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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,
Formed August 2, 2005
Dissipated August 0, 2005
1-minute sustained:
!"5 mph #280 km$h%
&02 mbar #h'a%( 2).)* inHg
Fatalities !,8 confirme+
.!08 billion #2005 /S0%
#1ostliest hurricane in /S histor2
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
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
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
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.
"eteorological history
9ain articleD 9eteorological histor2 of Hurricane Katrina
Storm path
Hurricane Katrina forme+ as Tropical 0epression T7el:e o:er the southeastern 3ahamas on
August 2, 2005 as the result of an interaction of a tropical 7a:e an+ the remains of Tropical
0epression Ten. The s2stem 7as upgra+e+ to tropical storm status on the morning of August 2*
an+ at this point, the storm 7as gi:en the name Katrina. The tropical storm continue+ to mo:e
to7ar+s Flori+a, an+ became a hurricane onl2 t7o hours before it ma+e lan+fall bet7een
Hallan+ale 3each an+ A:entura on the morning of August 25. The storm 7eakene+ o:er lan+,
but it regaine+ hurricane status about one hour after entering the 5ulf of 9e<ico.
Katrina near Flori+a lan+fall.
The storm rapi+l2 intensifie+ after entering the 5ulf, gro7ing from a 1ategor2 hurricane to a
1ategor2 5 hurricane in Eust nine hours. This rapi+ gro7th 7as +ue to the stormFs mo:ement o:er
the Gunusuall2 7armG 7aters of the 4oop 1urrent, 7hich increase+ 7in+ spee+s.
8n Satur+a2,
August 2", the storm reache+ 1ategor2 intensit2 on the SaffirHSimpson Hurricane Scale,
becoming the thir+ maEor hurricane of the season. An e2e7all replacement c2cle +isrupte+ the
intensification, but cause+ the storm to nearl2 +ouble in siIe. Katrina again rapi+l2 intensifie+,
attaining 1ategor2 5 status on the morning of August 28 an+ reache+ its peak strength at !800
/T1 that +a2, 7ith ma<imum sustaine+ 7in+s of !"5 mph #280 km$h% an+ a minimum central
pressure of &02 mbar #2).) inHg%. The pressure measurement ma+e Katrina the fourth most
intense Atlantic hurricane on recor+ at the time, onl2 to be surpasse+ b2 Hurricanes Aita an+
Cilma later in the season( it 7as also the strongest hurricane e:er recor+e+ in the 5ulf of 9e<ico
at the time. Ho7e:er, this recor+ 7as later broken b2 Hurricane Aita.
Katrina on August 28, nearing the 5ulf 1oast.
Katrina ma+e its secon+ lan+fall at !!!0 /T1 #)D!0 a.m. 10T% on 9on+a2, August 2& as a
1ategor2 hurricane 7ith sustaine+ 7in+s of !25 mph #205 km$h% near 3urasHTriumph,
4ouisiana. At lan+fall, hurricaneHforce 7in+s e<ten+e+ out7ar+ !20 miles #!&0 km% from the
center an+ the stormFs central pressure 7as &20 mbar #2" inHg%. After mo:ing o:er southeastern
4ouisiana an+ 3reton Soun+, it ma+e its thir+ lan+fall near the 4ouisiana$9ississippi bor+er 7ith
!20 mph #!&5 km$h% sustaine+ 7in+s, still at 1ategor2 intensit2. Katrina maintaine+ strength
7ell into 9ississippi, finall2 losing hurricane strength more than !50 miles #2*0 km% inlan+ near
9eri+ian, 9ississippi. ;t 7as +o7ngra+e+ to a tropical +epression near 1larks:ille, Tennessee,
but its remnants 7ere last +istinguishable in the eastern 5reat 4akes region on August !, 7hen
it 7as absorbe+ b2 a frontal boun+ar2. The resulting e<tratropical storm mo:e+ rapi+l2 to the
northeast an+ affecte+ eastern 1ana+a.
8n August 2&, KatrinaFs storm surge cause+ 5 +ifferent
le:ee breaches in greater 6e7 8rleans, submerging eight2 percent of the cit2. A Bune 200" report
b2 the American Societ2 of 1i:il >ngineers in+icate+ that t7oHthir+s of the floo+ing 7ere cause+
b2 the multiple failures of the cit2Fs floo+7alls.
6ot mentione+ 7ere the floo+ gates that 7ere
not close+.
,citation needed-
The storm surge also +e:astate+ the coasts of 9ississippi an+ Alabama,
making Katrina the most +estructi:e an+ costliest natural +isaster in the histor2 of the /nite+
States, an+ the +ea+liest hurricane since the !&28 8keechobee Hurricane. The total +amage from
Katrina is estimate+ at .8!.2 billion #2005 /.S. +ollars%, nearl2 +ouble the cost of the pre:iousl2
most e<pensi:e storm, Hurricane An+re7, 7hen a+Euste+ for inflation.
The confirme+ +eath toll #total of +irect an+ in+irect +eaths% is !,8), mainl2 from 4ouisiana
#!,5""% an+ 9ississippi #28%.
Ho7e:er, !5 people remain categoriIe+ as missing in
an+ man2 of the +eaths are in+irect, but it is almost impossible to +etermine the
e<act cause of some of the fatalities.
Fe+eral +isaster +eclarations co:ere+ &0,000 s=uare miles #2,000 km
% of the /nite+ States, an
area almost as large as the /nite+ King+om. The hurricane left an estimate+ three million people
7ithout electricit2. 8n September , 2005, Homelan+ Securit2 Secretar2 9ichael 1hertoff
+escribe+ the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as Gprobabl2 the 7orst catastrophe, or set of
catastrophes,G in the countr2Fs histor2, referring to the hurricane itself plus the floo+ing of 6e7
>:en in 20!0, +ebris remaine+ in some coastal communities.
