Darkening skies in New Orleans foreshadowed the impending arrival of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina was the biggest natural disaster in the history of the United States. National television reporters gave powerful images of the destruction and human degradation that became the stories of Hurricane Katrina, and they did so with concentration on fact. Circumstances, rather than policies or even preferences, often dictate coverage provided by the media in a rapidly moving and complicated crisis situation. Thus, it was circumstances, with some dashes of policy and preference that produced differences in the coverage of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. For Katrina, however, images of the storm itself and even the flooding were superseded quickly by stories about real people who were suffering. Journalists and the public had water deep enough in which to drown, and, in some of the suburban areas, muck deep enough to suffocate under.