5 p.m. EST
The images coming from the disaster sites in the Southeast are absolutely gut wrenching. There is so much water everywhere. That sounds like a stupid thing to say as they just had a hurricane, but there are literally houses submerged completely in water, with people sitting up on the rooftops waiting for rescue.
I just screened a photo montage that our producer Kara Kearns put together, images of people wandering the rain soaked streets or huddled in blankets looking for shelter. It is a collection of some of the most captivating moments of the storm and recovery efforts so far. She set it to an amazing song. We'll air it for you in the 5 p.m. hour--it's really worth watching.
We aired a live shot this afternoon from Biloxi, and the sky was blue and crystal clear there. That is the ironic thing about these storms--when they are gone the heavens look brand new and the earth seems even older, more desolate than before. This clean up effort is going to take time.
Join us for continuing coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
12 p.m. EST
If you are not a blog person you will roll your eyes, but give me a minute here. Blogs are playing an ever increasing role in major breaking stories. In some instances, the personal accounts and dramatic images are more moving and fascinating on the web than on television. I have been hunting for bloggers talking about Katrina--not a hard task as it is number one on Technorati--and I found some to share with you.
While there are several websites that have done a great job of sharing information, two have been particularly prolific--Nola and Hurricane Track.
Hurricane Track went online in 1999 to provide information about storms in the gulf region. The editor of the site writes today that Katrina is the worst storm he has seen. He thinks that most of the damage is yet untold and says that people in the coastal regions of Mississippi are just beginning to look for loved ones.
Next, Nola.com is a site that provides information about New Orleans. Since the weekend reporters from the Times Picayune have been posting updates and live blogging on the site. Today, a report that special needs citizens are being evacuated yet again, to a field house at Louisiana State University. Also, word that in some parishes the water levels are continuing to rise.
And two blogs were established this weekend just to cover this storm.
Eyes on Katrina is written by reporters from newspapers in Mississippi. One of them writes eloquently about "staircases leading to nowhere." The water levels have risen and there are stairs seemingly suspended in air along the coast. Also, accounts of people coming out of their homes and holding one another and crying in the streets.
At the blog Deadly Katrina, a discussion about what this blogger calls "the golden 72 hours." People trapped in flooded homes must be rescued in the next 3 days to ensure their health and safety. "The clock is ticking," he writes.
Finally, people are using blogs to communicate with loved ones when other methods fail. One of them is a woman named Kaye who started a blog called Hurricane Update at Blogspot. She had no other means of telling her family she was alright and so she posted messages using a wireless blackberry.
There are many others like her on the web today--a testament to their resolve but also just how important this technology is in times like this.