South Florida and Cu#a
0amage to a mobile home in 0a:ie, Flori+a follo7ing Hurricane Katrina
9ain articleD >ffects of Hurricane Katrina in Flori+a
Hurricane Katrina first ma+e lan+fall on August 25, 2005 in South Flori+a 7here it hit as a
1ategor2 ! hurricane, 7ith 80 mph #!0 km$h% 7in+s. Aainfall 7as hea:2 in places an+ e<cee+e+
!* inches #50 mm% in Homestea+, Flori+a,
an+ a storm surge of @ 5 feet #!.5 m% 7as
measure+ in parts of 9onroe 1ount2.
9ore than ! million customers 7ere left 7ithout
electricit2, an+ +amage in Flori+a 7as estimate+ from .! @ .2 billion, 7ith most of the +amage
coming from floo+ing an+ o:erturne+ trees. There 7ere !* fatalities reporte+ in Flori+a as a
result of Hurricane Katrina.
9ost of the Flori+a Ke2s e<perience+ tropicalHstorm force 7in+s from Katrina as the stormFs
center passe+ to the north, 7ith hurricane force 7in+s reporte+ in the 0r2 Tortugas. Aainfall 7as
also high in the islan+s, 7ith !0 inches #250 mm% falling on Ke2 Cest. 8n August 2), a strong
F! torna+o forme+ from an outer rain ban+ of Katrina an+ struck 9arathon. The torna+o
+amage+ a hangar at the airport there an+ cause+ an estimate+ .5 million in +amage.
Although Hurricane Katrina sta2e+ 7ell to the north of 1uba, on August 2& it brought tropicalH
storm force 7in+s an+ rainfall of o:er 8 inches #200 mm% to 7estern regions of the islan+.
Telephone an+ po7er lines 7ere +amage+ an+ aroun+ 8,000 people 7ere e:acuate+ in the 'inar
+el AJo 'ro:ince. Accor+ing to 1uban tele:ision reports the coastal cit2 of Surgi+ero +e
3atabano 7as &0? un+er7ater.
Floo+ing in Kenice, 4ouisiana
8n August 2&, Hurricane Katrina ma+e lan+fall near 3urasHTriumph, 4ouisiana 7ith !25 mph
#205 km$h% 7in+s, as a strong 1ategor2 storm. Ho7e:er, as it ha+ onl2 Eust 7eakene+ from
1ategor2 * strength an+ the ra+ius of ma<imum 7in+s 7as large, it is possible that sustaine+
7in+s of 1ategor2 * strength briefl2 impacte+ e<treme southeastern 4ouisiana. Although the
storm surge to the east of the path of the e2e in 9ississippi 7as higher, a :er2 significant surge
affecte+ the 4ouisiana coast. The height of the surge is uncertain because of a lack of +ata,
although a ti+e gauge in 'la=uemines 'arish in+icate+ a storm ti+e in e<cess of !* feet #*. m%
an+ a !2Hfoot # m% storm surge 7as recor+e+ in 5ran+ ;sle. Hurricane Katrina ma+e final
lan+fall near the mouth of the 'earl Ai:er, 7ith the e2e stra++ling St. Tamman2 'arish,
4ouisiana an+ Hancock 1ount2, 9ississippi, on the morning of August 2& at about &D*59 1ST.
Hurricane Katrina also brought hea:2 rain to 4ouisiana, 7ith 8 @ !0 inches #200 @ 250 mm%
falling on a 7i+e s7ath of the eastern part of the state. ;n the area aroun+ Sli+ell, the rainfall 7as
e:en higher, an+ the highest rainfall recor+e+ in the state 7as appro<imatel2 !5 inches
#80 mm%. As a result of the rainfall an+ storm surge the le:el of 4ake 'ontchartrain rose an+
cause+ significant floo+ing along its northeastern shore, affecting communities from Sli+ell to
9an+e:ille. Se:eral bri+ges 7ere +estro2e+, inclu+ing the ;H!0 T7in Span 3ri+ge connecting
Sli+ell to 6e7 8rleans.
Almost &00,000 people in 4ouisiana lost po7er as a result of Hurricane
KatrinaLs storm surge inun+ate+ all parishes surroun+ing 4ake 'ontchartrain, inclu+ing St.
Tamman2, Tangipahoa, St. Bohn the 3aptist an+ St. 1harles 'arishes. St. Tamman2 'arish
recei:e+ a t7oHpart storm surge. The first surge came as 4ake 'ontchartrain rose an+ the storm
ble7 7ater from the 5ulf of 9e<ico into the lake. The secon+ came as the e2e of Katrina passe+,
7esterl2 7in+s pushe+ 7ater into a bottleneck at the Aigolets 'ass, forcing it farther inlan+. The
range of surge le:els in eastern St. Tamman2 'arish is estimate+ at ! to !) feet #*.& m%, not
inclu+ing 7a:e action.
Har+Hhit St. 3ernar+ 'arish 7as floo+e+ +ue to breaching of the le:ees that containe+ a
na:igation channel calle+ the 9ississippi Ai:er 5ulf 8utlet #9AH58% an+ the breach of the
4e:ee 3oar+ +esigne+ an+ built *0 Arpent canal le:ee. The search for the missing 7as
un+ertaken b2 the St. 3ernar+ Fire 0epartment +ue to the assets of the /nite+ States 1oast
5uar+ being +i:erte+ to 6e7 8rleans. 9an2 of the missing in the months after the storm 7ere
tracke+ +o7n b2 searching floo+e+ homes, tracking cre+it car+ recor+s, an+ :isiting homes of
famil2 an+ relati:es.
Hurricane Katrina making lan+fall in 6e7 8rleans, 4ouisiana.
