updated 8/31/2005 1:13:59 PM ET 2005-08-31T17:13:59

Working out of a small office where some staffers are sleeping, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans published a 13-page online edition Wednesday detailing the catastrophic flooding in the city.

The newspaper's staff evacuated its New Orleans building on Tuesday as the waters rose, and moved to an emergency office in Baton Rouge, La., that belongs to that city's newspaper, the Advocate.

It was the second consecutive day the Times-Picayune could not publish a paper edition. Instead, it posted images of 13 news pages on its Web site.

Wednesday's edition carried an icon of tattered hurricane-warning flags next to the paper's logo, along with the words, "Katrina: The Storm We've Always Feared."

The editorial page criticized the looting in New Orleans and bore an editorial cartoon of a man in a T-shirt that reads, "You Gotta Have Faith." The man says: "It's not just the Saints' slogan anymore."

Bret Dupre, creative services manager for the Advocate, said the Times-Picayune had bought about $21,000 of laptops for use at the emergency office in Baton Rouge, which has about 15 seats.

"Some of them are actually sleeping there. They can't find hotel rooms," he said.

Relying on satellite phones, blogs and the hospitality of colleagues, news organizations whose offices and production systems were devastated by Hurricane Katrina have improvised to report the storm's awesome damage.

The Sun Herald of Gulfport, Miss. — one of the places most brutally pounded by Katrina — relied on a team of editors and page designers in Columbus, Ga., to print about 20,000 copies of its Tuesday edition.

Lee Ann Schlatter, a spokeswoman for Knight Ridder, the owner of both the Gulfport and Columbus papers, said the company was sending in dozens of additional journalists from other papers as well as supplies.

"We're trying to get food and water in there," she said Tuesday. "It's real basic survival needs to make it possible for these people to do the job."

With most regular telephones and cell phones rendered useless after the storm, Schlatter said the company was sending in satellite phones — the same piece of equipment used by many reporters covering the war in Iraq.

The Sun Herald also relied on its Web site to carry news of the hurricane. At one point Tuesday, the headline read, "Our tsunami."

The newspaper posted a Web log, or blog, of dispatches from its reporters. It paper also posted a telephone number and asked its employees to call in to report they were safe.

In New Orleans, talk radio station WWL-AM became something of a crisis line, with callers reporting the locations of people who needed to be rescued from attics and rooftops.

On the air Monday night, host Bob Del Giorno described huddling near a closet with employees at the station, near the Superdome, when windows in the station blew out at the height of the storm.

As of Tuesday afternoon, The Associated Press still did not know the condition of its bureau, on the 25th floor of a building near the Superdome.

While five of its reporters stayed in New Orleans to cover the devastation, other staffers set up an improvised bureau at the Baton Rouge newspaper.

Most of the bureau had been working since Saturday at the offices of the Hammond Daily Star, a newspaper about 55 miles away from New Orleans, until the furious storm hit Monday.

"The phones went out, and then after the power failed a few hours later, water started coming through the roof," said Charlotte Porter, the AP's chief of bureau for Louisiana.

In all, the news cooperative had 30 staffers — text, audio, video and photo — covering the disaster, AP spokesman Jack Stokes said.

Television stations in the storm's path also had to scramble to make alternate plans.

WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans, moved on Sunday night from its studios in the city's French Quarter to the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

And WDSU, an NBC affiliate, sent its main anchors to Jackson, Miss., where a station there — both are owned by Hearst Argyle — broadcast its signal onto WDSU's air in New Orleans.

For news outlets of all kinds, simply getting in touch with reporters proved to be extremely difficult. Editors and managers spent much of Monday and Tuesday just trying to track down their staffs and make sure they were safe.

"We're having tremendous problems with phone service," said Carl Redman, managing editor of the Baton Rouge Advocate. "The reporters can't dial in here. The land lines are all messed up. Communication is a very, very big problem."

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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