to see on the news that Hurricane Katrina has strengthened to a Category 5, with winds exceeding 175 mph, and headed straight for New Orleans, expected landfall at about 5 - 8 am tomorrow morning.
I can be pretty stoic about a lot of things, ( as a result of having to be "detached" a lot of times when i was a doctor, to prevent emotional exhaustion ) but things which involve human suffering almost always make me cry, and I can only imagine the horror that is felt by the residents of the areas that are anticipating the hurricane to strike them, right now.
Back to hurricane Katrina..
after its onslaught on Florida, it's now in the Gulf Coast heading towards Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with a projected direct path to New Orleans.
The bowl shaped city sits below sea level and is dependent on levees and pumps to keep the water out every day. The bottom of the bowl in New Orleans is 14 feet below sea level and more than 1.5 million people live in the metropolitan area, where a mandatory evacuation order has been issued.
A direct hit is devastating with storm surge up to 25 feet and could wind up submerging the city where in worst case scenarios, most of New Orleans would end up under 15 feet of water, without electricity, clean water and sewage for months. Even pumping the water out could take as long as four to six months because the massive pumps that would do the job would be underwater.
Katrina is the 11th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1. That's seven more than typically have formed by now in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane center said.
The season ends Nov. 30.
Meanwhile join me in praying for everyone affected.