Accor+ing to the /.S. 0ept. of Housing an+ /rban 0e:elopment, in St. 3ernar+ 'arish, 8!?
#20,22&% of the housing units 7ere +amage+. ;n St. Tamman2 'arish, "0? #*8,"&2% 7ere
+amage+ an+ in 'lac=uemines 'arish 80? #",2!2% 7ere +amage+.
;n a++ition, the combine+ effect of Hurricanes Katrina an+ Aita 7as the +estruction of an
estimate+ 5)2 s=uare kilometres #2!" s= mi% of coastal 7etlan+s in 4ouisiana.
$ew %rleans
9ain articlesD >ffects of Hurricane Katrina in 6e7 8rleans an+ 2005 le:ee failures in 5reater
6e7 8rleans
Floo+e+ ;H!0$;H)!0$Cest >n+ 3l:+ interchange an+ surroun+ing area of north7est 6e7 8rleans
an+ 9etairie, 4ouisiana
As the e2e of Hurricane Katrina s7ept to the northeast, it subEecte+ the cit2 to hurricane
con+itions for hours. Although po7er failures pre:ente+ accurate measurement of 7in+ spee+s in
6e7 8rleans, there 7ere a fe7 measurements of hurricaneHforce 7in+s. From this the 6H1
conclu+e+ that it is likel2 that much of the cit2 e<perience+ sustaine+ 7in+s of 1ategor2 ! or
1ategor2 2 strength.
KatrinaFs storm surge le+ to 5 le:ee breaches in the fe+erall2 built le:ee s2stem protecting
metro 6e7 8rleans an+ the failure of the *0 Arpent 1anal le:ee. 6earl2 e:er2 le:ee in metro
6e7 8rleans 7as breache+ as Hurricane Katrina passe+ Eust east of the cit2 limits. Failures
occurre+ in 6e7 8rleans an+ surroun+ing communities, especiall2 St. 3ernar+ 'arish. The
9ississippi Ai:er 5ulf 8utlet #9AH58% breache+ its le:ees in appro<imatel2 20 places, floo+ing
much of east 6e7 8rleans, most of Saint 3ernar+ 'arish an+ the >ast 3ank of 'la=uemines
'arish. The maEor le:ee breaches in the cit2 inclu+e+ breaches at the !"th Street 1anal le:ee, the
4on+on A:enue 1anal, an+ the 7i+e, na:igable ;n+ustrial 1anal, 7hich left appro<imatel2 80?
of the cit2 floo+e+.
9ost of the maEor roa+s tra:eling into an+ out of the cit2 7ere +amage+. The onl2 routes out of
the cit2 7ere the 7estboun+ 1rescent 1it2 1onnection an+ the Hue2 '. 4ong 3ri+ge, as large
portions of the ;H!0 T7in Span 3ri+ge tra:eling eastboun+ to7ar+s Sli+ell, 4ouisiana ha+
collapse+. 3oth the 4ake 'ontchartrain 1ause7a2 an+ the 1rescent 1it2 1onnection onl2 carrie+
emergenc2 traffic.
8n August 2&, at "D*0 am 10T, it 7as reporte+ that most of the 7in+o7s on the north si+e of the
H2att Aegenc2 6e7 8rleans ha+ been blo7n out, an+ man2 other high rise buil+ings ha+
e<tensi:e 7in+o7 +amage.
The H2att 7as the most se:erel2 +amage+ hotel in the cit2, 7ith
be+s reporte+ to be fl2ing out of the 7in+o7s. ;nsulation tubes 7ere e<pose+ as the hotelFs glass
e<terior 7as completel2 sheare+ off.
A /.S. 1oast 5uar+sman searches for sur:i:ors in 6e7 8rleans in the aftermath of Katrina
The Super+ome, 7hich 7as sheltering man2 people 7ho ha+ not e:acuate+, sustaine+ significant
T7o sections of the Super+omeFs roof 7ere compromise+ an+ the +omeFs 7aterproof
membrane ha+ essentiall2 been peele+ off. 4ouis Armstrong 6e7 8rleans ;nternational Airport
7as close+ before the storm but +i+ not floo+. 8n August 0, it 7as reopene+ to humanitarian
an+ rescue operations. 4imite+ commercial passenger ser:ice resume+ at the airport on
September ! an+ regular carrier operations resume+ in earl2 8ctober.
4e:ee breaches in 6e7 8rleans also cause+ a significant amount of +eaths, 7ith o:er "00 bo+ies
reco:ere+ in 6e7 8rleans b2 8ctober 2, 2005.
Some sur:i:ors an+ e:acuees reporte+ seeing
+ea+ bo+ies l2ing in cit2 streets an+ floating in stillHfloo+e+ sections, especiall2 in the east of the
cit2. The a+:ance+ state of +ecomposition of man2 corpses, some of 7hich 7ere left in the 7ater
or sun for +a2s before being collecte+, hin+ere+ efforts b2 coroners to i+entif2 man2 of the +ea+.
The first +eaths reporte+ from the cit2 7ere reporte+ shortl2 before mi+night on August 28, as
three nursing home patients +ie+ +uring an e:acuation to 3aton Aouge, most likel2 from
+eh2+ration. Chile there 7ere also earl2 reports of fatalities ami+ ma2hem at the Super+ome,
onl2 si< +eaths 7ere confirme+ there, 7ith four of these originating from natural causes, one
from a +rug o:er+ose, an+ one a suici+e. At the 1on:ention 1enter, four bo+ies 7ere reco:ere+.
8ne of the four is belie:e+ to be the result of a homici+e.
There is e:i+ence that man2 prisoners 7ere aban+one+ in their cells +uring the storm, 7hile the
guar+s sought shelter. Hun+re+s of prisoners 7ere later registere+ as Gunaccounte+ forG.
