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Hurricane Katrina Updates

Last Updated: 26-Apr-2007 2:38 AM

Due to the limited amount of information and also a source of reliable internet, I will try to update the site every 12noon and 6pm.

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While searching, I came across footage of Hurricane Katrina from our friends at Be sure to check out all three parts below.

Part I
This segment is from my 2005 DVD entitled "Tracking the Hurricanes: 2005". Here, in part one, I begin tracking hurricane Katrina with my colleague, Mike Watkins, in south Florida. From there, Mike and I head over to the coast of Mississippi to complete the mission of observing and documenting one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history. However, the story does not end with landfall as we will see in part two.

Part II
This is the second part of the three part series of my Katrina documentary. This comes from my successful "Tracking the Hurricanes: 2005" DVD which chronicles the landfalling U.S. hurricanes during the historic 2005 hurricane season. In part two, the action really begins. It is now daytime on August 29, 2005 and Katrina is making landfall along the central Gulf Coast. I am in Gulfport, Mississippi working with colleague Mike Watkins. We are seeking refuge at a hotel near I-10 along hwy 49 in Gulfport. We have set up three remotely operated cameras down along the waterfront and are hoping to capture extraordinary video- as well as stream it live to the world. Little did we know that the storm surge would be so enormous that our three camera systems would be washed away- two of them lost forever. The third was found but human error prevented it from working properly. I shift my focus from finding the other missing "black boxes" to documenting the people of a hurricane-torn Mississippi.

Part III
This is the third part of my three part series of videos from the "Tracking the Hurricanes: 2005" DVD of hurricane Katrina. This video picks up 47 days after Katrina along the battered coast of Mississippi. We make our way to Waveland where my colleague and I were going to ride out Katrina in the "safety" of the fire department (make sure you watch parts one and two to understand the sequence of events). We interview fire chief David Garcia as we drive through an almost completely flattened Waveland. The video does not begin to convey the enormity of the devastation there. I end the Katrina section with a music tribute that I composed and performed myself just for the DVD. I think you will find it moving. You can learn more about our work at


We Remember — The day the changed our lives. Stories of hope and rememberences and HOPE.

26-Apr-06 @ 5:45 p.m. CDT
CSX Rail Project Wins 49-48 FightIn a nail-biting 49-48 vote [in the U.S. Senate] that tested lawmakers' loyalties Wednesday, senators voted with Mississippi's powerful GOP delegation to keep alive a controversial $700 million project to relocate a rail line along the Mississippi Coast so the state can build a new east-west highway.[more]

26-Apr-06 @ 12:49 a.m. CDT
Railroad Relocation Project Gaining Steam, Editorial by Sen. Lott (R-Miss.), Citizens' Watchdog Group Criticizes CSX Plan — New news stories from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and CSX Railroad; relocations possible?

19-Jan-06 @ 1:00 a.m. CST
CSX in Mississippi Makes National Headlines — CSX made the headlines as it was opening track along the MS coast. The entire line isn't back up yet but apparently some parts are.

Train Deal On Track? CSX, states seeking innovative solution...The whistle might blow again for CSX trains on the Coast by early March if a deal isn't struck to sell the railway's land to the state government, which has plans to turn the tracks into an east-west connector road.

21-Nov @ 08:10 p.m. CST
A story about the damages to the trolleys in New Orleans. CLICK HERE to read the story.

21-Nov @ 12:00 a.m. CST
New maps for NOAA are out, showing the storm surge and the depths of the waters during Hurricane Katrina. The red arrow indicates where our house is at.

view a larger image of the surge map from FEMA
(file size ~583 KB)

source: FEMA,


22-Oct @ 11:30 p.m. CDT
A story printed by the Sun Herald on 16-Oct-2005. An idea about moving the CSX Railroad right-of-way from its current location to a farther north route, turing the "old line" into a park/transit system. CLICK HERE to read the full story.

19-Oct @ 11:55 p.m. CDT
While eating lunch this afternoon, I was watching CNN in the student union. They had a story about a member of the WLOX (Biloxi/Gulfport) team that created two different videos. Images include Biloxi and Gulfport before and after Hurricane Katrina devistated the area.

Many of these areas are places that I knew and went by almost every day last spring. It is a startiling reminder of the power and devistation a hurricane can produce. Take a few minutes to view these two videos, I belevie that these will be one of the best ways to teach future generations what has happened.

