Hurricane Katrina slowly strengthened until it reached level 5, and meteorologists started comparing it to Hurricane Camille. When you hear Camille in the south, images of destruction are the first things that spring to mind. Camille is not a term that's bandied around lightly.
Read about Camille here and here. It came calling in August 1969, and was the worst hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States.
They think Katrina may prove to be worse.
Here is the Unisys page of 2005 Atlantic hurricanes. Scroll down to see currently updated information for Katrina.
As I write, the pressure there is 906 millibars. Yowza.
Some of the computer models project the hurricane to head our way after making landfall, and others show it staying to the west.
If you're the praying type, say a little prayer for New Orleans, which is actually below sea level and protected by levees that are only designed to withstand a category 3 hurricane.
Every time there is a hurricane, TV stations send out "on the scene" weather reporters. They stand out in the rain and wind, I guess to give you a better idea of "what's really going on". I think it's stupid, and that one of them will someday be killed. I hope I'm wrong.
Edited to add:
A Very, Very Scary Message. (Thanks to local TV station ABC 33/40's blog.)
I don't think I've ever seen a National Weather Service statement quite like that one.