Hurricane Katrina may have literally stopped the presses of New Orleans newspaper The Times-Picayune, but it couldnt stop the paper from publishing an electronic PDF edition.
A slight shift in Katrinas course as the hurricane made landfall spared the New Orleans metropolitan area the brunt of a direct hit. But the damage done by the 135 mph winds and subsequent flooding disrupted electricity to the Times-Picayunes presses, making it impossible for residents to, among other things, get timely and accurate news of the storms aftermath.
The staff rose to the challenge by publishing a special, 20-page PDF "Hurricane Edition" Tuesday, which is available for download from its affiliated Web site "Everything New Orleans" at www.nola.com.
"Most of our readers are not here," Dan Shea, the Times-Picayunes managing editor, told USA Today. "Theyre somewhere else where theres power and they can get to the Web. Theyre very anxious about whats happened to their homes, and were doing our best to get the information to them."
Attempts to reach the editorial offices Tuesday for additional comment were unsuccessful.
The special issue, which ran the headline "Katrina: The Storm Weve Always Feared," provides detailed coverage—including damage estimates, recovery timelines and even a pair of full-page advertisements from insurance companies offering guidance and support. Large color photographs chronicle rescue efforts, devastated neighborhoods and damaged landmarks.