Biloxi: Before & After Hurricane Katrina [00:02:25]
Hurricane Katrina wiped clean some areas of Biloxi's beach front. In other places, she lifted massive casino barges onto land. Here's a look at Biloxi before and after.

Gulfport: Before & After Hurricane Katrina [00:02:36]
Here's a before and after look along the beach in Gulfport, showing just how much we've lost from Hurricane Katrina.


18-Oct @ 02:59 a.m. CDT
Two stories that may be of interest expecially after Hurricanes Kantrina and Rita.

Hurricane Katrina Damage Reroutes NASA Shuttle Booster Trips

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—Segments of the NASA shuttle's solid-rocket boosters are being rerouted to and from their Utah manufacturing plant because of railway damage done by Hurricane Katrina, according to a story in Florida Today of Melbourne, Fla. Katrina damaged almost 40 miles of CSX rail line between New Orleans and Pascagoula, Miss., knocking out six bridges on the route [including the briges crossing the bay of Bay St. Louis, Miss., and the Biloxi's Back Bay—TPNet]

So NASA and booster manufacturer ATK Thiokol are shipping segments over an alternate route that winds through Alabama on its way to Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The 3,000-mile trip between KSC and Corinne, Utah, now takes a day longer than the typical 7 to 8 days to complete, but the new course carries the highly flammable segments through less populated areas.

It's probably a better route," said ATK Thiokol program manager Russell Bakes. "We will continue to maintain the old route as a way to go as well, but this is a very viable route, and it's one that we are pleased with."
Source: TRAINS [Magazine] News Wire page for 12-Oct-2005.


New Orleans Amtrak Station Now Also A Courthouse

NEW ORLEANS—On the second floor of the shabby Amtrak station, in a cavernous old room with missing ceiling tiles and dingy green paint, a handful of tired but well-humored people in jeans and T-shirts sat around folding tables piled with scrounged office equipment, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune. The recent scene was like any number of makeshift relief operations that have been set up in unlikely places all over New Orleans.

But then the doors at the rear of the room swung open and two guards herded 21 men in plastic handcuffs into the back corner. A few minutes later, the doors swung again, and a burly man with unkempt gray hair and a black robe draped over his arm strode in, bear-hugged a woman he hadn't seen since before Hurricane Katrina hit and called to order the 11:30 a.m. session of bond hearings for the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.

The real courthouse, a few blocks away, was flooded by the hurricane, and engineers say it won't reopen for as many as five months. The Amtrak station has been a godsend - prisoners are jailed on the first floor and court is held on the second floor.

On Monday, the courtroom got its first high-profile defendants - three New Orleans police officers charged in connection with the televised beating of a 64-year-old man they were trying to arrest in the French Quarter.

But making do in a train station will not be easy, especially for the prisoners.

The 21 men in handcuffs last week were arrested mostly for curfew violations and small amounts of drugs they were carrying when police stopped them. In the pre-Katrina world, the busts would have been little more than a nuisance -- a night in jail and then finding someone to go downtown to the courthouse to bail them out in the morning.

But all the men given cash bonds these days face a much more arduous path. Once bond is set, the prisoners are bused to Hunt Correctional Center outside Baton Rouge. And because the Orleans Parish court clerk's office has moved to temporary offices in Baton Rouge, the money to get people out of jail must be posted there -- a 90-minute drive north from New Orleans.
Source: TRAINS [Magazine] News Wire page for 12-Oct-2005.


14-Oct @ 06:00 p.m. CDT
After a month-plus after Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast, things are starting to come back together. For example, U.S. Highway 90 is open but is limited to one way each direction and you must switch from the eastbound lanes to westbound lanes and vice versa, due to damage to the road.

One of the fellow members of an online newsgroup, has given me permission to use some of his photographs of damage to the CSX Railroad in Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, and Waveland. Click the images below to goto the page.


22-Sep @ 01:20 a.m. CDT
Well, with classes back in full swing, I have been putting a lot of effort into classes, so I haven't really been able to work on these pages. I went to Gulfport last weekend, words cannot explain it; it is amazing! Just the power that nature has, there is not a word that can fully explain the destruction.

I went to the Edgewater Mall (or what's left of it) and most of the other building around the shopping center were totally distroyed. The McDonalds, that sat along Highway 90, is now just a concrete pad, the only things that tells you that it was a McD's was it's large sign.

I also went to dad's house, man it's going to be torn down -- the floors and the entire structure is damaged. Most of the floors are now very brittle and will crumble under very light pressure. To get around the house, you have to walk on the beams or you will fall through the flooring and hit the ground 10 feet below you. Trust me it was SCARY -- one of my feet fell through!

