Did you capture Katrina on camera? Send us your pictures and experiences.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has issued a "desperate SOS" for the people stranded with no food or water at the city's convention centre.
This is the third page of your comments.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
I have heard from my dad that my house escaped without a scratch. A wood fence surrounding my yard did get damaged, but only slightly. Power is still not restored and telephones there are still out and the authorities have closed the parish until Monday morning. While mostly it's good news for me- it is an illusion I think for several reasons: I have been unable to contact my employer and do not know my work situation, and all those people who lived in New Orleans and Slidell and Covington are all camping out along roadways and parked at gas stations and all those that have no place or family to go to (which is a lot of people). Since New Orleans is being emptied, all those people have to go somewhere - and probably permanently.
Alex Bush, Mandeville, Louisiana
I was visiting New Orleans due to depart August 30. I changed my flight to depart August 28. My flight was then cancelled the night before without giving me advance notice. Thankfully, I found a rental car and proceeded to drive 11 hours to Houston, Texas. Thankfully, we were able to get out. God Bless those who did not.
Marty Paz, Las Vegas, NV, USA
All my family lives in south Louisiana. It was so horrible watching Katrina hit. I felt helpless. I am 500 miles away and there was nothing I could do. I somehow managed to get through via phone on Monday around 7am to my father. It was so scary you could hear the hurricane winds. He said they got lucky - the storm went a little east of them. That helped. Then he said my family was well and that I could rest. But the storm still had not passed north of them yet. The day passed then I called repeatedly and could not get through. Finally I got a short message on my answering machine from my father that loved ones were alive and well. I don't know about shelter or material possessions due to the short message - that might have been all he was able to communicate before losing communication. As long as my family is alive - that is what counts at this point.
Joseph Coats, Dallas, Texas, USA
I work for a state agency in Florida and would like to provide some insight as to what our state is doing to support the relief effort. We've sent in two 25-person teams of physicians and a 100-person unit of other medical personnel. Staff from the state Emergency Operations Center, the Department of Law Enforcement and other agencies are sending in teams of people, vehicles, "tent cities", supplies and medicine. Four-wheel ATV's, aquatic vessels and aircraft are also being sent to assist in the search and recovery of survivors and deceased. Rest assured, the citizens of our state with our brothers and sisters in Louisiana who didn't hesitate to provide relief to us when four hurricanes struck us last year.
Chris, Ocala, FL
The evacuees of New Orleans are now making their way to my town of Lafayette, in west Louisiana, their faces telling the stories of a ruined city. We are doing all we can to accommodate them here at the University and in the town's sports centre. In the apartment complex I live in, the manager has insisted that people can stay here.
Ben Rutter, Lafayette, Louisiana
My dad's only brother and his family are in Pass Christian, MS. The last we heard from them was Monday night and they were able to get cell call out saying they were ok, but they had a lot of damage. Now we don't know anything about them, there is no water, no food, no power, no gas - nothing. My cousins have children, one is just over a year old. Please pray for all those who are in these areas and are affected. The town I live in is 200 miles away, we have many refugees, many of which have nothing to go back home to, no homes, no jobs - nothing.
Kim Draughn, Monroe, LA USA
My uncle has lived in Metarie and the New Orleans area for more than 20 years and in one night he lost everything. The same situation and worse is Gulf Coast wide in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. Whole towns are destroyed and families wiped out. In my eyes it is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States ever. Houston is doing our part by sheltering refugees from the storms. This is going to have the same economic impact as the tsunami and also the mass devastation. I hope the world takes notice and makes an effort to help those that are impoverished and desperate due to Hurricane Katrina.
Ruthie, Houston, TX
My husband was stationed at Pensacola NAS for 4 years and while we went through 3 hurricanes none were that severe. I hope what the balance of the USA and the international community understand is this: While you may know that the hurricane is on its way, you may not be financially able to evacuate. The tens of thousands trapped in New Orleans and outlying areas are, for the most part, the poorest of the poor. Most do not own a vehicle and live pay cheque to pay cheque. Many are already on public assistance. Many are elderly. These people had no choice but to stay. Those of us in the US need to help our countrymen.
