Hurricanes striking the eastern coast of Florida are a seasonal cliché. Floridians plan for them, stocking plywood and bottled water in preparation for each year's big blow. 1992's Hurricane Andrew notwithstanding (the "costliest disaster in U.S history" with 15 directly- and 25 indirectly-caused deaths and $30-billion in property damage, according to a St. Petersburg Times retrospective)—that experience shows. Florida usually weathers these storms.
Katrina, however, jumped the fence, running into the Gulf of Mexico with Category 5 force, heading straight for New Orleans. And the blogosphere watched aghast, and commented, and worried, and sprang into action to offer relief.
Blog watchers at Bloggers Blog reported the virtual storm."A Technorati search for Hurricane Katrina now [Monday] gives over 9,000 results. Nearly double the number we reported on Sunday... Humor writer Dave Barry even blogged about the event." (Barry, who lives in South Florida, writes, "The good news is, I'm fine. There's virtually no hurricane damage where I am. The bad news is, this is because I'm in California.")
At Rising Slowly, the "UK Weather Blog," coverage of Katrina began on Saturday, when the storm, which had already killed 5 in its first assault on the Florida coast, turned around and headed back toward the penninsula.
The blog GulfSails is dedicated to the hurricane; its sub-head now reads: "Located in New Orleans - I will be riding out Hurricane Katrina with a generator, some beer and the ability to post via cell phone after we lose hardlines. I will attempt at least hourly posts. Pictures will be available until land lines are lost." The blogger reminds us that "New Orleans is effectively an island and there are only three exits out of the city." An earlier post worried about the people left unevacuated due to a class-action lawsuit.
New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin... has been asked several times why he has not issued a mandatory evacuation of Orleans Parish. (All other SE Louisiana parishes have as of Saturday evening.) His replies have constantly been that he can't because of a legal matter that he has the City Attorney looking into... Apparantly, if he orders a mandatory evacuation, individuals who can not personally evacuate the city for whatever reason become the legal responsibility of the City Of New Orleans. The closest estimate is that there are 100,000 New Orleanians who have no personal transportation.
Poker-blogger adb_davoice, taunts Katrina on Random Musings of Mine with "Do Your Worst Biotch!" The blogger muses, "You know it's not going to be a good day when you live 3 blocks (literally) from the beach where JIM CANTORE from the Weather Channel is doing his updates. This guy is like a freaking hurricane magnet!"