9ain articleD >ffects of Hurricane Katrina in 9ississippi
/.S. Aoute &0Fs 3a2 St. 4ouis 3ri+ge on 'ass 1hristian 7as +estro2e+ as a result of Katrina.
The 5ulf coast of 9ississippi suffere+ massi:e +amage from the impact of Hurricane Katrina on
August 2&, lea:ing 28 people +ea+, )" missing, an+ billions of +ollars in +amageD bri+ges,
barges, boats, piers, houses an+ cars 7ere 7ashe+ inlan+.
Katrina tra:ele+ up the entire state,
an+ after7ar+s, all 82 counties in 9ississippi 7ere +eclare+ +isaster areas for fe+eral assistance,
*" for full assistance.
After making a brief initial lan+fall in 4ouisiana, Katrina ha+ ma+e its final lan+fall near the
state line, an+ the e2e7all passe+ o:er the cities of 3a2 St. 4ouis an+ Ca:elan+ as a 1ategor2
hurricane 7ith sustaine+ 7in+s of !20 mph #!&5 km$h%.
KatrinaFs po7erful rightHfront =ua+rant
passe+ o:er the 7est an+ central 9ississippi coast, causing a po7erful 2"Hfoot #8.2 m% storm
surge, 7hich penetrate+ ) miles #!0 km% inlan+ in man2 areas an+ up to !2 miles #20 km% inlan+
along ba2s an+ ri:ers( in some areas, the surge crosse+ ;nterstate !0 for se:eral miles.

Hurricane Katrina brought strong 7in+s to 9ississippi, 7hich cause+ significant tree +amage
throughout the state. The highest unofficial reporte+ 7in+ gust recor+e+ from Katrina 7as one of
!5 mph #2!" km$h% in 'oplar:ille, in 'earl Ai:er 1ount2.
0amage to 4ong 3each, 9ississippi follo7ing Hurricane Katrina
The storm also brought hea:2 rains 7ith 8 @ !0 inches #200 @ 250 mm% falling in south7estern
9ississippi an+ rain in e<cess of * inches #!00 mm% falling throughout the maEorit2 of the state.
Katrina cause+ ele:en torna+oes in 9ississippi on August 2&, some of 7hich +amage+ trees an+
po7er lines.
3attere+ b2 7in+, rain an+ storm surge, some beachfront neighborhoo+s 7ere completel2
le:ele+. 'reliminar2 estimates b2 9ississippi officials calculate+ that &0? of the structures
7ithin half a mile of the coastline 7ere completel2 +estro2e+,
an+ that storm surges tra:ele+ as
much as si< miles #!0 km% inlan+ in portions of the stateFs coast.
8ne apartment comple< 7ith
appro<imatel2 thirt2 resi+ents seeking shelter insi+e collapse+. 9ore than half of the ! casinos
in the state, 7hich 7ere floate+ on barges to compl2 7ith 9ississippi lan+Hbase+ gambling la7s,
7ere 7ashe+ hun+re+s of 2ar+s inlan+ b2 7a:es.
Storm surge +amage along High7a2 &0 on the 9ississippi 5ulf 1oast #earl2 September 2005%.
A number of streets an+ bri+ges 7ere 7ashe+ a7a2. 8n /.S. High7a2 &0 along the 9ississippi
5ulf 1oast, t7o maEor bri+ges 7ere completel2 +estro2e+D the 3a2 St. 4ouis M 'ass 1hristian

bri+ge, an+ the 3ilo<i H 8cean Springs bri+ge. ;n a++ition, the eastboun+ span of the ;H!0 bri+ge
o:er the 'ascagoula Ai:er estuar2 7as +amage+. ;n the 7eeks after the storm, 7ith the
connecti:it2 of the coastal /.S. High7a2 &0 shattere+, traffic tra:eling parallel to the coast 7as
re+uce+ first to State Aoa+ !! #parallel to ;H!0% then to t7o lanes on the remaining ;H!0 span
7hen it 7as opene+.
Surge +amage in 'ascagoula, 9ississippi
All three coastal counties of the state 7ere se:erel2 affecte+ b2 the storm. KatrinaFs surge 7as the
most e<tensi:e, as 7ell as the highest, in the +ocumente+ histor2 of the /nite+ States( large
portions of both Hancock, Harrison, an+ Backson 1ounties 7ere inun+ate+ b2 the storm surge, in
all three cases affecting most of the populate+ areas.
Surge co:ere+ almost the entire lo7er
half of Hancock 1ount2, +estro2ing the coastal communities of 1lermont Harbor an+ Ca:elan+,
much of 3a2 St. 4ouis, an+ flo7e+ up the Bour+an Ai:er, floo+ing 0iamon+hea+ an+ Kiln. ;n
Harrison 1ount2, 'ass 1hristian 7as completel2 inun+ate+, along 7ith a narro7 strip of lan+ to
the east along the coast, 7hich inclu+es the cities of 4ong 3each an+ 5ulfport( the floo+ing 7as
more e<tensi:e in communities such as 0F;ber:ille, 7hich bor+ers 3ack 3a2. 3ilo<i, on a
peninsula bet7een the 3ack 3a2 an+ the coast, 7as particularl2 har+ hit, especiall2 the lo7Hl2ing
'oint 1a+et area. ;n Backson 1ount2, storm surge flo7e+ up the 7i+e ri:er estuar2, 7ith the
combine+ surge an+ fresh7ater floo+ing cutting the count2 in half. Aemarkabl2, o:er &0? of
'ascagoula, the easternmost coastal cit2 in 9ississippi, an+ about "5 miles #!2! km% east of
KatrinaFs lan+fall near the 4ouisianaH9ississippi bor+er, 7as floo+e+ from surge at the height of
the storm. 8ther large Backson 1ount2 neighborhoo+s such as 'orteau< 3a2 an+ 5ulf Hills 7ere
se:erel2 +amage+ 7ith large portions being completel2 +estro2e+, an+ St. 9artin 7as har+ hit(
8cean Springs, 9oss 'oint, 5autier, an+ >scata7pa also suffere+ maEor surge +amage.