Leslie, Denver, USA
The devastation is beyond belief. It makes me wonder how they will rebuild, but I know they will. Someone earlier commenting on the lack of generosity of the US Government when it comes to Aid. Please remember that the American people are the most generous in the world - bar none. They need your help now... please donate via the US red cross.
DaveA, Brit, Columbus, Ohio
My brother and his wife moved to Hattiesburg, MS two weeks ago so she could attend graduate school at the University of Southern Mississippi. Before the storm hit hard they retreated north to Birmingham, Alabama. Luckily, they returned to find that their home had suffered only minor damages. They are, however, without electricity and fresh water, which means they have to boil water for use over an open flame. They planned to head north to wait out the rebuilding in with my parents in Nashville, Tennessee. As of right now, no one knows where they are. The city is under a strict dusk till dawn curfew. The LAN line phones are down and cell phones cannot get signals. I'm sure they're fine, but the waiting is the hardest part.
AC Waller, Greensboro, NC USA
I live in Shreveport, a town in North West Louisiana, that has been unscathed by Katrina. The shelters set up by Red Cross include universities, churches and some schools; they are teeming with refugees. People are contributing with their time, money, efforts or in any way possible to help the displaced - human endeavour at its best. Originally from Punjab in India, my eyes moisten on seeing the suffering wreaked by the storm on my adopted home state.
Manmeet Singh Mangat, Shreveport, LA
We were in South Beach, Miami when Katrina first hit. We are thankful that we managed to get out of Miami the following day before it turned really vicious. Our thoughts are with those who have been badly affected.
Jermaine, East Haven and USA
I have friends in New Orleans who left the city before Katrina hit and are unable to get back and have no idea when they will be able to return to see if they have anything left.
Art Wojciehowski, Cloquet, USA
This is a dreadful natural disaster to hit New Orleans and the American civilians. The only sad thing watching from afar is the despicable looting that is taking place whilst all of this is ongoing. Hardly a good example of democracy to provide to the Iraqi nationals who Mr. Bush is so determined to provide with democracy. Shame on the small minority.
Tom, Doha, State of Qatar
The hurricane was bad, but the flooding caused by the storm and the breaking of levees is devastating. Towns have totally disappeared, there is not place for many people to go, many of the residents of the area are very poor and have no way to get out. I hope the rest of the world would realize how devastating this disaster is and would offer help.
Shirley Nester, Colfax, USA
We were ready to come to terms with losing our homes, jobs, and possessions due to a natural disaster. Now we are hearing stories from people still in New Orleans of armed gangs looting the homes and businesses that survived the flood waters. Our possessions are not so much the issue. One police officer has already been shot by looters. There are rescue workers risking their lives to save people trapped in their homes, and now these heroes and the survivors are in danger from armed looters. Our city looks like a war zone and the feeling of desperation has given way to anger that our president can send thousands of troops halfway around the world to "secure our country's freedoms" yet the military presence in New Orleans is so limited that we can't even protect our own people in our own country. We have not even heard of any solutions from the White House to secure the city. I can't even imagine what we come home to. A beautiful city has been lost and it is heartbreaking to watch it be dismantled by its own people.
Jessica Marrero, New Orleans, LA USA
I'm 50 years old and have been through numerous hurricanes in my lifetime but never have I ever seen anything like this. I have several friends in New Orleans that said they would ride out the storm there and I haven't heard a word from them since. Here in Baton Rouge we were spared somewhat but some lives were lost. This is the most devastating storm in recorded history to hit the gulf coast. I'm appalled at the looting that's going on. How could any person take advantage in such times. Keep us in your prayers.
