Send us your experiences of Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane Katrina has caused extensive damage in the southern US states of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
This is the second page of your comments.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
Here in Mobile, there has been some flooding, but nowhere nearly as devastating as I thought as the storm approached. Even here in midtown, I lost power for no more than two hours this afternoon. There have been a few evacuations due to flooding. I was really surprised that midtown/downtown wasn't evacuated, being so close to the bay. I live at the Alabama school of math and science, which have very old buildings. However, I've seen no leaks or flooding, and we still have a roof!
Denise, Mobile, Al, USA
The remnants of Katrina are now pouring down outside my apartment here in Nashville. In preparation for what could potentially be substantial flooding, many schools are closed on Tuesday. Tornadoes are also causing concern, as we just sit tight, hoping for the best.
Marion M, Nashville, TN, USA
We've lost power here in Atmore (parent's home) but no damage on level with Dennis much less Ivan. We have all friends and family accounted for except for an Aunt and Uncle in Tammany Parish that we are very worried about. They are most likely safe as my Uncle is an RN so would have to be at the hospital and my Aunt probably as well. I also have no idea about my apartment in Mobile, or my job as I work for the Alabama State Port Authority and it looks like that area of Mobile got hit pretty bad.
Matt Johnson, Mobile, Alabama, USA
I am in the midst of the hurricane at the moment, on the south shore of Lake Ponchatrain. The eyewall is currently passing just east of here. Although the wind gusts are extremely forceful, filling the streets with branches and roof slates, all structures in this neighborhood seem to be holding up well. The drains are clear and working well. Electricity, water, and radio reception are all gone. We are all hoping that the worst will soon be over.
Lori Frey Ribeiro, New Orleans, USA
I have just spoken with my close friend once more (14.55 BST). He says that metal objects are flying along the streets and hotel room windows have shattered in nearby rooms. Having spent the last half an hour on the floor in his bathroom he has now gone downstairs to the lobby to be with others as the swaying of the building was too much to cope with alone.
Justine Ellis, London
I am presently at my job at a large federal hospital in Biloxi, Mississippi. Through my window I can see Biloxi Back Bay and the surges look to be about four feet. Soon it should washing up to our parking lot, which is about 100 feet from our hospital. Normally the Bay is like glass. Also, the intense winds (probably about 150 miles per hour) are blowing debris and chunks of the roof. Listening to the radio I already heard that homes have been destroyed on the Mississippi Coast and Highway 90 (Beach Blvd) is under water. Those familiar with Biloxi is where the large casinos are. The problem is the eye of the storm is not due for about another four hours, hope we make it.
Alan Cooper, Gautier, Mississippi
It is now 2:25 pm EST 8/29/05. As I write there are tree cutting crews repairing the electric service. Our teenage children are still dragging limbs and debris to a large pile at the curb. I am lucky I drive an old tall 4x4 truck. Anything smaller would not have made it out due to flood waters over 1/2 meter deep on many streets. I have put myself on a list of people to go help after the second landfall.
William, Homestead, FL
My sister is on vacation in New Orleans now. She could not get an airplane, bus, or train ticket to leave. The rental car company cancelled her reservation. She and her companion had no choice but to take refuge in their hotel with provisions provided by the management. Currently it is not possible to contact her, I hope that she is safe.
Douglas H., Oakland, USA
I moved from London to New Orleans a few weeks ago, and had just settled into the city. I was lucky enough to get one of the last flights out of the city before they were grounded, but evacuating was a terrifying experience. I am now in Houston, waiting for any information on what state my home will be in when I return.
If I have learnt anything, though, the people of New Orleans have incredible spirit and tenacity and whatever damage is done, I have no doubt that the city will rise up to be bolder and brassier than ever.
Sara, New Orleans
Things here in Jackson, MS are deteriorating steadily. The governor was just on the radio stating that his worst fear was that there were 'a lot of people dead down there'. As yet, no-one can get to the coast, and only scattered reports are coming through as to the extent of the damage. Lots of small limbs have flown off trees here and I saw a number of pine trees already fallen on my last trip outside until this thing blows over.
James Bishop, Jackson, MS, USA - Formally Norwich, England.