9ississippi >mergenc2 9anagement Agenc2 officials also recor+e+ +eaths in Forrest, Hin+s,
Carren, an+ 4eake counties. 8:er &00,000 people throughout the state e<perience+ po7er
Southeast &nited States
Floo+ 7aters come up the steps of 9obileFs fe+eral courthouse.
Although Hurricane Katrina ma+e lan+fall 7ell to the 7est, Alabama an+ the Flori+a 'anhan+le
7ere both affecte+ b2 tropicalHstorm force 7in+s an+ a storm surge :ar2ing from !2 to !) feet
#@5 m% aroun+ 9obile 3a2,
7ith higher 7a:es on top. Sustaine+ 7in+s of )" mph #!0" km$h%
7ere recor+e+ in 9obile, Alabama, an+ the storm surge there 7as appro<imatel2 !2 feet #." m%.
The surge cause+ significant floo+ing se:eral miles inlan+ along 9obile 3a2. Four torna+oes
7ere also reporte+ in Alabama.
Ships, oil rigs, boats an+ fishing piers 7ere 7ashe+ ashore
along 9obile 3a2D the cargo ship 9$K Caribbean Clipper an+ man2 fishing boats 7ere
groun+e+ at 3a2ou 4a 3atre.
An oil rig un+er construction along the 9obile Ai:er broke its moorings an+ floate+ !.5 miles
#2 km% north7ar+s before striking the 1ochrane 3ri+ge Eust outsi+e 9obile. 6o significant
+amage resulte+ to the bri+ge an+ it 7as soon reopene+. The +amage on 0auphin ;slan+ 7as
se:ere, 7ith the surge +estro2ing man2 houses an+ cutting a ne7 canal through the 7estern
portion of the islan+. An offshore oil rig also became groun+e+ on the islan+. As in 9ississippi,
the storm surge cause+ significant beach erosion along the Alabama coastline.
9ore than
)00,000 people lost po7er in Alabama as a result of Hurricane Katrina an+ t7o people +ie+ in a
traffic acci+ent in the state. Aesi+ents in some areas, such as Selma, 7ere 7ithout po7er for
se:eral +a2s.
3a2ou 4a 3atreD cargo ship an+ fishing boats 7ere groun+e+
Along the Flori+a 'anhan+le the storm surge 7as t2picall2 about fi:e feet #!.5 m% an+ along the
7estHcentral Flori+a coast there 7as a minor surge of ! @ 2 feet #0. @ 0.) m%. ;n 'ensacola,
Flori+a 5) mph #&0 km$h% 7in+s 7ere recor+e+ on August 2&. The 7in+s cause+ +amage to some
trees an+ structures an+ there 7as some minor floo+ing in the 'anhan+le. There 7ere t7o
in+irect fatalities from Katrina in Calton 1ount2 as a result of a traffic acci+ent.
;n the Flori+a
'anhan+le, "",000 customers lost po7er.
6orthern an+ central 5eorgia 7ere affecte+ b2 hea:2 rains an+ strong 7in+s from Hurricane
Katrina as the storm mo:e+ inlan+, 7ith more than inches #"5 mm% of rain falling in se:eral
areas. At least !8 torna+oes forme+ in 5eorgia on August 2&, the most on recor+ in that state for
one +a2 in August. The most serious of these torna+oes 7as an F2 torna+o 7hich affecte+ Hear+
1ount2 an+ 1arroll 1ount2. This torna+o cause+ inEuries an+ one fatalit2 an+ +amage+ se:eral
houses. ;n a++ition this torna+o +estro2e+ se:eral poultr2 barns, killing o:er !*0,000 chicks. The
other torna+oes cause+ significant +amages to buil+ings an+ agricultural facilities. ;n a++ition to
the fatalit2 cause+ b2 the F2 torna+o, there 7as another fatalit2 in a traffic acci+ent.
%ther &'S' States and Canada
Total rainfall from Katrina in the /nite+ States. 0ata for the 6e7 8rleans area is not a:ailable.
Hurricane Katrina 7eakene+ as it mo:e+ inlan+, but tropicalHstorm force gusts 7ere recor+e+ as
far north as Fort 1ampbell, Kentuck2 on August 0, an+ the 7in+s +amage+ trees in 6e7 Nork.
The remnants of the storm brought high le:els of rainfall to a 7i+e s7ath of the eastern /nite+
States, an+ rain in e<cess of 2 inches #50 mm% fell in parts of 20 states.
A number of torna+oes
associate+ 7ith Katrina forme+ on August 0 an+ August !, 7hich cause+ minor +amages in
se:eral regions. ;n total, )2 torna+oes forme+ in eight states as a result of Katrina.
>astern Arkansas recei:e+ light rain from the passage of Katrina.
5ust2 7in+s +o7ne+ some
trees an+ po7er lines, though +amage 7as minimal.
;n Kentuck2, a storm that ha+ mo:e+
through the 7eeken+ before ha+ alrea+2 pro+uce+ floo+ing an+ the rainfall from Katrina a++e+
to this. As a result of the floo+ing, Kentuck2 5o:ernor >rnie Fletcher +eclare+ three counties
+isaster areas an+ a state7i+e state of emergenc2.
8ne person 7as kille+ in Hopkins:ille,
Kentuck2 an+ part of a high school collapse+.