Jeffrey Kelleher, Baton Rouge Louisiana , USA
Lower Plaquemines Parish was the first area of the Gulf Coast to experience hurricane force winds, eventually climaxing there at over 125 miles per hour. It bore the brunt of Katrina, acting as a sacrificial line of defence for points further inland. Had it not been there, New Orleans and Gulfport would have taken even more of the full force of the storm. The communities downriver from New Orleans closest to the Mississippi River Delta have been totally submerged and devastated. Aerials show a continuous expanse of water with an outline of remaining trees, levees and what's left of higher buildings. Towns like Buras, Boothville, Venice and Empire have, in essence, been washed off the map.
Patrick, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I wanted to thank Texas for being such a good neighbour in this time of tragedy. You have opened your doors and hearts to us. We are so grateful for everything you have done. God bless you!
I am a graduate student at Tulane University, New Orleans. I evacuated just before the storm to a place on a ridge just north of New Orleans. It was a farmhouse in the middle of a forest. Half the trees in the woods there are down. A couple of trees fell on the house I was taking shelter in. The last two days we cleared the trees from the road leading to the main road and finally made our way to Florida. There is no news as to when school will reopen. There are apprehensions here that the city of New Orleans will be declared a dead city
Gautam, New Orleans, USA
We live in Birmingham, Alabama and got a lot of wind and some power outages but that's about it. South Alabama and especially South Mississippi are suffering badly. This compares with the tidal wave in South East Asia in terms of devastation. Our hotels here in Birmingham are full of coastal residents that escaped the storm. Now we are getting refugees. Louisiana has it the worst of all. It may take weeks or even months for some areas to be habitable again. Please keep your thoughts and prayers for the South Eastern US.
B. Montgomery, Birmingham, Alabama
My mother and father live in Bogalusa, LA and I have not heard from them since Katrina Struck. What is the damage in that area?
Sira Gavin, Wichita, KS
My sister in law and her family live in Gulfport and Biloxi. I haven't heard anything from them yet and am worried. Her husband is a Deputy Sheriff, so will be out working in the weather helping others. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all, and everyone else affected. God bless.
Sarah Sullivan, Brighton, England
Lack of sanitation, loss of electricity, no access to clean water - this is a public health nightmare come true. We need to send public health officials and the National Guard in ASAP if they have not already been sent. I hope people hang in there, my prayers are with them.
Sana Ansari, Minneapolis, USA
We have several relatives that are older and live in the New Orleans area. One of them was recovering from surgery just before the storm hit. We have been trying desperately to reach them for about a week now and fear that something might have happened to them, as they were unable to evacuate.
Hillary, Texas, USA
My husband is stationed in Vegas. We left our daughter in Bogalusa with my parents. I had spoke to my dad the night before the hurricane hit. He said everybody was fine for the time being. Well now I can't get in touch with them to check on my daughter whom is three. I am worried to death and I keep hearing horror stories. If anybody can help me on knowing the situation in Bogalusa, LA please let me know???
Amanda Craddock, North Las Vegas, USA
A very important person to me had to evacuate her home in Abita Springs a while back and is now safe. However, the aftermath of this is really the issue here. They, and many other families are running out of money for basic needs, and it is disgusting to see how many people are looting these honest families who had very little to begin with. I wish the best for her, as well as every other victim of this tragedy.
Adam, Reading, UK
I would like to know the situation of the Washington Parish, the Bogalusa Area. I have relatives there and I have not heard anything about them or that area. I'm really worried. Thank you
Sheyla Bravo, Monterrey, Mexico
Several family members have been affected - both by the storm and its after-effects. Where is the National Guard?
David, Southern USA
Most of the posts express concern for the city of New Orleans which is indeed a major disaster area; however, most fail to realize that the entirety of St. Bernard Parish (county) is under water. Many of the smaller coastal communities and surrounding suburbs are almost totally destroyed.
