Hurricane Katrina hit Florida late Thursday, August 25 and then moved into the Gulf of Mexico, gaining power and momentum. Meteorologists predicted Katrina would hit Louisiana and Mississippi early Monday -- most likely as a Category 4 hurricane. Gulf Coast officials asked residents to evacuate their homes.
At 5 PM on Saturday, August 27, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin announced a voluntary (later, mandatory) evacuation of the city. Greyhound, Amtrak and airlines halted service late Saturday night. President Bush was vacationing at his Crawford, Texas ranch, perhaps clearing brush as seen in the above August 9 photo.
Here is a visual timeline of what happened next: