Photo in the News: Hurricane Shreds Superdome Roof

Photo: The Superdome in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina
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August 29, 2005—Intense winds from Hurricane Katrina tore away parts of the metal outer layer of the roof of New Orleans' Superdome, as seen in a photo taken this morning. The 140-mile-an-hour (225-kilometer-an-hour) gusts also created two minor holes that allowed rain to shower down on some of the nearly 9,000 refugees inside.

Local government and Superdome officials say the holes, each about 15 to 20 feet (5 to 6 meters) long and 4 to 5 feet (1 to 2 meters) wide, are not large enough to cause the roof to fail. Refugees immediately underneath the openings were moved to other parts of the stadium.

New Orleans dwellers lined up for blocks last night to take shelter in the 72,000-seat Superdome. In addition to a rattling, leaky roof, the refugees endured an early-morning power failure that knocked out the arena's air conditioning system. But most people seemed grateful for the safe, if uncomfortable, haven.

"They hadn't opened up and let us in here, there'd have been a lot of people floating down river tomorrow," city resident Merrill Rice told the Associated Press.

—Victoria Gilman

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