Anthony, Lafayette, Louisiana
I can't help but wonder if a lot of people around the world are happy to see this happening to America, and I certainly hope that's not the case. Keep in mind that its only the American poor that will pay the real price with absolutely nothing left, and a President who couldn't care less about these people, except that Louisiana is a red state and Republicans count on their votes. The people of this hurricane need our rescue.
Alex, Portland, OR
The news of what's happening is horrifying. We're organising community donations to the Red Cross in the hope that every bit will help. Speaking of aid, even though we're looking at over a million homeless and massive rebuilding, I am surprised by the outcry about the lack of international aid - the US is the world's single most wealthy nation, and gives the lowest proportion of its GDP in international aid. I assume that the world's only superpower will let the international community know if it isn't able to fund rescue and reconstruction. It ought to be possible - after all, the budget was fully balanced only a few years ago.
Kaz, Briton in NJ, USA
I think New Orleans should be abandoned after the rescue operations. It's old and dilapidated to begin with and now much of it is so hopelessly ruined that it would have to be rebuilt anyway. They should build a "new" New Orleans on higher ground, a well-planned city with some of the look and feel of the old one.
Chrisse, Houston, Texas
I have family members living in Mandeville, Louisiana and I haven't heard from them how badly the area was affected. I am very concerned they have four little ones. I last spoke with them on Sunday evening.
Lilly, Long Beach, California
My sister, brother in law, niece and my nephews family who are based in the Slidell/Picayune area have all evacuated from their homes. At this moment 19:20 on Monday 29th August we don't know where they are or what they will come home to. We are worried and waiting to hear from them again - especially for my brother in laws father who has decided to stay and see the storm out.
Paul Hedges, Luton, Bedfordshire
I have many family members in New Orleans. I spoke to my 83 year old uncle last night he and his grandson were evacuated yesterday and went up to North Louisiana to other family member's houses. I haven't heard from any other families yet I can't get through on the phone because of the storm.
Janice Polito, Streamwood
In vain I have searched internet sites for signs of an international effort to help the 2.9 million people without power, water, or food in the hurricane devastated area of the USA. Apparently when our country suffers it's left to fend for itself. That tells me what to do next time a tsunami hits a third world country!
Susan, Lansing USA
The international community's silence is deafening.
The events in the States are a tragedy and a dramatic example of nature's power. I've heard the situation there described as being America's tsunami. One striking difference, however, is that the people struck by the boxing-day tsunami had no warning of the impending danger. Why did so many people ignore the warnings that were given to evacuate the area, an area that has a history of hurricanes? Why did so many people choose to stay put and then put the lives of rescue workers in peril during attempts to save them when the storm hit?
Paul Blair, Edinburgh, Scotland
I've been reading this site and listening to BBC radio - don't you guys understand the scope of this tragedy? There are over 700,000 refugees in the Southern United States and at least two major cities that are uninhabitable. I live over 600 miles away and hotels here are nearly full of those left homeless!
TM, Virginia, USA
My father and family live in New Orleans and tried to stay in the city as long as possible for fear that their homes and businesses would be looted after the storm hit. No one imagined that looting would result from desperation, which is indeed what is said to be happening now. It is important for viewers who aren't familiar with New Orleans to realize that it is a very poor city with a large elderly population. Most people who did not evacuate the city simply don't have enough resources to get out. They don't own cars, can't afford bloated gas prices, and have little savings to fall back on when the waters recede The people left behind in New Orleans will need many resources when the waters recede.
Jane, London, England
My mother just moved into Mobile, AL and now she has to flee up to Atlanta. She is in a first floor apartment, which probably means a lot of her belongings will be lost. What a pity, she unpacked the boxes only last week! Luckily, though, she bought a car two days ago, so she was able to stuff some essentials in and leave.
Virginia Savova, Boston, USA
Here in Miami, trees are down, power is out, food is getting spoiled, and children are out of school, all of us are hot and sweaty in the 35 degrees Celsius temperature.
