Like many of you, I know a couple of people in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina.
I have a friend who is a sportswriter in New Orleans and lives in Slidell, which the eye wall went through. Lake Ponchartrain, the Gulf and the hurricane flooded the city. My friend had evacuated to Tennessee before the storm hit and doesn't really know much about the condition of his home, but he thinks it was affected more by structural damage (roof, debris) than flooding. He doesn't know when he'll be able to go back to survey the damage.
On top of that, he's a reporter for the N.O. paper, which is relocating to Baton Rouge. He doesn't know yet if he'll go there to try to pitch in. Since he covers sports, he doesn't know if he'll be needed.
There are definite sports angles to this story. Tulane's football team got out before the storm, but cannot return. This week's game at Southern Miss has been postponed and they've gone on to Dallas, where they will be hosted by SMU and will continue to practice there. The school itself isn't open and isn't likely to be anytime soon unless it can relocate somewhere.
The New Orleans Saints also got out and went to California to prepare for an exhibition game with Oakland. They open the regular season at Carolina, but they have their home opener September 18th. It's highly unlikely the city, let alone the Superdome, will be ready for them by then. My friend thinks they may play their entire home season in San Antonio, but nothing has been announced yet in terms of a contingency plan for the Saints.
The Superdome is also the home field of Tulane, as well as the host of the Sugar Bowl. There is no word yet on whether the Sugar Bowl folks think their game, scheduled for January 2nd, will have to be moved. Since that is four months off, it may be too early to consider that.
On the other hand, the Governor of Louisiana is suggesting it could be 3-4 months before the city is inhabitable. If that's the case, Sugar Bowl officials have that to think about too (besides their own personal situations).
The New Orleans Bowl is played there as well. It's scheduled for Dec 20 in the Superdome.
Officials are working to evacuate the rest of New Orleans. Keith Olbermann on MSNBC said last night that it would be the first total evacuation of a major American city since the Civil War (Atlanta and Richmond). Those hunkered down in the Superdome will be bussed to Houston and housed in the Astrodome in the next 48 hours.
My friend wonders if the city will ever be inhabitable.
I also have a subscriber to my sites who lives in the Biloxi area. I have tried to contact him through e-mail, but haven't gotten a response. Obviously, if he's still in the area, he has no power, so I'm assuming he didn't evacuate, or didn't evacuate far enough away to avoid power loss.