We fled New Orleans on Saturday afternoon before the panic started, our house is right in the middle of the garden district and although we secured everything the best we could I doubt there will be anything left to go back to. It's so frustrating to not know what is happening to our home
Leslie Smith, Houston, Texas
I lived in Baton Rouge for awhile and still have friends in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans. I spoke to my Baton Rouge friend yesterday (Sunday). Baton Rouge ended up on the west side of Katrina so they are doing o.k. Power is out, however, in parts of the city. Lots of people from New Orleans have flooded into Baton Rouge. LSU has cancelled classes in order to use university facilities for the people escaping from New Orleans and other south Louisiana areas. Very crowded roadways in Baton Rouge.
Carmen, St. Louis, Missouri
I work with a group of Catholic nuns in the city, who are opening there home to the poor and offering prayers through the storm
Liam Fox, Baton Rouge
I'm quite concerned for the people of New Orleans. Here in Coral Gables (Miami), we got the weak end of the storm (Category 1) and way more damage than I had expected occurred. So many beautiful large trees are down, windows blasted out, and some buildings were completely destroyed. Down the street where I live a car was resting on its top. We were fortunate.
Shannon, Miami (Coral Gables), FL, USA
We are anxiously awaiting word from my cousin. She and her family decided not to leave their home near New Orleans. They live extremely close to the coast and last, we heard the water was only two feet from their door. We are praying for their safety.
Shawna Nelson-Bradley, South Bend, US
I'm from Cut Off, Louisiana. Its about one and a half hours south of New Orleans. The hurricane passed right over my family's home, they have gone to north Louisiana for safety. I'm not sure if there will be anything left when they get back home. Even if the wind has left the house standing, the flooding has probably destroyed it. Me and my husband were meant to move back home next month, now we are not sure if there will be anything to move back to. I'm just glad that my family is safe from harm.
Sara Brown, Dunstable, England
Reading the accounts of the situation in the Stadium (Christine Roberts, London) has been a great consolation to us as we have a daughter, Penny, who is stranded there and no means of communication with her now. Thank you!
, Southampton, England
I live 45 miles north of Key West, we were told not to worry, hurricane not coming to the Florida Keys, so nobody prepared. When it hit us at 2am Friday it was only a category 1 so it was basically a hard rain storm with strong winds. The greatest damage came from the tornadoes it spawned, one of which went through the harbour and damaged boats. It swamped my dingy and almost sank my sailboat with rain accumulation. But today the sun is shining and damages are being cleaned up. We got off easy. New Orleans and Mississippi are going to have catastrophic damage and lost lives. Send help there.
P Witt, Marathon Key, Florida
My 22-year-old daughter is in the Superdome stadium at the moment. We had a brief conversation as she cannot afford mobile phone payment, as she is at the end of a 5 week holiday. She reports she is with a group of backpackers; had to queue for 4 hours to get in; the soldiers (National Guard) were looking after things; she is being well-fed; everything in the stadium is very well-organized, and things are calm there; the noise of the storm is terrific.
Christine Robertson, London, UK
This is the third time in a year I've evacuated with a major hurricane churning in the Gulf, heading my way. A few million people share this fate, as you never know exactly where the storm will come ashore, bringing conditions ranging from a summer rainstorm, to catastrophic flooding and building failure. My best wishes go to all Gulf residents in Katrina's warning area, from Morgan City, to Pensacola.
Mrs Scibard, Montrose, Alabama
I feel so lucky to have survived Katrina with such minimal damage. I lost power on Thursday and just got it restored last night. After living in the hot Florida heat for a few days I am so thankful for electricity, we felt we were literally living in hell's heat. Lots of big trees blocked my streets for two days. Now thankfully everything is going back to normal. Kids are back in school, street lights are back up and people are slowly but surely recovering. I pray for the unfortunate people in Louisiana. All our neighbourhood got together to pray for them. We feel we got off easy.
Marci Martinez, Hollywood, Florida, USA
I have a friend on holiday there and we are scared for their safety as we do not have any idea where they are. We believe they are at the home there with storm shutters. I believe that is all. I'm really scared for there safety.
Michael Preston, Tiptree, Essex
I got the last flight out to San Francisco just in time, but I am separated and cannot get in touch with my husband who fled for Florida at the last minute. I have already given up hope for my car and first floor of my home - I am most concerned for the people I love as well as those New Orleans residents who did not have the funds or transportation to evacuate. They will be sitting in a very hot environment for a few days. It's the heat and lack of water that will really be devastating to the people in the area. It is so surreal to be here on the beautiful west coast where very few people even know that Katrina exists.
Marie, New Orleans, LA
Miami Beach was hit by hard winds causing trees to be uprooted, snap in half and some crashed into houses. I was very lucky, I did not have severe damage to my home. My thoughts and prayers are with the residents of New Orleans.