Sidonie Sawyer, Miami, USA
It has been a tense time here for the past few days, worrying about my uncle and his family in New Orleans. They called Sunday to say they were going to go to Dallas and would call us once they arrived, but no call came. We did not know if they had made it there or had been caught by the Hurricane. This morning joyous news spread through the family! My mother had received an e-mail from my uncle they were alive and safe in Alexandria, LA. where they were forced to hunker down and weather the storm. Here the response from Houstonians has been nothing but amazing. People have opened up their homes to total strangers. Churches, stadiums, meeting halls have turned into dormitories and mess halls, and the citizens have started sending everything they could to Louisiana to help in the recovery God bless and watch over those still caught in the waters of Katrina.
Stacey Lampp, Houston, Texas
We have family in Mississippi and we are stationed in Naples. I was able to speak with a sister-in-law that chose to leave, they were heading back from Greenville. I have had no news since that conversation. My husbands Mother, father and younger brother stayed through the storm. We have not heard from them. My family, my friends and my church are all there. I was a child when Camille hit and remember the damage from it, there is no comparison, this storm has devastated an area across the gulf coast that is over 100 miles wide, and continues through the state wrecking havoc. Your
Gale Smith, Naples, Italy
My daughter lives with her family in New Orleans. Fortunately they were able to get out. She has just emailed to say that the rumours are that New Orleans will be submerged and lost forever. Alligators and snakes in the flood waters add to the dangers.
Alistair Macindoe , Dumbarton, Scotland
My son Peter was last heard of in the Super bowl in New Orleans 48 hours ago. Am just so frustrated that we're unable to get any news, not sure what to do for the best
Wayne Henry, England
I have an Aunt and Uncle and several cousins that live in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. My cousins in New Orleans are staying with their parents (they didn't take any chances) and it looks as if they may be there for a while. My cousin has no idea what he will find when he goes back home, which could be over a month from now. It seems as if the crisis is just getting worse there.
Bryan Short, Bemidji, MN, USA
I thought Hurricane Ivan and Dennis were horrible, but after seeing the pictures and video feed from New Orleans and Mississippi, nothing compares. Ivan was tame compared to that monster. I have dear friends who stayed in New Orleans and I have not been able to get hold of them. I am so worried, so afraid. God help them all.
Stephanie Reaser, Pace, FL, USA
My little sister was travelling after a stint at summer camp and was unable to leave New Orleans during the evacuation. She has been in the Superdome since Sunday morning. We last heard form her on Monday afternoon when she said the worst had passed though they had no power. We lost signal and also think her mobile battery is dead and have been unable to contact since. We are getting increasingly worried as we hear reports that the stadium is letting in water. We just hope they get evacuated soon though with up to 20,000 people in there it may be a difficult task.
Helen Wheeldon, Glasgow, Scotland
I used to live near New Orleans. Its devastation is heartbreaking. But I know that the world, especially the Europeans will initiate a huge rebuilding project just like we did for the Tsunami-stricken areas.
Thomas Lohr, Chisinau, Moldova
I've been trying to reach half of my family who are still evacuated from Tangipahoa Parish. I hope they are safe. But all lines are cut off and feel very helpless at this point. All we can do is pray. Although we were warned, none were prepared for the magnitude of this or its aftermath.
This is a tragedy; but why build city below sea level and between a lake and a mighty river in an area that suffers hurricanes?
Richard, East Grinstead
Where is the UN ? Why have we not heard from Kofi Annan regarding the UN's response to Katrina?
Raymond, New York
My family left for Dallas on Saturday night, 15 hour drive. My sister and mother arrived later. Our home in Uptown New Orleans likely survived the storm but may succumb to the continued flooding. My sister's house is gone, she lived in one of the coastal locations where the eye passed. My mother has 12 feet of water in her home, the same home that had 6 feet of water in it from Hurricane Betsy September 9, 1965. I remember the flooding and our escape by boat 40 years ago, and am stunned that the loss has repeated itself. My son will now witness the same rebuilding I did as a child. There was no looting in 1965, and the looting of today may be the saddest thing of all. These are the lowest life forms this city has, stealing and shooting and killing from others who already have nothing left and had little to start with. We will return and rebuild, and hope the lowest of all will get what they so richly deserve. Wish all of the citizens of New Orleans luck and help us with the rebuilding. Send money to the nearest Red Cross of relief fund.
