One of my favorite cities. I fell in love with my wife there, graduated from college there. Today I'm praying for the people down there as Katrina is smashing into the city. This is the sort of disaster that everyone down there accepted, joked about, named a drink after.
I was there in the late 80's. In 1988, I was there when hurricane Francis (a very small hurricane) glanced the city's east edge. It was the biggest storm I'd ever seen in my life. I learned to respect hurricane's in a big hurry, but of course, the locals just joked and shrugged it off. Hurricane's aint no big deal to the locals. That's why I'm very worried that this bon ton roule attitude is going to account for a huge death toll in New Orleans. Even after mandatory evacuation orders, how many people will have been smug enough to try and ride it out in their 150 year old home.
I've been watching the live coverage on WDSU.COM. This New Orleans TV station has done a masterful job. Right now, the hurricane has just passed, and news photographers are sending back pictures of collapsed buildings, a hole in the Superdome, looters running wild in the street, flooding.
Gods speed, New Orleans!