Olga , Miami Beach, USA
My roommate and I, both graduate students at LSUHSC, evacuated Saturday afternoon, having learned our lesson when we ran away from Ivan that sooner is certainly better. Through the dread, the worry, and finally turning off the blasted "GAME OVER, MAN" reports and forecasts, we have settled into an uneasy round of quipping about how my car will meet a glorious end and what we will do if our school is destroyed (amongst other things). Seeing the storm finally come to pass, indeed the worst is not here - but what is coming will be a slightly more bearable form of, for lack of a better term, complete suckage.
Amy Whittington, New Orleans, LA
My husband has a friend, Jon, who is riding out Katrina in NOLA. He lives on the ground floor and has no family, so we're really worried that if something happens to him, we won't have any way to find out. I'm also worried that there are many people in Nawlins who simply don't have the money or ability to get out of the city. The levees are massive, but they weren't built for this.
Kaz, Briton in NJ, USA
My Sister and her three children live in Pearl River, they managed to get away to a relatives and will be safe. My brother-in-law is a New Orleans Police Officer and has had to stay in New Orleans, my thoughts are with him and all the people of New Orleans.
Jane, Bedfordshire, England
Living in a suburb of Miami the eye of Katrina passed over on Thursday night taking our power and water with it. Both are now thankfully restored but many trees lost to the storm will take weeks, if not months to be cleared away (the Gables is known as the city beautiful for its vegetation). Having experienced Andrew, I would say this storm actually damaged more trees though the structural damage appears to be much less, at least here in Miami. I'm hoping for the best for the Gulf coast.
Greta Mackenzie, Coral Gables, Florida
Well, what a day! Escaped New Orleans at the last minute to bed down in a ballroom in Alexandria. Lots of people here glued to the news.
Elizabeth, New Orleans Refugee
I live in Evansville, Indiana which is some 800 inland and to the east of New Orleans but we will feel the effects of the hurricane in the form of some winds and lots of rain added to a ground that is already water-logged with flood warnings already on the menu, but all in all we are lucky not to be hit by the brunt of the storm. Where we will feel the effects will be in the rise of oil prices because of the shutting down of oil rigs in The Gulf of Mexico.
Charlie Foley, Evansville, Indiana
A close friend is trapped in his hotel in New Orleans. He was unable to get hold of a hire car, or a flight out. He is shocked that an airline even flew him in to New Orleans as late on as Saturday. He is on the ninth floor. Although there are storm shutters low down there are none in the guest rooms. He has simply been told to shut the curtains to keep out shattering glass. He says the winds are presently 30mph and even this is driving waves of water down the street, the likes of which he has never seen before.
Justine Ellis, London
After a 12-hour ride from New Orleans to Jackson (the trip would normally take 3 hours) we are holed up in a school gymnasium. Everyone is bracing for the full brunt of the hurricane sometime tomorrow. All laptops and televisions are on some weather channel. The wind has picked up but not to any speed that would signal what is likely to be a story many will be talking about for the rest of the year. All foreign students from around the globe (myself included) are keeping constant contact with family and friends. The question on most people's minds is how deadly will Katrina's kiss be?
Masimba Fortune Ngandu, New Orleans, USA
I am a US ex-pat living in Reading, but originally from New Orleans. Thankfully, my family have all been able to evacuate to safe havens. This is a very scary situation, and what everyone has feared for quite a long time. All we can do is pray and hope for the best for everyone involved.
D Reese, Reading, UK
My son arrived in New Orleans to do his second year degree at Tulane University. He had not unpacked his bags when he was told to evacuate. He fled the city with two others and is now in Houston, Texas.
Paul Hague, Walberton, West Sussex
I came to England for a much needed 5 week vacation to be with my boyfriend. I was supposed to fly back on Sunday 28th but the New Orleans airport closed because of the storm. So now I'm here till at least Wednesday. I hope that my friends and family are all OK and I actually have something to return home to. My thoughts are with everyone in Louisiana going through this hurricane.
Jennifer Durst, Surrey, England but from Baton Rouge
My husband and I lived in Mobile last year when Ivan hit Alabama and tore a strip of devastation through the state. As we were only renting an apartment we volunteered for Red Cross duties and rode ERVs (emergency response vehicles) delivering hot meals, snacks, water, cleaning materials, diapers, etc to small communities twice a day. The Baptist Church in Tennessee sent a mobile kitchen and volunteers to prepare the meal and volunteers from California and Washington state drove ERVs across the country to help the people worst effected by Ivan. One Indian reservation we served was a two hour drive from the kitchen so our days were long but very rewarding as the people were so thankful to all the voluntary agencies helping them through a very difficult time. Also it was accidents with power lines and clearing the debris which took more lives than the storm. Our thoughts are with all along the Gulf Coast.
