and a half or two hours depending where you were trying to go. Most hotels are sold out here as well.
Tina Qasem, Houston, USA

My sister Gloria called me on the telephone from Mobile, Alabama last evening to tell me that she is flying up here to Ohio for a visit as she doesn't want to take any chances with the hurricane. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Richard, Cleveland, Ohio

Ivan is 500 miles east of my location, and at this time there is a dark blue/purple hue to the sky. The surf is about 1-2 feet higher than normal and is windy here in South Texas. May God protect those who face this storm.
DS Erickson, Corpus Christi, Texas

I'm quickly discovering that I am a "hurricane magnet" I happened to be in Tallahassee when Tropical Storm Bonnie hit there. I rode out Charley here in Orlando. I was assisting some friends in Port St. Lucie a few weeks later and along comes Francis, further south than expected. We thought Ivan was coming to Central Florida, so I went up to my family's home in, would you guess, Pensacola, FL, and now can not get out. This will be my 17th hurricane; I once even went through the same hurricane twice! And now, here comes Jeanne. Do yourself a favour, if you see me coming, run the other way! (We Floridians have no choice but to keep up our humour as we become accustomed to living as if we were in the 19th century.)
Michele Steiling, Orlando, Florida

The city which is approximately nine feet below sea level has powerful pumps
Rick Baxter, New Orleans, USA
It's Wednesday morning, 11am central time and the city is very quiet. There are some tourists wandering around and one grocery store is open for one more hour. A curfew has been set for 2 pm central time after which no one is allowed outside. The Superdome is being set up as a special needs emergency shelter meaning if you need electricity to sustain your life, you can go there. The power is expected to go down sometime this evening due to near hurricane force winds. Five to 10 inches of rain are expected throughout the night.

The city which is approximately nine feet below sea level has powerful pumps but they can only pump one inch per hour so some flooding is expected. The mood of those staying is cautious. I will be leaving my house in the Fauberg Marigny district, adjacent to the Quarter, to stay with a friend in the Quarter. The power lines are all underground there making it less likely for the power to go out. People that stay have been advised to get an axe so if we have to flee to an attic we can chop our way to the roof. Apparently this is how people drown in floods.
Rick Baxter, New Orleans, USA

Everyone is already stocking up, and some folks are getting out
Boris, New Orleans, USA (UK)
I'm just outside New Orleans and everyone is already stocking up, and some folks are getting out. Unfortunately, I was due to fly out Thursday, but it looks like I'm stuck for now. However I'm going to hunker down with friends and wait everything out.
Boris, New Orleans, USA (UK)

Here in Atlanta we'll get flooding and power outages if the storm turns east. With Ivan about to hit warmer water, it appears that the Gulf Coast is in for a rough ride starting Wednesday. Here's hoping my friends in New Orleans didn't drink too many hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's last night!
Greg Burton, Atlanta, GA ,USA

We're all reading Mark Reed's British bestseller Something Different while trying to keep calm and survive Hurricane
Don Galloway, Mobile, Alabama, USA

Well, we are braced. My flatmates have evacuated, but I decided to brave it out... to hunker down and hope for the best. Keep your fingers crossed that they are right and Ivan's going to avoid New Orleans. I am not sure we could survive a direct hit, since we are already below sea level here. Fingers crossed!
Heidi, New Orleans, LA, USA

I live twenty miles East of Pensacola Florida. I will be on the intense side of the storm. Everything is in readiness. Generators, gas stove and wind-up radio. I have fingers crossed and will attempt to update.
Colin, Milton, USA

House boarded up in preparation for Hurricane Ivan (Pic: Alex, Metairie, LA, USA)
Alex spent 10 hours preparing for Hurricane Ivan's arrival
We've just spent the last 10 hours moving all the pool furniture into the garage and boarding up the house. We're now packing up our important stuff to take to Houston at 4am. If we get hit head on, New Orleans will be under 12ft of water.
Alex, Metairie, LA, USA

Still without any power or water from hurricane Frances here, and our leaders here have done one miserable job of helping people. Ivan is sending its outer bands to us and with all the major damages from Frances, the thousands of homes without a roof will now suffer much more damage from water. The West coast here is bracing for a category 5 landing. Here we are expecting 30 to 50km winds. Florida is virtually one major disaster area from top to bottom. Sadly, here there is way too much politics involved with the recovery.

The rich city's like Palm Beach where much political money comes from get the best of help, while places like my city has been left to fend for ourselves virtually. If the local politicians had been more co-operative with the state leadership, we would have been helped quicker. Instead we are in the process of losing our businesses and homes and no-one hears the cries of the little guys who struggled day to day to pay their high taxes here. Even the illegal migrant workers will be getting help quicker than we taxpaying people and the headline today is how the taxes will go higher now that we've been struck down by these three hurricanes. Only in America.
Peter, Port St Lucie, Florida, USA

I await Ivan, the third hurricane within a month to aim for my state. As I write this, the predicted path is moving away from my town. I am grateful, not just to avoid the destruction, but to enjoy the easing of anxiety. There has been such a level of general, shared stress in the last week that I was not surprised to see local emergency centres offer a toll free phone number for counselling. It is a consuming panic, making people hang onto the internet for news, checking and comparing prediction maps. I don't believe I've ever shared an obsession with so many others before! How is it that we (that is, people who live in the tropics) have endured for so long? Hurricanes are not new. For centuries they must have battered the Caribbean islands and Florida, even before we had the Sanford-Simpson scale or tri-coloured maps. It is an amazement and a testament to the wonders of a tropical landscape, that nature always recoups.
Cathy Lucrezi, Fort Myers, Florida, USA

Nature at her worst. What upsets me is that they name these destructive killing Hurricanes after people's names. Can't they call them by a number rather? Why should any name be used and referred to as Ivan the terrible?
Mike Crake, Johannesburg, South Africa


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