Floo+ing also prompte+ a number of
e:acuations in Cest Kirginia an+ 8hio, the rainfall in 8hio lea+ing to t7o in+irect +eaths.
Katrina also cause+ a number of po7er outages in man2 areas, 7ith o:er !00,000 customers
affecte+ in Tennessee, primaril2 in the 9emphis an+ 6ash:ille areas.
The remnants of Katrina 7ere absorbe+ b2 a ne7 c2clone to its east across 'enns2l:ania. This
secon+ c2clone continue+ north an+ affecte+ 1ana+a on August !. ;n 8ntario there 7ere a fe7
isolate+ reports of rain in e<cess of !00 mm #* inches% an+ there 7ere a fe7 reports of +amage
from fallen trees.
Floo+ing also occurre+ in both 8ntario an+ Ouebec, cutting off a number of
isolate+ :illages in Ouebec, particularl2 in the 1PteH6or+ region.
See alsoD Social effects of Hurricane Katrina, 'olitical effects of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane
Katrina +isaster relief, an+ ;0's in the /nite+ States
(conomic effects
9ain articleD >conomic effects of Hurricane Katrina
The economic effects of the storm 7ere farHreaching. The 3ush A+ministration sought
.!05 billion for repairs an+ reconstruction in the region,
7hich +i+ not account for +amage to
the econom2 cause+ b2 potential interruption of the oil suppl2, +estruction of the 5ulf 1oastFs
high7a2 infrastructure, an+ e<ports of commo+ities such as grain. Katrina +amage+ or +estro2e+
0 oil platforms an+ cause+ the closure of nine refineries(
the total shutHin oil pro+uction from
the 5ulf of 9e<ico in the si<Hmonth perio+ follo7ing Katrina 7as appro<imatel2 2*? of the
annual pro+uction an+ the shutHin gas pro+uction for the same perio+ 7as about !8?.
forestr2 in+ustr2 in 9ississippi 7as also affecte+, as !. million acres #5,00 km
% of forest lan+s
7ere +estro2e+.
The total loss to the forestr2 in+ustr2 from Katrina is calculate+ to rise to
about .5 billion.
Furthermore, hun+re+s of thousan+s of local resi+ents 7ere left unemplo2e+,
7hich 7ill ha:e a trickleH+o7n effect as fe7er ta<es are pai+ to local go:ernments. 3efore the
hurricane, the region supporte+ appro<imatel2 one million nonHfarm Eobs, 7ith )00,000 of them
in 6e7 8rleans. ;t is estimate+ that the total economic impact in 4ouisiana an+ 9ississippi ma2
e<cee+ .!50 billion.
Katrina re+istribute+ o:er one million people from the central 5ulf coast else7here across the
/nite+ States, 7hich became the largest +iaspora in the histor2 of the /nite+ States.
Te<as, ha+ an increase of 5,000 people( 9obile, Alabama, gaine+ o:er 2*,000( 3aton Aouge,
4ouisiana, o:er !5,000( an+ Hammon+, 4ouisiana recei:e+ o:er !0,000, nearl2 +oubling its siIe.
1ostliest /.S. Atlantic hurricanes
1ost refers to total estimate+ propert2 +amage
)an* Hurricane Season Damages
+ Katrina 2005 .!08 billion
San+2 20!2 .50 billion
, ;ke 2008 .2&.5 billion
- An+re7 !&&2 .2).5 billion
5 Cilma 2005 .20.) billion
. ;:an 200* .!8.8 billion
/ ;rene 20!! .!5.) billion
0 1harle2 200* .!5.! billion
1 Aita 2005 .!2 billion
+! Frances 200* .&.5! billion
Source2 $%AA
1hicago recei:e+ o:er ),000 people, the most of an2 nonHsouthern cit2.
32 late Banuar2 200),
about 200,000 people 7ere once again li:ing in 6e7 8rleans, less than half of the preHstorm
32 Bul2 !, 200), 7hen ne7 population estimates 7ere calculate+ b2 the /.S.
1ensus 3ureau, the state of 4ouisiana sho7e+ a population +ecline of 2!&,5), or *.8"?.

A++itionall2, some insurance companies ha:e stoppe+ insuring homeo7ners in the area because
of the high costs from Hurricanes Katrina an+ Aita, or ha:e raise+ homeo7nersF insurance
premiums to co:er their risk.
(n5ironmental effects
See alsoD 9urph2 8il /SA refiner2 spill
The 1han+eleur ;slan+s, before Katrina #left% an+ after #right%, sho7ing the impact of the storm
along coastal areas.
Katrina also ha+ a profoun+ impact on the en:ironment. The storm surge cause+ substantial
beach erosion, in some cases completel2 +e:astating coastal areas. ;n 0auphin ;slan+,
appro<imatel2 &0 miles #!50 km% to the east of the point 7here the hurricane ma+e lan+fall, the
san+ that comprise+ the barrier islan+ 7as transporte+ across the islan+ into the 9ississippi
Soun+, pushing the islan+ to7ar+s lan+.
The storm surge an+ 7a:es from Katrina also
obliterate+ the 1han+eleur ;slan+s, 7hich ha+ been affecte+ b2 Hurricane ;:an the pre:ious 2ear.
The /S 5eological Sur:e2 has estimate+ 2!" s=uare miles #5)0 km
% of lan+ 7as transforme+
to 7ater b2 the hurricanes Katrina an+ Aita.
The lan+s that 7ere lost 7ere bree+ing groun+s for marine mammals, bro7n pelicans, turtles,
an+ fish, as 7ell as migrator2 species such as re+hea+ +ucks.
8:erall, about 20? of the local
marshes 7ere permanentl2 o:errun b2 7ater as a result of the storm.
The +amage from Katrina force+ the closure of !) 6ational Cil+life Aefuges. 3reton 6ational
Cil+life Aefuge lost half its area in the storm.