Chris Colby, Meols
My wife, niece and myself were staying with friends in New Orleans on the West Bank in Orleans Parish. On Saturday they told us to leave as they were going to Houston that afternoon so I had to drive to the airport to try and change our bookings, I managed that and then had to drive back to the house and have a frantic pack as we had 45 minutes to do that before leaving for the airport. As we took off over I-10 we could see that it was already packed westbound. I believe that we were some of the last international travellers to leave. I knew something serious was up as the toll bridge was open (free) on all gates.
John C Kent, London, England
In Miami, we were affected. Trees fell around my neighbourhood. We are also without electricity at the present time. We are also picking up fallen debris. A Bridge between Highway 836 and 97th Ave. fell.
Roberto Alvarez-Galloso, CPUR, Miami, Florida
I live in The Netherlands but almost my entire family lives in New Orleans: my elderly parents - my mother suffering from severe arthritis and heart disease, my bi-polar father, my 59-year-old sister also suffering for heart disease, my brother and his two children. My family, as many others, have chosen not to seek shelter in the Superdome and do not have the financial means to leave the city. What's best for them is to ride it out, ride it out in my sister's 200 year old wooden shotgun double standing 4 feet above the ground. I hope and pray to whatever supreme being that may exist to navigate this storm out of the path of New Orleans. I have no means of contacting my people, the phones lines are jammed, I feel cut off from them in more way than one. Two days ago I was feeling a bit homesick, downloading New Orleans tunes from the internet. One of the last downloads "New Orleans is Sinking" refused to come through, let's hope and pray that it never does.
Stephanie, The Netherlands
My father is on a cargo ship which docked in New Orleans just a few days ago. All that I know is that they are somewhere on the Mississippi trying to ride out Hurricane Katrina. While everyone is evacuated my father and his friends have to stay there because they didn't have enough time to escape. I really worry about them...
Lukasz, Szczecin, Poland
I just spoke to my friend who lives in Mobile, Alabama, he thinks he will ride out the storm although I requested him to come down here. I can only pray and hope he is alright. Winds of 160 miles is not kidding around.
Srinivas, Beaumont , TX, USA
Relatively lucky here - only 100 mph winds expected on top of un-repaired damages from Dennis, a month ago and Ivan.
Ian Rogers, Pensacola, Florida
My husband and I were fortunate to get out on one of the last flights from New Orleans this morning. To do this we had to abandon our vacation, starting yesterday morning, and get on the phone, to the airport, and on a standby list. We told many people in the French Quarter that already cars and flights were rapidly becoming unavailable, but unfortunately the news fell upon many deaf ears. As we arrived to check in for our early flight we were greeted by thousands of people desperate to leave the city, and when our flight took off over the city at 6am on Sunday morning we could see the traffic chaos below us. We feel very fortunate that our persistence paid off, and we send our thoughts and prayers to all who will have to endure the brutality of this storm.
Kristin Delcamp, Denver, CO
It is 3am in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and it is raining a bit with no wind. Katrina is about 80 miles away from New Orleans and my house somehow still has power (the answer phone still works). I hope I still have a home, a city and the best pub in New Orleans (The Crown and Anchor) in the morning!
George Kocke, New Orleans
I am here in London having completed a Charity Tube Challenge for the London Bombing Victims on 8-25-05 and unable to get home to New Orleans. I am a police Captain and feel totally helpless as I am unable to help my city and my family. I don't know where my family has gone. I came here to help raise money by completing all 275 tube stations in 20 hours with a group of UK citizens. I hope to have a home to go back to when I do get home. I appreciate all the prayers and support.
Tami Brisset, New Orleans in London now
My fiancée went to New Orleans on Saturday and she didn't know the dangers of going there, now she is stuck as there is no form of transport out of the city, I'm angry at the person who invited her there, her friends auntie, she could have told them not to go, now she is in great danger and will have to stay in the hotel to wait for the storm to finish. I am absolutely worried sick and I last spoke to her yesterday, don't think I can get in contact as the phone lines were to be cut, all I can do is wait in hope, even when it's over she will find it hard to leave because of all the flooding. I'm praying to god her and everyone else survives this.
