Although New Orleans narrowly missed being the first US cityeverdestroyed by a storm this morning when Hurricane Katrinafirst diminished slightly in power, then edged east, thelack of information from areas in the storm’s path is amatter of the most serious concern. At least 50 deaths havealready been reported, and many neighborhoods and towns areout of communication. Last night in a special edition of’s newsletter and on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell, Whitley Strieber urged prayer that the city be spared. He comments, “I received hundreds of emails from others who were praying. Please keep it up.”

The storm, still a category 3 hurricane packing winds inexcess of a hundred miles an hour, moved through Mississippitoday and into Tennessee, and is believed to be doingserious damage in areas that are in no way prepared toweather a hurricane.

The storm is expected to break up over the Appalachiansovernight, but if it is pushed south by high pressure, itcould retain its structure and move out over the Atlantic. Acharacteristic of storms in recent years is, as they becomemore energetic, they also retain their structure longer.

Far out in the south Atlantic, Tropical Depression Thirteenhas degenerated into a broad area of low pressure, and isbeing monitored by the National Weather Service for signs ofregeneration.

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