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Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

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Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the2005 Atlantic hurricane seasonwas thecostliest hurricane,
aswell as one of the fivedeadliest, in thehistory of the United States.
Among recordedAtlantic hurricanes, it was thesixth strongest overall.Hurricane Katrina formed over theBahamason August 23, 2005 and crossed southernFloridaas a moderateCategory 1 hurricane,causing some deaths and flooding there before strengthening rapidly in theGulf of Mexico. The storm weakened before making its secondlandfall as aCategory 3storm on the morning of Monday, August 29 in southeast Louisiana.It caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of itdue to thestorm surge. The most severeloss of life and property damageoccurred inNew  Orleans,Louisiana, which flooded as theleveesystem catastrophically failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland.
Eventually 80% of the city and large tracts of neighboringparishesbecame flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks.
At least 1,836 people lost their lives in the actual hurricane and in the subsequent floods,making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the1928 Okeechobee hurricane. Economist andcrisis consultantRandall Bellwrote: "Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the largest naturaldisaster in the history of the United States. Preliminary damage estimates were well inexcess of $100 billion, eclipsing many times the damage wrought byHurricane Andrewin1992."
The levee failures prompted investigations of their design and construction whichbelongs to theUS Army Corps of Engineers(USACE) as mandated in theFlood Control Act of   1965and into their maintenance by the local Levee Boards. There was also an investigationof the responses from federal, state and local governments, resulting in the resignation of Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) directorMichael D. Brown, and of New  Orleans Police Department(NOPD) SuperintendentEddie Compass.Conversely, theUnited  States Coast Guard(USCG),National Hurricane Center(NHC) andNational Weather Service  (NWS) were widely commended for their actions, accurate forecasts and abundant leadtime.
Four years later, thousands of displaced residentsin Mississippi and Louisiana were stillliving in trailers.Reconstructionof each section of the southern portion of Louisiana hasbeen addressed in the Army Corps LACPR Final Technical Report which identifies areas notto be rebuilt and areas and buildings that need to be elevated.
Meteorological history
Hurricane Katrina formed as Tropical Depression Twelve over the southeastern Bahamas onAugust 23, 2005 as the result of an interaction of atropical waveand the remains of  Tropical  Depression Ten. The system was upgraded totropical storm statuson the morning of August 24 and at this point, the storm was given the name
Katrina.
The tropical storm continued tomove towards Florida, and became a hurricane only two hours before it madelandfall betweenHallandale BeachandAventura, Floridaon the morning of August 25. The storm weakened over land, but it regained hurricane status about one hour after entering the Gulf of Mexico.
 The stormrapidly intensifiedafter entering the Gulf, growing from a Category 3 hurricane toa Category 5 hurricane in just nine hours. This rapid growth was due to the storm'smovement over the "unusually warm"watersof theLoop Current, which increased wind
 
speeds.
On Saturday, August 27, the storm reached Category 3 intensity on theSaffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, becoming the thirdmajor hurricaneof the season. Aneyewall  replacement cycledisrupted the intensification, but caused the storm to nearly double insize. Katrina again rapidly intensified, attaining Category 5 status on the morning of August28 and reached its peak strength at 1:00 p.m. CDT that day. The pressure measurementmade Katrina the fourth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record at the time, only to besurpassed by HurricanesRitaandWilmalater in the season; it was also the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico at the time .Katrina made its second landfall at 6:10 a.m. CDT
on Monday, August 29 as a Category 3hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) nearBuras-Triumph, Louisiana. Aftermoving over southeastern Louisiana andBreton Sound, it made its third landfall near theLouisiana/Mississippi border .Katrina maintained strength well into Mississippi, finally losinghurricane strength more than 150 miles (240 km) inland nearMeridian, Mississippi. It wasdowngraded to a tropical depression nearClarksville, Tennessee, but its remnants were lastdistinguishable in the easternGreat Lakesregion on August 31, when it was absorbed by afrontal boundary. The resultingextra tropicalstorm moved rapidly to the northeast and affected eastern Canada.
[5]
Effects
Deaths by state
Total1,836
Missing705*Includes out-of-stateevacueescounted by LouisianaOn August 29, Katrina'sstorm surgecaused 53 different levee breaches in greater NewOrleans submerging eighty percent of the city. A June 2007 report by theAmerican Society of Civil Engineersindicated that two-thirds of the flooding were caused by the multiplefailures of the city's floodwalls.
Not mentioned were the flood gates that were not closed.
 
 The storm surge also devastated the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, making Katrina themost destructive and costliestnatural disasterin the history of the United States, and thedeadliest hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane. The total damage from Katrina isestimated at $81.2 billion (2005U.S. dollars), nearly double the cost of the previously mostexpensive storm,Hurricane Andrew, when adjusted for inflation.
As of May 19, 2006, the confirmed death toll (total of direct and indirect deaths) stood at1,836, mainly from Louisiana (1,577) and Mississippi (238).
However, 705 peopleremain categorized as missing in Louisiana,
 and many of the deaths are indirect, but it isalmost impossible to determine the exact cause of some of the fatalities.Federaldisaster declarations covered 90,000 square miles (233,000 km²) of the UnitedStates, an area almost as large as theUnited Kingdom. The hurricane left an estimatedthree million people without electricity. On September 3, 2005,Homeland SecuritySecretaryMichael Chertoff described the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as "probably the worstcatastrophe, or set of catastrophes," in the country's history, referring to the hurricane itself plus the flooding of New Orleans.
Environmental effects
Katrina also had a profound impact on the environment. The storm surge caused substantialbeach erosion, in some cases completely devastating coastal areas. In Dauphin Island,approximately 90 miles (150km) to the east of the point where the hurricane made landfall,the sand that comprised thebarrier islandwas transported across the island into theMississippi Sound, pushing the island towards land.
  The storm surge and waves fromKatrina also obliterated theChandeleur Islands, which had been affected by Hurricane Ivanthe previous year.
The US Geological Survey has estimated 217 square miles (560 km
2
) of land was transformed to water by the hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
 The lands that were lost were breeding grounds for marine mammals, brownpelicans,turtles, andfish, as well as migratory species such asredhead ducks.
Overall, about 20%of the localmarsheswere permanently overrun by water as a result of the storm.
 The damage from Katrina forced the closure of 16National Wildlife Refuges. Breton NationalWildlife Refuge lost half its area in the storm.
As a result, the hurricane affected thehabitats of sea turtles, Mississippisandhill cranes,Red-cockaded woodpeckersandAlabama  Beach mice.
Finally, as part of the cleanup effort, the flood waters that covered New Orleans werepumped into Lake Pontchartrain, a process that took 43 days to complete.
These residualwaters contained a mix of rawsewage,bacteria, heavy metals,pesticides,toxic chemicals, and about 6.5 million U.S. gallons (24.6 million L) of oil, which has sparked fears in thescientific community of massive numbers of fish dying.
Prior to the storm,subsidenceanderosioncaused erosion in the Louisiana wetlands and bayous. This, along with the canals built in the area, allowed for Katrina to maintain more of its intensity when it struck.

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