For about as long as I've followed hurricanes, I've always had a bit of an odd feeling after landfall. Something on the order of 'Well, it's out of our hands now', as if forecasters somehow controlled or dropped responsibility for the storm the moment of the center of the eye crossed land. Such was my feeling today.
As I expected, it was a very long drive home (slightly longer than usual time-wise owing to some heavy rain encountered, but otherwise long in the sense that my mind was heavily burdened). When I pulled onto I-10, I saw in my rear-view mirror the site all too familiar from last year, a large convoy of the trucks used to aid workers in restoring electricity to storm-stricken areas bound for their staging area.
Had dinner at a friend's apartment and then drove to my own. Too impatient and tired to properly navigate the close confines of my complex's parking lot, I rounded my car into the rear bumper of a truck, putting a nice dent just behind the passenger door.
Didn't care to watch any of the media coverage of landfall. I'm not sure of a major landfall that the full scope of damage was comprehensively covered in the first few hours after. This goes back as far as Andrew and as recently as Dennis. The bigger the storm, the more inaccurate the initial read.
At the moment, the death toll from Katrina is the greatest U.S. death toll from a hurricane since Agnes of '72, which claimed 117 lives, almost all of them lost in epic flooding that occurred after the remants of the storm sat over Pennsylvania for more than a day. The deadliest prior to that was Camille, which caused 256 deaths. Nearly half of those (113) were from flooding caused by remnants.