Looks like it has indeed moved away from New Orleans a little, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hurting them and the others living around them. Sure, The Big Easy may not find itself under 29 feet of water when all is said and done, but even a quarter that amount would put a massive hurt on the city.

And as the Christian Science Monitor points out, help is already on the way.

HOUSTON – Even before hurricane Katrina made landfall Monday, a massive relief brigade – one that officials hoped would be an equal match for a huge Category 4 storm – was being deployed to help residents along Louisiana’s low-lying coast.

Among them: The Red Cross called upon some 5,000 volunteers, including some who drove in from Washington State. Members of Fark.com, an online discussion board, offered to host fellow forum participants who were fleeing Katrina. And FEMA, the federal disaster-response agency, moved its search-and-rescue teams – as well as stockpiles of ice, water, and food – as close as safety would permit.

The outpouring of aid, possibly the largest the US has ever seen to cope with a domestic natural disaster, stems from Katrina’s imposing size as well as its destination so near the major population center of New Orleans.

By the way, estimates place the catastrophe’s costs at around $25 billion in damages.

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