As a result, the hurricane affecte+ the habitats of
sea turtles, 9ississippi san+hill cranes, Ae+Hcocka+e+ 7oo+peckers an+ Alabama 3each mice.
Large oil spills caused #y Hurricane Katrina
Spills e6ceeding +!7!!! &S gallons (,07!!! L)
Spill Location
(&S gal) (L)
3ass >nterprises #1o< 3a2% ,"80,000 !*,00,000
Shell #'ilot To7n% !,050,000 *,000,000
1he:ron #>mpire% &&!,000 ,"50,000
9urph2 8il #9erau< an+ 1halmette% 8!&,000 ,!00,000
3ass >nterprises #'ointe Q la Hache% *)!,000 !,"50,000
1he:ron #'ort Fourchon% 5,000 200,000
Kenice >nerg2 Ser:ices #Kenice% 25,000 &5,000
Shell 'ipeline 8il #6airn% !,**0 50,&00
Sun+o7n >nerg2 #Cest 'otash% !,000 *&,000
The storm cause+ oil spills from ** facilities throughout southeastern 4ouisiana, 7hich resulte+
in o:er " million /.S. gallons #2) million 4% of oil being leake+. Some spills 7ere as small as a
fe7 hun+re+ gallons( the largest are tabulate+ to the right. Chile most of the spills 7ere
containe+ onHsite, some oil entere+ the ecos2stem, an+ the to7n of 9erau< 7as floo+e+ 7ith a
blen+ of 7ater an+ oil.
/nlike Hurricane ;:an no offshore oil spills 7ere officiall2 reporte+
after Hurricane Katrina. Ho7e:er, Sk2truth reporte+ some signs of surface oil in the 5ulf of
Finall2, as part of the cleanup effort, the floo+ 7aters that co:ere+ 6e7 8rleans 7ere pumpe+
into 4ake 'ontchartrain, a process that took * +a2s to complete.
These resi+ual 7aters
containe+ a mi< of ra7 se7age, bacteria, hea:2 metals, pestici+es, to<ic chemicals, an+ oil,
7hich sparke+ fears in the scientific communit2 of massi:e numbers of fish +2ing.
'rior to the storm, subsi+ence an+ erosion cause+ erosion in the 4ouisiana 7etlan+s an+ ba2ous.
This, along 7ith the canals built in the area, allo7e+ for Katrina to maintain more of its intensit2
7hen it struck.
Looting and 5iolence
Further informationD >ffects of Hurricane Katrina on 6e7 8rleans
A 3or+er 'atrol Special Aesponse Team searches a hotel roomHb2Hroom in 6e7 8rleans in
response to Hurricane Katrina.
Shortl2 after the hurricane mo:e+ a7a2 on August 0, 2005, some resi+ents of 6e7 8rleans 7ho
remaine+ in the cit2 began looting stores. 9an2 7ere in search of foo+ an+ 7ater that 7ere not
a:ailable to them through an2 other means, as 7ell as nonHessential items.
Aeports of carEacking, mur+ers, thefts, an+ rapes in 6e7 8rleans floo+e+ the ne7s. Some
sources later +etermine+ that man2 of the reports 7ere inaccurate, because of the confusion.

Thousan+s of 6ational 5uar+ an+ fe+eral troops 7ere mobiliIe+ #the total 7ent from ",8*! in the
area the +a2 Katrina hit to a ma<imum of *),88 on September !0% an+ sent to 4ouisiana along
7ith numbers of local la7 enforcement agents from across the countr2 7ho 7ere temporaril2
+eputiIe+ b2 the state. GThe2 ha:e 9!)s an+ are locke+ an+ loa+e+. These troops kno7 ho7 to
shoot an+ kill an+ ; e<pect the2 7ill,G 4ouisiana 5o:ernor Kathleen 3lanco sai+. 1ongressman
3ill Befferson #0H4A% tol+ A31 6e7sD GThere 7as shooting going on. There 7as sniping going
on. 8:er the first 7eek of September, la7 an+ or+er 7ere gra+uall2 restore+ to the cit2.G

Se:eral shootings occurre+ bet7een police an+ 6e7 8rleans resi+ents, some in:ol:ing police
miscon+uct( inclu+ing a fatal inci+ent at 0anIiger 3ri+ge.
A number of arrests 7ere ma+e throughout the affecte+ area, inclu+ing some near the 6e7
8rleans 1on:ention 1enter. A temporar2 Eail 7as constructe+ of chain link cages in the cit2 train
;n Te<as, 7here more than 00,000 refugees 7ere locate+, local officials ran 20,000 criminal
backgroun+ checks on the refugees, as 7ell as on the relief 7orkers helping them an+ people
7ho opene+ up their homes. The backgroun+ checks foun+ that *5? of the refugees ha+ a
criminal recor+ of some nature, an+ that 22? ha+ a :iolent criminal recor+.
The number of
homici+es in Houston from September 2005 through Februar2 22, 200) 7ent up b2 2? relati:e
to the same perio+ a 2ear before( 2& of the !"0 mur+ers in:ol:e+ +isplace+ 4ouisianans as
:ictims or suspects.
9o5ernment response
1hart sho7ing some common uses of the F>9A marking s2stem in 6e7 8rleans after Hurricane
'resi+ent 3ush stan+s 7ith Secretar2 of 0efense 0onal+ Aumsfel+, Secretar2 of 4abor >laine
1hao an+ Secretar2 of Health an+ Human Ser:ices 9ike 4ea:itt +uring a press conference from
the Aose 5ar+en, regar+ing the +e:astation along the 5ulf 1oast cause+ b2 Katrina.
'resi+ent 3ush e<amines the floo+e+ areas from Air Force 8ne.