David Schneider, New Orleans, Louisiana
My sister, brother-in-law, and their three children, under four, are New Orleans refugees. In tears she asks, is our home liveable and still standing? Does my husband have a job to return to? Does my boys beautiful 200-year-old pre-school still exist? I want to talk to my New Orleans friends and neighbours but I have no idea where they have gone in the US to evacuate. Our daily lives have disappeared overnight.
Jennifer, Houston, Texas, US
We are affected here by a shortage of gasoline. There is currently no gas at any of the stations in the area and prices went up 30 cents over night. That's the biggest threat to the nation.
Michael, Milwaukee, USA
My wife, baby and I are refugees in Memphis right now. They're saying we might be able to get back home in a week to grab a few personal items and leave again for a month! My Dad stayed in our house and said that we had 10 in. of water inside. However, the pumping station by us is working and our water levels are dropping. He has no power or running water, but the land lines are still up (No cells!).
Andrew Dalio, Metairie, LA, USA
My wife and I rode out the hurricane in a bed & breakfast. After the power failed, we ventured into the storm to seek medical attention for another of the guests that had been injured by flying glass when one of the windows was blown in by debris. We were caught up in a crowd of about 20 intent on stealing whatever wasn't destroyed. Groups were breaking into cars and stealing what they could easily remove - CDs, change and anything left inside.
When the groups found a store without metal screening, they would break a large window and several people would go inside and pass anything of value to those outside to take away. I don't think it was a street gang - the group was both male and female. And they didn't bother us. It was quite frightening to watch law and order break down like that when we felt so helpless over our cell phones not working.
Jeremy, Salt Lake City, UT
My friend is in Alabama and in the path of the hurricane. At the time of writing this, she said there appeared to be waves up to her windows, but the power is still on. She expects the worst is yet to come (to her area) but feels safe in her flat. Her car hasn't been so lucky, however.
B. Elton, Edinburgh
My friend managed to escape the hurricane in time. They are now on their way to Austin to find refuge. Many people have come this far to find vacancies in hotels. I will be hosting seven people in my little two-bedroom apartment. What a dreary situation for all.
Ruksana , Austin, TX
While my brother and I are taking our chances on the tenth floor of our medical school residence hall, the rest of my family evacuated today. Unfortunately they are stuck in congested traffic with the thousands that decided to leave at the last minute. The problem is we don't even know when they will stop because nearly all the hotels in the state are already occupied!
Yazen Joudeh, New Orleans, Louisiana USA
My friend did not evacuate Gulfport, Mississippi where there is 10+ feet of water. I spoke to her the night before the hurricane. She was 15 miles inland and had to go because they wouldn't have power and she wanted to save the battery to tell us she was alright. I am hoping she was in a shelter and am distraught that I do not know that she and the children are safe. It may be weeks until they get the mobile towers operating again.
Courtney, Jacksonville, FL, United States
I am preparing supplies to bring my family following the storm. My family came to our aid last year when Hurricane Ivan struck our home in Pensacola, Florida. Now I'm returning the favor. I only hope that I will be able to reach them.
Paul Miranne, Pensacola Florida
My daughter and son in law are in Biloxi at the VA Hospital - my son in law volunteered to stay to work with patients transferred from Gulfport. My daughter is five months pregnant. They were allowed to take their 2 cats and a rabbit with them into the hospital. We have not had any news since they left their home Sunday morning. Their apartment is 2 blocks from the ocean in Biloxi, so no idea if that is still intact.