James Williams, Edinburgh United Kingdom
I have many friends in New Orleans and I travel there a lot - I am thinking of them every minute - I have been unable to contact anyone by phone so I am just hoping they moved out before the rush.
Valerie Caldwell, Leamington Spa, England
My house is in the middle of New Orleans. I was lucky enough to live in the crescent city whilst I was working as a cameraman and decided to buy a house there. The selection process is quite complicated as certain areas are prone to flood so you have to research well before you buy. I eventually settled on Magazine Street, a fairly safe neighbourhood but I am now watching what could be the end of the big easy and my home from home. This is a massive loss and one that will be felt for years to come. I am unemployed now so can't even afford to fly back to pick up the pieces. My ex wife (who lives in the house) will be left to mop up. My heart goes out to my friends there.
Noel Wyatt s.o.c., Derby
I'm originally from New Orleans, now doing an internship with the UNDP here in India. I'm concerned for my family and friends back home. The river is held in place by levee walls but is meant to travel a different course. People have always said if a big storm hits it could make the river shift and wipe out the city and some of the small towns nearer to the gulf. Let's hope it doesn't happen, but let it be a warning for the future.
Khalil Shahyd, New Delhi, India
I live in an apartment in New Orleans and didn't have plywood to put up over my windows, so I do not expect my home to fare very well from the storm. I am in Baton Rouge now, staying up late and watching the storm. Pictures from the local news channels here show the French Quarter nearly completely deserted, which is a very bizarre sight. I do not know what is going to happen, but at this point I am steeling myself for the possibility that I will lose everything except what I brought with me, including my job.
WS, New Orleans, USA
I am born and raised in the New Orleans area. I rode out hurricane Betsy in New Orleans. We had over three feet of water in the street inside the New Orleans city limits. This hurricane is much, much worse. All of New Orleans could be underwater in a matter of hours.
Dan McGovern, Slidell, La
Our house is about 2 blocks from the levee that guards us from Lake Pontchartrain so we evacuated on Saturday to try and stay ahead of the heavy traffic. After making it around the contraflow we managed to go west to Houston to stay at a friend's flat. Our 12 day old son took the 11 hour drive pretty good so we are happy about that.
At this point, we are just hoping that our home will still be standing when we eventually return. Most of our family has evacuated but a few are staying behind on the northshore of the lake to watch over their homes.
We hope that we will get to return to our home soon.
Ken Armond, Metairie, LA USA
It is 4.05 pm here in Metairie, LA. which is an upscale suburb of New Orleans and has about the same population. Our three-storey home is located directly on Lake Pontchartrain and is protected by a 20-foot levee bullt and maintained by the US Army corp of Engineers. Lake Pontchartrain is actually a bay of the Gulf of Mexico and not actually a lake.
We have decided to ride out the storm as we have a small generator and our home has steel beam construction. It was built to withstand hurricane force winds. The vast majority of our neighbours, however, with wood frame constructed homes have left (or are trying to leave as the traffic is at a stand still) for higher ground.
William Shiell, Metairie, Louisiana
I'm almost at the LA/MS border, right in the projected path of the storm. Most people have left though a few of us are staying. Using Camille as a guide, I am well out of the storm surge danger though in an evacuation area. The main risk is falling trees (Southern Pines snap off) but I'm not really worried because none can really get to the house.
The contraflow (all lanes of the Interstate highways head outbound) seems to work pretty well. I'm about 1/4 from a major junction and traffic didn't seem nearly as bad as last year during Ivan.
The biggest headache will be when the power/internet finally fails. My emergency generator is on loan in Gulfport 40 miles east and I can't fetch it.
It is hot and humid and will be miserable without A/C or DVD movies. I'm waiting for the first rain band to cross so I can finish up outside.
Tim Kooney, Slidell, LA
I grew up in New Orleans. I now live in Lafayette about 140 miles west of there. My family still has there home there. They have evacuated to Arkansas. My sister-in-law's aunt has decided to stay in New Orleans through the storm. I hope that she will be alright and gets to a safe building. There is expected to be tropical storm force winds where I am. Now the only thing to do is wait and see what the storm does.
Daryl, Lafayette, LA, USA
So far here we just have a lot of refugees from New Orleans, gas stations starting to run out of gas, no ice, and some anticipated business losses from planned shut-downs. . . and a beautiful afternoon . . . but this is a major killer storm.
