Hurricane Katrina - Video




Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was a significant tropical cyclone of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It developed from a tropical wave about 175 miles east of Nassau. The hurricane strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall on the Miami-Dade/Broward county line in Florida. After moving southwest across Florida the hurricane exited west into the Gulf of Mexico where it underwent rapid intensification, reaching Category 5 on August 28, 2005 and remaining there for the entire day. It made its second landfall near Buras, Louisiana with 145 mph winds, or Category 4, on August 29, 2005. Hurricane Katrina's eye-wall then passed over the eastern edge of New Orleans before the hurricane was again over water. A few hours later it made landfall for a third time near the Louisiana/Mississippi border with 125 mph winds, or Category 3. It weakened from this point forward, losing hurricane status crossing over 100 miles inland, near Laurel, Mississippi. It was downgraded to a tropical depression near Clarksville, Tennessee as it continued to race northward.

As the hurricane approached landfall near New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin placed the city under a mandatory evacuation order. Many residents remained in the city. The vast majority of those who stayed were reported to have been unable to leave because they did not have vehicles, money for gas and other transportation. Also, many residents were unable to travel because they were elderly or infirm. Federal disaster declarations blanketed 90,000 square miles (233,000 kmē) of the United States, an area almost as large as the United Kingdom. The hurricane left an estimated five million people without power, and it may be up to two months before all power is restored. Disaster relief plans are in operation in the affected areas.

Early in the morning of August 30, 2005 and as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina, breaches in three places of the levee system on the Lake Pontchartrain side of New Orleans caused a second and even greater disaster. Heavy flooding covered almost the entire city over a sustained period, forcing the total evacuation of over a million people. The city was now uninhabitable, due to 80% of its area being below sea level meaning that the water had nowhere to go.

On September 3, 2005 US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff described the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as "probably the worst catastrophe, or set of catastrophes" in the country's history, referring to the Hurricane itself plus the flooding of New Orleans.

Hurricane Katrina may be the deadliest hurricane in the United States since the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which killed around 8,000 (possibly up to 12,000) people. As of 7 PM CDT September 1, 2005, more than 20,000 are still reported missing. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin stated on August 31 that the death toll of Katrina may be "in the thousands", an estimate also provided through a statement by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco on September 1. Accurate numbers are not known. Damage was reported in at least 12 states. Hurricane Katrina will be remembered for its vast devastation of the Gulf Coast regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The hurricane will also be remembered for the ineffective pre-planning for hurricane prepardness in New Orleans, as well as the slow response on the part of federal, state and local governments to provide effective search and rescue and safe refuge for the storm's victims.
 

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