Kate Lloyd-Rees, Mississaugaa, Ontario, Canada
My wife and infant daughter went to visit our family in New Orleans. They safely evacuated to Memphis, but no electricity and no clean water is a problem when you have a baby. My mother is arranging to do what was once unthinkable, and put my 88-year old grandmother in a home in Memphis, as she can't return to New Orleans and give her proper care. Their homes are ruined. And to think we have to separate the family even more because of this one storm, is possibly the hardest reality to face.
Jacob Gaffney, London, England
My daughter is stationed aboard a naval ship on the coast in MS, I finally got a call this morning, her car is gone and there is 8' of water on the pier but she is safe! Thank God and pray for those less fortunate!
Jean Davis, Acworth, GA USA
My family and I evacuated on Sunday to relatives in Northern Louisiana. Though I thought it couldn't get worse when the hurricane ruined my 17th birthday, the days after are hurting much more. Seeing pictures and hearing news of after effects of the hurricane, and not knowing about my house, about my friends, about my LIFE. It was such a sudden thing that my family didn't think to grab a lot. Everything is sitting in that house and slowly drowning under the Mississippi River. Our family income has halted, and all cell phone connection to any friends or family is down. It's such a desperate feeling, and I never imagined that it would make me angry to listen to all these new broadcasters talking about the area, because it feels like they are trying to make it seem like they care so much.
Craig Gilliam, New Orleans, LA, USA
I happened to be out of town while the storm was brewing. I caught the last flight into New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. I then rushed to secure my house the best I could and then fled west. A good friend had rescued my dog a day earlier. I'm now in Arnaudville, LA sleeping on the floor of a friend's house. I'm just contemplating what to do next.
Bryan Bowlby, New Orleans USA
My grandparents live in New Orleans and my family live in Southern Mississippi. I'm in the Air Force stationed in Turkey. I'm worried for my family, but I can't reach them because the phone lines are down. I'm sure my parents are fine because they live on a large hill, but my grandparents all live in New Orleans and I've seen no good news from there yet. All I can do is pray they repair the phone lines soon so I can call home.
We returned from the Gulf last Friday but even as we left, our friends believed that it was just another tropical storm on the way. By Sunday, they reported that they were evacuating to northern Mississippi and their sense of despair about the possible loss of property after so many years of hard work was clear. With the news of record surges in Mississippi we understand that our holiday photographs and memories refer to things and places that are no more.
Pippa Turney, Gassino, Italy
All of my family live in New Orleans. My biggest worry is my parents age 81 and 82 who could not leave and stayed with other family members in a two story house. I am heartbroken and worried sick about them. It seems they may have lost everything they own. My parents are too old to start life over. Once New Orleans airport opens I will be en route to locate them and help them clean up. It's all very sad. New Orleans is such a beautiful and friendly city.
Cynthia McAllister, Ilchester, Yeovil (Somerset)
My poor city is devastated, but that is nothing compared to the heartache I feel for our neighbors in Mississippi and New Orleans. Tomorrow I hope to be able to go back to Mobile and find out what has become of my home and my friends who chose to remain.
Angela, Mobile, AL, USA
We still remember the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. God bless the folks who live on the Gulf Coast - recovery is long and hard, but they will come through.
Chris, Homestead, FL
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
The hotels and shelters are full and the spaces at the gas stations and shopping centers are filling up with caravans of people escaping the storm.
Elizabeth , Houston, Texas
I am originally from the Mississippi Gulf coast and have lived through numerous hurricanes but according to all of my relatives this is the worst yet. My mother's house, which I just paid for is completely destroyed. I have 5 siblings who live there and they will all be financially and mentally devastated. This hurricane has struck the poorest area of the U.S. I wish everyone good luck.
Elliotte Jacobs, London, UK
My family have a house & business in between Gulfport and Biloxi. I was speaking with them on the web cam until 7.00am their time, when they lost power. Before the phones went, I was told that they had lost their roof, barn, 2 oak trees and many pines and they were letting in water. I have not heard from them since.