Some people are going to get hurt and the property damages are going to be massive. Just where the axe is going to fall the hardest is not yet certain. Andrew left us without power for 10 days and blew in zillions of mosquitoes from the swamps. It was like a biblical plaque. As long as we are OK, I am happy. If we are OK, keep power, and don't have mosquitoes, I'll be ecstatic.
Kurt, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I'm an exchange student from Keele in England on exchange to Loyola University New Orleans. I've only been here a week but have had to evacuate to further west in Louisiana near Lafayette, with my friends from uni! At the moment we don't know what's gonna happen and how bad it's gonna get!
Koel, new orleans, USA
My family has evacuated to 100 miles north of the city - we aren't sure if that is far enough. We expect that we will be kept out of the city for at least a week, possibly much longer. At least we are safe, but we are prepared for the worst, possibly loss of our 50-year-old home, our belongings, our keepsakes. The city may flood and be 12-18 feet underwater for weeks on end. Very scary stuff, and unprecedented in a US city.
Andy Lee, New Orleans, LA, USA
Our three hundred year old home, which has been in our family since it was built, is located about 3/4 of a mile from a levee. We don't expect to see much of it when we return and that hurts. However our family, our pets, and our memories should be safe in the refuge we are heading to in Houston. I pray for those who could not find a way out of the city. I believe this will devastate the city I love with all my heart.
Sharron, New Orleans USA
My son just flew into New Orleans yesterday morning, and even before he checked into his dorm at Tulane University, he was told they would be evacuated to a safe place up north.
What an orientation to his university as a Freshman! But he has had other adventures in Asia this year, and so this is kinda icing the cake of challenges this year.
Pramod K. Mishra, Rock Island, USA
We're lying a little to the east of where everyone is projecting the path to come, but we're not taking any chances. Our Naval base has evacuated and the city is getting ready for it, with the devastating hurricane Ivan(2004) still fresh in everyone's minds. I just hope and pray that the loss of life is minimal. Good luck to all.
Sean Merritt, Pensacola, FL, USA
I grew up in Illinois - tornado country - and have lived through my fair share of hearing the warning siren, rounding up the cats, and heading to the basement to wait out the danger. I can't imagine what it must be like to pack up your car and drive away, not knowing whether you'll have a home to go back to. I'll be watching events as they unfold - with my heart in my mouth.
Dorothy Rothschild, Fife, Scotland
If you are foolish enough to try and ride this storm out, please consider the 20-30 foot expected storm swell and the fact that it will coincide with high tide. Pick a place to shelter that is high enough that you won't drown, and strong enough that it won't collapse.
I've had calls from about 30 people, asking me to accommodate them as they evacuate from New Orleans and points south. Half-a-dozen have already arrived, and more (some with travel trailers and RVs) are expected during the course of Sunday, but some have not yet left, and I don't know whether they'll be able to get out, now that the evacuation routes are gridlocked. Even here, a couple of hundred miles away from New Orleans, we've been warned to expect tropical-storm conditions, so we're not out of the woods yet. I don't know whether my friends will have homes left to return to when all this is over, as New Orleans seems likely to be underwater by this time on Monday.
Peter Grant, Alexandria, Louisiana, USA
The scene here looks like something from the apocalypse. People are running around the city, terrified about what to do. Those who are leaving have clogged the roadways so extensively that little hope remains for those who have not yet decided to leave. Gas stations are breeding grounds for fighting and riots, as people are resorting to a state of martial law in order to get the precious gasoline they need to move their vehicles. This truly is the worst part of the storm and it only looks to get worse. God be with everyone who is trying to escape the madness.
Sam Morrison, New Orleans, LA USA
I am from Pailton, Warwickshire, England. I am travelling after working at a summer camp. Me and my friends are stuck in New Orleans and have no way of getting out! We were supposed to have a flight to New York on the 29th September but it has been cancelled and now there is a possibility that we cannot fly until the 1st September or even longer! All of the shops are putting boards up over their windows and most shops are closed by law. It is frustrating because we need water and food. we managed to find one shop and the prices were very expensive. We are not scared that we will get injured - just at the fact we cannot get out!
Stuart Bird, New Orleans, USA
All the motorways are jammed with people fleeing. Many folks are going to try and ride it through, we have been through so many near misses in the past three years, it can be expensive to evacuate. The nearest hotels with vacancies are over 8 hours drive away. The worst place to be is in your car when the storm hits.
Chris Tebboth, Abita Springs, Louisiana
We have a young niece currently stranded in New Orleans - along with friends she has taken shelter in the Super Bowl sports stadium, one of the few "safe" places. Although the Mayor is telling the public to evacuate the city there are no planes, trains, buses or cars available to be had. Although the National Guard has been mobilised there are no plans to lay on any transport to evacuate those who do not have their own! The people now stranded in the city have no option but to wait for the hurricane to hit.
Pippa Rickard, USA
The city is in a state of chaos. After many instances of "near-misses" this could very well be "The Big One." The fear in the eyes of citizens here is evident, from the regular person to the highest of state and local officials. Please pray for everyone in this great city and state.
Shawn, New Orleans, USA
I've just left New Orleans - having spent the last three months working there - and flown to Houston. The feeling around the city is one of fear. This could be The Big One that everyone who has lived in The Big Easy knows could come at any time... I hope that everyone gets out safely... My housemates are starting the crawl out of the city now in a car - it's going to take up to five hours to get out of the city limits.
Gideon Habel, Houston, TX
My family and I have evacuated New Orleans ahead of Katrina. It took us seven hours to reach Jackson, a drive which normally totals just under three hours. Evacuation is a fact of life for residents of the Gulf Coast.
Jeremy, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
My entire family lives right on Lake Ponchartrain, just to the east of New Orleans, where I used to live, in Slidell, LA. They left this morning, after boarding up the houses, heading east toward Pensacola, Florida. They said it's the only way out anymore, since the roads heading north and west are gridlocked... practically parking lots. My thoughts and prayers are with my beautiful city and the people who live there, especially the poor who have no way out. This is the worst case scenario we've all been waiting for. By the Grace of God may we all survive this and have a home to return to on Wednesday.
Kirche Zeile, New York, USA
We boarded up our 180-year-old wood house and evacuated New Orleans yesterday to Houston, Texas. Do not expect much to be remaining when we return.
Kevin O'Shaughnessy, United States
My boyfriend lives in New Orleans and is evacuating right now. He just called to say he doesn't know when we'll be able to speak again as they've been told power lines may be down for weeks so no emails, phones or cell phones once the batteries have run down. It's strange to think such a huge buzzing city will be so isolated even once the worst of the storm has passed. I'm just hoping everyone will be safe.
Fiorella Ferrante, London, England
My girlfriend goes to school in New Orleans and is being made to evacuate the city. I'm pretty certain she'll be safe, but I'm worried about the damage to the school and other buildings.
David Jarvis, Tokyo, Japan
New Orleans is pretty much being evacuated at the moment. Many of the people I'm here at Louisiana State University with in Baton Rouge are from New Orleans and are frightened they might not have homes to return to in a couple of days. They're especially concerned for their families, and the university has cancelled classes on Monday and possibly Tuesday to allow people to be with their loved ones.
Thomas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA originally from London
My brother lives and works in New Orleans. I have been in touch with him the last few days and he, like other residents, was preparing to get out of the city. Having a relative there makes this much more than just dramatic news to follow on the net and TV from thousands of miles. I hope now for minimum damage and safety for all... and for him in particular, of course.
Kolya, Kisumu, Kenya
I live right here in the projected path of Katrina. I just awoke this Sunday morning and checked the weather and see the storm is now 150+ MPH. At this moment it is a beautiful morning - but it is time to flee North. Louisiana has implemented a contra flow plan on its interstate highways- allowing traffic from the New Orleans area more road to evacuate on. Mostly, people are travelling west towards the Texas border- I will go North to family in Memphis. I have never experienced a storm of the severity Katrina appears to be and I hope I have a home to return to, and that other people take appropriate precautions and remains safe. Honesty, I have never worried about a storm coming here before, but I am worried about this one.
Alex Bush, Mandeville, USA
We moved from New Orleans to Baton Rouge three years ago. We have 10 family members (refugees) coming to wait out the storm - it will be a crowded (and worried) house. Please join us in praying that no one will be hurt as the storm hits. Things can be replaced - people can't be.
Craig Wiseman, Baton Rouge, La., US
My sister-in-law and her family are visiting us in Pennsylvania. Their home is 60 miles east of New Orleans and on the Mississippi coast. They did not make preparations prior to leaving home a week ago. Katrina was not forecast to go near their home at that time. It will be a long week for them as they watch TV, not knowing conditions at home. They have two boats in the marina and outdoor items on patios, etc. These present danger as they can become airborne in a storm. For any of your readers who have not been to the gulf coast, it is very, very low country, full of charm, but not made for storm surge and wind.
