Hurricane Katrina-category 4
Hurricane Katrina went from 115 mph sustained winds to 145 mph sustained winds in a few short hours last night. There is now talk of it reaching cat 5 status before making landfall tomorrow morning in Louisiana. To do so, the winds only need to strengthen 11 mph.
Waves near the eye of the storm are topping 32 feet. New Orleans is 12 feet below sea level, so you can do the math. There are reports coming out of New Orleans that though many are leaving, there are those who can't afford to get out of town and who don't have transportation. We need to be prepared to help with the aftermath and if anyone reading this can house people trying to escape the storm or has family/friends nearer to where Katrina is going to make landfall who can help house people be sure to place a comment below.
And don't forget the very strong possibility that Katrina will affect gasoline prices for everyone.
40 years ago, Hurricane Betsy followed a very similar path and was a strong cat 4 hurricane when she made landfall. Now think of all the development and population growth that has occured in the last 40 years. This is not going to be pretty and we need to be prepared to do whatever we can to help.
People who have lived in Lynchburg for 40 years remember another devastating hurricane, Camille. Camille missed passing directly over New Orleans, but its effect was felt there. And then she continued inland to eventually devastate Nelson County, VA. Another interesting website shows the history of hurricanes in VA.