Aug. 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall on the Gulf Coast

The Category 4 hurricane approached New Orleans, where the most destruction was expected.
4:19 | 08/29/17

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Transcript for Aug. 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall on the Gulf Coast
This is an ABC news special report. Good morning I'm Heather Cabot in New York we want to update you on the progress of that potentially catastrophic storm. Hurricane Katrina people all along the gulf closed as you know had been bracing for its arrival. Now in the last few minutes. It has made landfall. The US National Hurricane Center says the Katrina and made landfall just east of grand IL that is about sixty miles south of New Orleans has traveling. At about fifteen miles per hour wind gusts of about a 185 miles per hour and winds about 250 miles per hour now as you know was downgraded overnight from a category five. To a category four but it is still expected to be a formidable. Menace there are tornado tornado warnings at this hour in effect for Louisiana. Mississippi Alabama and Florida. Of course the greatest concern for potential destruction and loss of life has been in New Orleans and that's for ABC's Jeffrey Kaufmann and is at this hour Jeffrey. Whether we are certainly feeling country does arrival we've been doing wind and rain bands. I since well before midnight and in the last hour to they have picked up I was just out on the street I'm not sure will be government go out again. The that the streets are. Certainly would lift water that is having trouble. Draining into this does cities consumers' to a system and pump system and that is of course before the storm surge is really arrived in the city. Indians daunting moment a nativity moment for the studio at Billy clearly that Norwood. And it had hoped would never come. I can tell you though that the power is still aren't. That we still have lights and that they seem to be holding how much longer we don't know. Jeffrey we understand there was a mandatory evacuation in effect over the weekend. Have you seen anybody out an all are the streets mostly clear. You know we look just out and and we got our cautiously and with their deployment which we will not brought any more and that's coming soon but I can tell you what the street. RMD. We were down Bourbon Street we work on canal street. And the only people we saw were a few hotel security guards standing by the door purely out the windows. A remarkably some of the hotels are staying open a little more solid structures with limited number of guests that that's where we are. But no there is no one on the streets. And terms are where you are can you accept the same price as their possibly that you may actually have to go to. A higher ground at some point. And I wouldn't be possible at this point we chose our hotel very carefully. It's a relatively new structure built with poured concrete in. Our structural steel I was staying in the third and fourth floors are above the highest flood and floodwater possibilities. And so forth for us the real concern is do is wind damage in windows. I'm and if necessary we will take cover in the corner of the fire stairs what the rest of the guests from the staff here. But I think we'll be fine in terms of higher ground. Remember that there are 101000 more people not far from here at cooking show up at the superdome most of people in the United States may think of New Orleans at that a place to come and vacation as a great food and enjoyed Bourbon Street but the reality that this city is quite different very very port city. Very few people are not many people have no ours I have no at no means of getting out of town. And so the people people and people who were too little to move are now taking shelter in the superdome some 101000 or more of them are there. While we appreciate your time thank you so much stay safe out there and of course we'll continue to check in with you throughout the morning. And again as Jeffrey said the greatest concern for potential destruction and loss of life has been in New Orleans with that's because half of this city sits below sea level. And relies on a series of levees and ponting canals to keep the city drive but. With possible a tropical storm surge of up to 28 feet. A residents are bracing for the worst. The mayor of that city mayor Ray Nagin says he expects the city's pumping system to fail. During the height of the storm. And he is calling this a once in a lifetime. A badge and of course ABC news will continue to cover this story throughout the morning we will have full coverage on Good Morning America. And of course stay with us as the story develops I'm Heather Cabot in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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