Online UpdateThe Sound and the Fury

From out of the blue – literally – Katrina slammed into Mississippi.

In this state, three people are dead and half a million residents are without power in Katrina’s wake.

The storm completely blind sided the state. When Katrina hit the Miami area days ago, no one was worried about the small hurricane.

But after gaining strength from the Gulf, the storm ravaged the Mississippi Gulf coast and New Orleans Monday night.

And even though there were warnings, it was as if no one really thought this storm was this critically serious.

Early estimates of damage are at approximately $25 billion, and that’s sounding conservative at this point.

The Superdome in New Orleans sustained damage, and many buildings in New Orleans were damaged.

Here in Mississippi, homes and buildings collapsed under Katrina’s rage.

Some students with family members on the coast say the water is neck-deep on some parts of the coast.

Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation, and this storm is devastating to us.

Gas prices have already hurt Mississippians’ pocketbooks, and this storm is not helping.

Crude oil prices shot up to $70 a barrel for the first time as the storm as the storm ripped through the U.S. oil and refinery operations in the Gulf. According to the Clarion Ledger, oil analyst Peter Beutel said, “This is unmitigated, bad news for customers.”

Mississippians did not need this, but we will have to work with what we have.

With Mississippi State University and The University of Southern Mississippi closing Monday, and with Ole Miss closing Tuesday morning, this storm is disrupting students across the state.

It seems as though no official at the universities saw this storm coming, but they are doing the best they can under the circumstances.

Those who have suffered losses and damages will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.