November 4th 2013
The Impact of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic tropical
cyclones in history. Hurricane Katrina occured during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. As
one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States, Katrina was also the
costliest natural disaster. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall.
At least 1,833 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods. The total property damage
estimated $81 billion dollars, nearly triple the damage brought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005. Following intense tropical
storm weather over the Bahamas, Katrina crossed southern Florida as a Category 1 hurricane.
Some deaths and flooding occurred during its passing before further strengthening in the Gulf of
Mexico. The hurricane strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane over the Gulf, but weakened
before making its second landfall as a Category 3 hurricane August 29 in southeast Louisiana.
Katrina caused crippling damages along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it
due to the storm surge. The most significant number of deaths occurred in New Orleans,
Louisiana. The levee system in place there failed, and led to massive flooding which continued
hours after the storm had moved inland. Roughly 80% of the city became flooded, and the
floodwaters lingered for weeks. The worst property damage occurred in coastal areas, such as
beachfront towns, which were disastrously flooded within hours once Katrina arrived. Boats
pummeled buildings, cars were flipped, and houses were found left in rubble.
In the City of New Orleans, the storm surge caused multiple breaches in canal levees
which prompted the worst engineering disaster in the history of the United States. By August 31,
2005, almost all of New...