Natalie McVeigh, Oakley, England
We live in the Atlanta area and last night there were tornados all around us as a result of the Hurricane's storm system. Being to the northeast of the storm's center is the worst place to be because that is where the strongest winds and water damage occur. We are hundreds of miles inland and can only imagine the damage closer to shore.
Becky, Duluth, Georgia USA
My daughter and son-in-law live in Bogalusa, LA where the strongest winds were. They evacuated but they live in a mobile home. They have not returned yet but we fear they've lost everything.
Rev Tom McMnaus, Cross Keys, Newport, Gwent
My friends and family have evacuated and are quite unsure when they will be able to return. And what they will be returning to. Parts worse hit have not been seen yet. I grew up in the New Orleans area. I am devastated and pray we can over come this.
R Poy, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
This storm is incredible. I reside on the campus of the University of Mississippi. Trees have fallen and the rain is torrential. And Oxford is over 300 miles from the coast. This will definitely be the most expensive natural disaster in American history.
John Shearin, Oxford, MS, USA
My cousins and I went to Houston, TX before the traffic backed up too much, thank goodness because we had 4 adults, 1 baby, 2 dogs, and 5 cats with us over 2 cars. I know my neighborhood flooded, but I heard only 5 feet of water which is better than in parts of the city that were completely submerged. I fear what we have to return to, and I am anxious to find out when we are allowed to return. I don't think my place of work will be infrastructuraly ready for business for a long time and I wonder how long I will have to go with no income. We faired better than many residents, though, and I am thankful we are safe. I hope there was no loss of life in New Orleans. It is too early to tell.
Nina, New Orleans, USA
Baton Rouge, while never in the path of the hurricane has been experiencing rain on and off since Sunday night. Louisiana State University here has closed down for two days. Most residents on the ground floor of my apartment complex have sandbags outside their doors in case of flooding. This morning the electricity went off around 9am and came back on only at 4pm. It rained during this time and there were gusts of wind from time to time. A street nearby has incurred some damage with some really old trees splitting into half and falling onto the road. But otherwise most people here seem to be safe and dry and we can only hope that nearby New Orleans and other affected parishes get back onto their feet as soon as possible.
Sirisha, Baton Rouge, USA
All of our houses, including those of my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents are reported to be under at least eight feet of water. With the exception of me, who is away at veterinary school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, my entire family is homeless. Even best case scenario, all of their houses are severely damaged and uninhabitable for weeks if not months.
L Esposito, Chalmette, La
I fled the city last Saturday and relocated with many in my office to Monroe LA. Every hotel to Dallas is full. It's late and I just heard from a phone call on television that a levee on the 17th Street canal has breeched and the lake is pouring into the city. I took a chance and stayed when Ivan hit and I was lucky. I took no chances this time. Thanks to satellite images and the web we all knew this was bad. This is your space program at work.
Rick Baxter, New Orleans, USA
My family of 9 have evacuated from our seaside home which I spent 20 years working on and where all my effort went. Now I know that material possessions are worthless and only family counts.
Al Jorggenson, New Orleans, Louisiana
The remnants of Hurricane Katrina, now a "modest tropical storm" are just now coming up to steam in the Memphis, Tennessee Area. We're experiencing extremely heavy winds and my wind gauge has just registered a 72 mile per hour burst. Numerous trees are down in the area and the creeks and stream are already full. We have several hours of this to go yet. Coming off of a 4 week dry spell, I thought that the ground would absorb much of this water. However, it appears that the sun baked the clay soil so thoroughly that most water is running off resulting in an amplification of the flooding. Many neighborhoods in the area have suffered extreme wind damage from trees and debris. Power is out in many areas. This is less than 1 half the power of Katrina at landfall and it is still causing damage 350 miles inland. Peace all and have a pleasant morning.
Jim Pike, Memphis, TN