Anyway, I have the photos from the trip. CLICK HERE to goto the pages. Note that there are a lot of pictures and will take a while for each image to load.

13-Sep @ 10:00 p.m. CDT
First off, I want to apologize for not updating the page sooner. Second, I will be heading down to Gulfport on Friday night, so depending on phone service, people might not be able to get through -- just leave a message and I'll try to call you back, or I will once I am back in Hattiesburg.

As for my education, classes have restarted, things are getting back to normal, and I am still trying to get used to the new campus. It's strange being on a larger campus, but I do like it. Have been getting to know some people, though I am still guarded.

Anyway, I have heard one report, from one of my newsgroups, that CSX is considering not to rebuild their line on the Mississippi Gulf Coasts. Though I have gone to CSX's website, and have found opposite reports.

Have an early class tomorrow, so I better sign off for the night.


09-Sep @ 1:25 p.m. CDT
I am back in Hattiesburg.

All my services are back up and running, including Food Services, which started serving meals today. Anyway have driven around town, a lot of damage is apparent, though, not nearly as bad as Gulf Coast. I'll try to have shots of the deviation later today or tomorrow.


07-Sep @ 8:30 a.m. EDT
We were supposed to leave at 4am this morning, but both Becky and I weren't able to fall asleep...she called me at 12am telling me to readjust my alarm for 8am. We are planning on leaving around 9am and heading to Hattiesburg and then Becky heading down to Gulfport. If I am not able to update the site, the server at the school is not running, and I will try to update the site as soon as possible.


06-Sep @ 12:30 a.m. EDT
Have been doing some research and looked at the NOAA website, and have found the satelite images of of northern Gulfport, including dad's surrounding area.


Dad is shipping the two cameras, he took to Gulfport, to Atlanta, and we will pick them up and have them developed and scanned for the site tomorrow.


04-Sep @ 11:00 p.m. EDT
Well, first off it has been a better day. Went to the doctor, got a new Rx because I had the rest of my supply in Gulfport and i needed it really bad.

Anyway, to get out of the hotel, Becky and I went via MARTA (Atlanta's Mass Transit System, including light rail!!!) to Underground Atlanta, the World of Coca-Cola, the CNN Center, and the Centennial Olympic Park. Was great to get out of the hotel and see Atlanta. This is my first time to be in Atlanta — not just I have "been to Atlanta" (at it's airport) but actually, in Atlanta.

Here are some pictures from the adventure...CLICK HERE


03-Sep @ 10:00 p.m. EDT
Granddad found us a new trailer to live in, until we are able to rebuild. Is supposed to leave Arkansas on Monday and arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday. Dad is still there in Gulfport, and he said it is getting really bad there. There have been carjackings, robberies, gun fights, etc., ect.

Becky and I will stay in Atlanta until next Saturday. We well leave Atlanta, and head towards Hattiesburg, next Saturday (10-Sept.)

On a sad note, dad was talking to an official there (in Gulfport) are thought to be more deaths than what the media is saying. Many say it is easily 2,000 to over 5,000 dead.


03-Sep @ 3:45 p.m. EDT
I have added a link to the American Red Cross and a link to Salvation Army's site, for donations.

Even if it's a dollar, it will help!

Also, have heard from my dad around 1pm EST.

He will stay in Gulfport, staying at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Becky and I will stay in Atlanta, until either Tuesday (or later), heading to Gulfport. I know that I will be heading back to Hattiesburg on Saturday, the 10th, with classes resuming on that following Monday (12-Sept.).

Dad has taken a lot of photos, using two disposable cameras, I will try to have them developed and scanned with in the next two weeks.


02-Sep @ 8:45 p.m. EDT
My dad has called in...
Dad's house was ruined, with water going over the railing in our Florida Room and flowing into the living room. All the floors in the house are warped and very soft, was able to get a lot of our belongings out, though most were wet from the flooding. But we were able to come back and get our things, while so many others will not be able to do that.

Dad will stay at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport tonight.

I have also learned that USM will reopen the dorms on the 10th of September, with classes resuming on 12-Sep-05.


02-Sep @ 5:45 p.m. EDT
Have talked to Becky's son, Keven, said that my dad will be spending the night in the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport -- probably due to no power at the hotel. Also, dad is going to try to get to Becky's house and try to see the status of his house today. He is supposed to call around 6 or 7pm EST tonight.

I will update the page as soon as I get off the phone with him.


