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Hurricane Katrina

This article is about the Atlantic hurricane of 2005. For other storms of the same name, see
Tropical Storm Katrina.
Hurricane Katrina
Category 5 hurricane (SSHS)
Hurricane Katrina at peak strength on August 28,
2005
Formed August 2, 2005
Dissipated August 0, 2005
Highest
winds
1-minute sustained:
!"5 mph #280 km$h%
Lowest
pressure
&02 mbar #h'a%( 2).)* inHg
Fatalities !,8 confirme+
,!-
Damage
.!08 billion #2005 /S0%
#1ostliest hurricane in /S histor2
,2-
%
Areas
affected
3ahamas, South Flori+a, 1uba,
4ouisiana #especiall2 5reater 6e7
8rleans%, 9ississippi, Alabama, Flori+a
'anhan+le, most of eastern 6orth
America
'art of the !!5 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Katrina 7as the +ea+liest an+ most +estructi:e Atlantic hurricane of the 2005
Atlantic hurricane season. ;t 7as the costliest natural +isaster, as 7ell as one of the fi:e +ea+liest
hurricanes, in the histor2 of the /nite+ States. Among recor+e+ Atlantic hurricanes, it 7as the
si<th strongest o:erall. At least !,8 people +ie+ in the hurricane an+ subse=uent floo+s, making
it the +ea+liest /.S. hurricane since the !&28 8keechobee hurricane( total propert2 +amage 7as
estimate+ at .8! billion #2005 /S0%, nearl2 triple the +amage brought b2 Hurricane An+re7 in
!&&2.
Hurricane Katrina forme+ o:er the 3ahamas on August 2, 2005 an+ crosse+ southern Flori+a as
a mo+erate 1ategor2 ! hurricane, causing some +eaths an+ floo+ing there before strengthening
rapi+l2 in the 5ulf of 9e<ico. The hurricane strengthene+ to a 1ategor2 5 hurricane o:er the
7arm 5ulf 7ater, but 7eakene+ before making its secon+ lan+fall as a 1ategor2 hurricane on
the morning of 9on+a2, August 2& in southeast 4ouisiana. ;t cause+ se:ere +estruction along the
5ulf coast from central Flori+a to Te<as, much of it +ue to the storm surge. The most significant
number of +eaths occurre+ in 6e7 8rleans, 4ouisiana, 7hich floo+e+ as the le:ee s2stem
catastrophicall2 faile+, in man2 cases hours after the storm ha+ mo:e+ inlan+. >:entuall2 80? of
the cit2 an+ large tracts of neighboring parishes became floo+e+, an+ the floo+7aters lingere+ for
7eeks. Ho7e:er, the 7orst propert2 +amage occurre+ in coastal areas, such as all 9ississippi
beachfront to7ns, 7hich 7ere floo+e+ o:er &0? in hours, as boats an+ casino barges ramme+
buil+ings, pushing cars an+ houses inlan+, 7ith 7aters reaching )@!2 miles #!0@!& km% from the
beach.
The hurricane surge protection failures in 6e7 8rleans are consi+ere+ the 7orst ci:il
engineering +isaster in /.S. histor2 an+ prompte+ a la7suit against the /.S. Arm2 1orps of
>ngineers #/SA1>%, the +esigners an+ buil+ers of the le:ee s2stem as man+ate+ b2 the Floo+
1ontrol Act of !&)5. Aesponsibilit2 for the failures an+ floo+ing 7as lai+ s=uarel2 on the Arm2
1orps in Banuar2 2008 b2 Bu+ge Stan7oo+ 0u:al, /.S. 0istrict 1ourt, but the fe+eral agenc2
coul+ not be hel+ financiall2 liable +ue to so:ereign immunit2 in the Floo+ 1ontrol Act of !&28.
There 7as also an in:estigation of the responses from fe+eral, state an+ local go:ernments,
resulting in the resignation of Fe+eral >mergenc2 9anagement Agenc2 #F>9A% +irector
9ichael 0. 3ro7n, an+ of 6e7 8rleans 'olice 0epartment #68'0% Superinten+ent >++ie
1ompass.
Se:eral agencies inclu+ing the /nite+ States 1oast 5uar+ #/S15%, 6ational Hurricane 1enter
#6H1%, an+ 6ational Ceather Ser:ice #6CS% 7ere commen+e+ for their actions. The2 pro:i+e+
accurate hurricane 7eather tracking forecasts 7ith sufficient lea+ time. /nfortunatel2, e:en the
most insistent appeals from national, state an+ local public officials to resi+ents to e:acuate
before the storm +i+ not 7arn that the le:ees coul+ breach an+ fail.