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By RD Heldenfels Published: September 1, 2005

I spent the first hours of my birthday on Wednesday in our basement, keeping water at bay. (Thanks to towels and a shop vacuum, things weren't too bad.) Later in the day, my wife and i had to deal with a couple of unexpected roof leaks. That involved moving a bunch of items in the guest room, checking the crawl space and some other hustling. But, again, it wasn't too bad. Certainly not when there were flood warnings in the region, growing tallies of the rainfall -- and TV news channels full of pictures of the horrors in the South.

As the estimates of damage from Katrina continue to mount -- and the prices at the gas pumps hit unimagined highs -- I've been rethinking my earlier posting about weather coverage. (I invited reporters to use my lawn for covering the NE Ohio rainstorm, suggesting it was a good location for those aren't-we-wet shots that are common during such events.)

As I said at the time, I wasn't making light of what has happened in Louisiana and elsewhere; I was making a point about the way things are covered. Even so, I have been feeling that I might have been too snarky.

Then I remembered that, even in the middle of disaster like Katrina, people go about their business. (The loss of life and property has not kept some news channels from sending out e-mail reminders of what they are doing, what's being said on the air and who might be available for an interview. Today's mail included one from CNN beginning: ''CNN Maintains Unrivaled Coverage...'')

I had just gone about my business.  I still feel for the folks suffering from Katrina. I still think the coverage sometimes fell into cliche.

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