Sharon, Pennsylvania, USA
My girlfriend in New Orleans has evacuated and has relocated to a hotel in Birmingham, Alabama. I am using the BBC news and weather service to keep tabs on things, but I think it is now time to board up the windows! I am due to go back there at the beginning of September. Katrina is angry and she's headed for Louisiana! Good luck everyone there!
Mark Westguard, St Cyrus, Scotland
Natives of Broward County, my husband and I are both wary of, and experienced with, hurricanes and severe thunderstorms. While we try to take each occasion seriously, a Category 1 is not much stronger than many of our severe summer storms. Just to be safe, we put down the shutters, brought everything inside and then spent the evening, exclaiming, "Wow! This is so much worse than we expected! Look over there!"
One street away, a man was killed by a falling fichus. By 1830 (only an hour after the weaker eastern eye wall passed over us), our power lines had wrestled with the neighbouring tree in a losing battle, and lay like silly-string across the side yard. They remain there now. Three days later, we still are without power, and I am in exile at my office writing this piece.
Our experience, and that of many family, friends and neighbours across the area, compelled me to write, in the hopes that people in Alabama and Louisiana will take the storm very seriously. The 60-80 mph
winds here brought down 60-foot trees, picked up 4000 lb planes, tossing them like model toys, and ripped down power lines 60 miles from the storm's centre. For my part, I cannot imagine the damage a Category 5, or even 4, storm would have done to our city. My thoughts are with the people of the gulf coast.
Gretchen Harkins, Fort Lauderdale, FL USA
Another hurricane coming at us or near at us. I live between Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida at city of Daphne Alabama where Ivan and Dennis have landed. I don't like the US Hurricane Center and think they could give better warnings and greater time to prepare people. I make my own forecasts based on what I see and use the UK MET model extensively and the forecasts of Accuweather.com. I have always come close in my forecasts for the Northern Gulf coast and Katrina appears to be aiming hit on the US Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Mobile Alabama at this time based upon splitting the difference between the UK MET and US Navy NOGAPS weather models and observing satellite animations. Pray for us as we will need it here.
Richard Barkett, Mobile, Alabama USA
I think many people didn't expect the hurricane to swing south, nor did they expect so much rain from a Category One. It's very messy in Miami Beach, with many uprooted trees. South Miami/Dade got the brunt of it: there is flooding in many places and some downed construction. Apparently there was even a case of a confused alligator swimming through one of the flooded neighbourhoods.
Gabi, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
The storm clouds are gathering over here on the west coast, the Gulf of Florida. The clouds, part of the feeder bands of the hurricane, are whipping across the sky. With the hurricane still in the Miami area, it is just a pleasant breezy day here, so far, which is a break from the normal humid heat of Florida.
Chris Harland, Tampa, Fl, USA
I'm studying in Miami for two years and was stuck in the middle of this hurricane. It got very, very dark at around 6pm and then the torrential rain started along with the 80+ mph wind. Here in Coconut Grove, there are lots of trees down and no power and from reading the paper which somehow still got through, it's the same all over Miami. Roads are blocked by floods and a flyover under construction has collapsed in the north of the city, but apart from that for me at least it's just a case of two days off college.
Peter, Miami, Florida, originally from Hull, UK
Having dodged several large hurricanes since our arrival in Florida two years ago, yesterday we took a direct hit from Katrina. Living on the 17th floor looking out to sea, it was amazing to see nature in all its fury rampaging towards the coast. The screaming of the wind trapped inside high rise buildings and the constant slamming of storm shutters made for an unnerving few hours and it was a relief as the eye passed directly over us giving us an eerie silence for a while. Then the back of the storm hit and it was back to the moaning thrashing concert of sounds accompanied by flailing rainstorms. This morning, Miami looks like a film set for a huge disaster movie, but within a few days, it will be cleaned and cleared, and Floridians will be going about their business, and doubtless the sun will be shining again by tomorrow.
Kate Fagalde, Aventura North, Miami, USA
We had lots of wind but little rain (close to the Broward county line north of Miami Lakes). People to the south had 12 to 20 inches of rain and there's a lot of flooding down there. A flyover under construction came down onto the Dolphin expressway - lots of concrete and rebar everywhere but nobody was hurt. My main message, unless you need to be out, stay inside.
Andrew, Miami, USA
My parents live in Pompano Beach and have been without power since yesterday evening. They were expecting the storm to be mostly rain, and so didn't even put up storm shutters. Then, when it began to blow in earnest and branches broke off their trees, my father had to struggle to put up the shutters in the wind. But they're all right, if sweltering.
Karen, Pittsburgh, PA, USA