02-Sep @ 3:00 p.m. EDT
Becky and I are still in the Atlanta metro. Dad left this morning at 4am EST for Gulfport. He called in to tell us that Hattiesburg, MS, has been hit really hard and as of this minute, supposedly, classes will meet no sooner than 16-Sept.

More info to come...


02-Sep @ 4:00 a.m. EDT
Have been searching the web for some videos that will show what a devastating blow Gulfport, Biloxi, and other areas affected by the storm. Here is some video links from, I strongly suggest you have a broadband connection:

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall
Katrina aftermath video from Gulfport, MS
8/31: Shots of Gulfport from today- then on to Biloxi
8/31: A tour of Biloxi, north of the peninsula, early this afternoon

Also a lot of photos from Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Gulfport, Biloxi, and Ocean Springs from

Aerial Survey of Regions Ravaged by Hurricane Katrina

More to come...


01-Sep @ 10:50 p.m. EDT
We are still in the Atlanta, GA hotel. Dad will be leaving with some of his co-workers this morning (at 4am EST) to Gulfport, to help with reopening the hotel and also doing his other responsibilities. I will stay in Atlanta, until either Jackson (MS) or Hattiesburg gets their services back.

No new news dealing with the house, though more dead — more than 200 people confirmed dead. God Bless their souls and their families.

Pray for the people in New Orleans and also everyone that are missing their loved ones and without a home; there are A LOT of people that are a lot worse off than me.


31-Aug @ 8:20 p.m.
Looking through all the different sites, the Sun Herald Newspaper's editor sums it all up...

"Generations of Mississippi Coast dwellers have enjoyed their piece of paradise with a certain enthusiastic embrace of the good life that is a part of our heritage. The good times have rolled through the decades with a party that never quite ends fueled in more recent times with the glitz of electric lit rows of casinos and a booming economy."
     the entire article.


31-Aug @ 8:00 p.m.
Here are some photos from Panama City Beach, Fla. taken on Tuesday. Note that, Panama City Beach is over 200 miles away from Gulfport. Also, these photos were taken around 6pm, and the eye of the storm was north of Hattiesburg, MS at that time. These waves are over 25 feet high and the wind is blowing over 25mph constantly, with over 50mph gusts.

More updates and also photos will come...


31-Aug @ 6:30 p.m.
We are now in the Atlanta, GA metro. (Near Atlanta's Six Flags theme park.)

If you NEED to talk to us, call (770) 739-2800, room 116.

We do have some hope on my dad's house. Most of the reports of the Biloxi River flowing over the I-10 bridge (which is over 50ft. high), is not true, though we are not 100%, not even 50% sure it's still there, but we are praying.

Below is the website of WLOX-TV (a NBC affiliate in Biloxi/Gulfport) of the area around Gulfport's & Biloxi's coast area. Most of these area's were my "night life" took place.

WLOX-TV -- Main Page

WLOX-TV -- Video Page


30-Aug @ 11:25 p.m.
Will be moving to Atlanta, GA tomorrow morning. Have talked to members of my school in Hattiesburg, MS, and was told that it might be more than two weeks before we can restart classes.

Have had some good news though, my Dad's girlfriend's house is in bad shape but IS STILL THERE...Still, no confirmation on my dad's house, though.


30-Aug @ 11:52 a.m.
Have not heard anything new -- as of yet. Though, we are starting to make plans on How, When, & Where we are going to go. Downtown Gulfport and surrounding areas are confirmed decimated.

Only major commercial and residential buildings are still standing. Do not know status on the house though.

I will upload some pictures later on tonight.

If you need to get a hold of us call us at the Bay Point Marriott in Panama City Beach, Fla. by calling: 1-800-874-7105 room 2239 or 2240.


30-Aug @ 1:35 a.m.
We have heard some unconfirmed information about the Biloxi River flowing over I-10. At normal tide, the bridge is over 30 ABOVE the river.

Also, many friends that are in the area, are reporting that the information that is provided by the national outlets is not as devastating as it ACTUALLY IS.

Our plan is to stay in Florida until further notice. Will try to update page by 5pm, with hopefully more info...and pictures...


29-Aug @ 12:45 p.m.
Hurricane Katrina has struck the Gulf Coast, narrowly missing New Orleans, though has hit Gulfport, Miss. -- where my father lives. Due to information provided by different news channels, we are fearing the worst, our house has been destroyed.

We are currently in Panama City Beach, Fla. and planning to stay here until we are allowed to return.

Please pray for all the victims affected by this storm...



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