Katrina made landfall early Monday in Louisiana and Mississippi as a category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds exceeding 145 miles per hour. More than 80 deaths have been attributed to the storm, a toll that is likely to increase as first responders reach areas that are currently inaccessible due to severe flooding. Flood waters in New Orleans are rising today after a key levee failed late Monday, leaving some areas of the city under 15 feet of water.
New Orleans Internet companies were showing mixed results Tuesday, but the outlook for coming weeks is uncertain. The web site for Zipa, a New Orleans hosting and colocation provider, remained available. But other providers were knocked offline, including ISP Southern Star. Early Tuesday the staff of the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper, which had been live-blogging the storm on NOLA.com, was forced to evacuate as flood waters continued to rise.
Most of New Orleans is without electricity, and preliminary estimates from city officials say it could be weeks before power is fully restored in some areas. Internet service providers can run on generator power for several days, but those generators require diesel fuel to operate, and flooding may make fuel deliveries difficult.