Cithin the /nite+ States an+ as +elineate+ in the 6ational Aesponse 'lan, +isaster response an+
planning is first an+ foremost a local go:ernment responsibilit2. Chen local go:ernment
e<hausts its resources, it then re=uests specific a++itional resources from the count2 le:el. The
re=uest process procee+s similarl2 from the count2 to the state to the fe+eral go:ernment as
a++itional resource nee+s are i+entifie+. 9an2 of the problems that arose +e:elope+ from
ina+e=uate planning an+ backHup communications s2stems at :arious le:els.
Some +isaster reco:er2 response to Katrina began before the storm, 7ith Fe+eral >mergenc2
9anagement Agenc2 #F>9A% preparations that range+ from logistical suppl2 +eplo2ments to a
mortuar2 team 7ith refrigerate+ trucks. A net7ork of :olunteers began ren+ering assistance to
local resi+ents an+ resi+ents emerging from 6e7 8rleans an+ surroun+ing parishes as soon as
the storm ma+e lan+fall #e:en though man2 7ere +irecte+ to not enter the area%, an+ continue+
for more than si< months after the storm.
8f the )0,000 people stran+e+ in 6e7 8rleans, the 1oast 5uar+ rescue+ more than ,500.

1ongress recogniIe+ the 1oast 5uar+Fs response 7ith an official entr2 in the 1ongressional
an+ the Arme+ Ser:ice 7as a7ar+e+ the 'resi+ential /nit 1itation.
The /nite+ States 6orthern 1omman+ establishe+ Boint Task Force #BTF% Katrina base+ out of
1amp Shelb2, 9ississippi, to act as the militar2Fs onHscene response on Sun+a2, August 28, 7ith
/S Arm2 4ieutenant 5eneral Aussel 4. HonorR as comman+er.
Appro<imatel2 58,000
6ational 5uar+ personnel 7ere acti:ate+ to +eal 7ith the stormFs aftermath, 7ith troops coming
from all 50 states.
The 0epartment of 0efense also acti:ate+ :olunteer members of the 1i:il
Air 'atrol.
9ichael 1hertoff, Secretar2 of the 0epartment of Homelan+ Securit2, +eci+e+ to take o:er the
fe+eral, state, an+ local operations officiall2 on August 0, 2005, citing the 6ational Aesponse
This 7as refuse+ b2 5o:ernor 3lanco 7ho in+icate+ that her 6ational 5uar+ coul+
manage. >arl2 in September, 1ongress authoriIe+ a total of .)2. billion in ai+ for :ictims.

A++itionall2, 'resi+ent 3ush enliste+ the help of former presi+ents 3ill 1linton an+ 5eorge H.C.
3ush to raise a++itional :oluntar2 contributions, much as the2 +i+ after the 200* ;n+ian 8cean
earth=uake an+ tsunami.
American flags 7ere also or+ere+ to be halfHstaff from September 2,
2005 to September 20, 2005 in honor of the :ictims.
F>9A pro:i+e+ housing assistance #rental assistance, trailers, etc.% to more than "00,000
applicantsMfamilies an+ in+i:i+uals. Ho7e:er, onl2 oneHfifth of the trailers re=ueste+ in 8rleans
'arish 7ere supplie+, resulting in an enormous housing shortage in the cit2 of 6e7 8rleans.

9an2 local areas :ote+ to not allo7 the trailers, an+ man2 areas ha+ no utilities, a re=uirement
prior to placing the trailers. To pro:i+e for a++itional housing, F>9A has also pai+ for the hotel
costs of !2,000 in+i:i+uals an+ families +isplace+ b2 Katrina through Februar2 ", 200), 7hen a
final +ea+line 7as set for the en+ of hotel cost co:erage. After this +ea+line, e:acuees 7ere still
eligible to recei:e fe+eral assistance, 7hich coul+ be use+ to7ar+s either apartment rent,
a++itional hotel sta2s, or fi<ing their ruine+ homes, although F>9A no longer pai+ for hotels
As of 9arch 0, 20!0, there 7ere still 2)0 families li:ing in F>9AHpro:i+e+ trailers
in 4ouisiana an+ 9ississippi.
4a7 enforcement an+ public safet2 agencies, from across the /nite+ States, pro:i+e+ a Gmutual
ai+G response to 4ouisiana an+ 6e7 8rleans in the 7eeks follo7ing the +isaster. 9an2 agencies
respon+e+ 7ith manpo7er an+ e=uipment from as far a7a2 as 1alifornia, 9ichigan, 6e:a+a,
6e7 Nork, an+ Te<as. This response 7as 7elcome+ b2 local 4ouisiana authorities as their staff
7ere either becoming fatigue+, stretche+ too thin, or e:en =uitting from the Eob.
T7o 7eeks after the storm, more than half of the states 7ere in:ol:e+ in pro:i+ing shelter for
e:acuees. 32 four 7eeks after the storm, e:acuees ha+ been registere+ in all 50 states an+ in
!8,"00 Iip co+esMhalf of the nationFs resi+ential postal Iones. 9ost e:acuees ha+ sta2e+ 7ithin
250 miles #*00 km%, but 2*0,000 househol+s 7ent to Houston an+ other cities o:er 250 miles
#*00 km% a7a2 an+ another )0,000 househol+s 7ent o:er "50 miles #!,200 km% a7a2.
Criticism of go5ernment response
9ain articleD 1riticism of go:ernment response to Hurricane Katrina
/S6S Comfort takes on supplies at 9a2port, Flori+a en route to the 5ulf 1oast.
The criticisms of the go:ernmentFs response to Hurricane Katrina primaril2 consiste+ of criticism
of mismanagement an+ lack of lea+ership in the relief efforts in response to the storm an+ its
aftermath. 9ore specificall2, the criticism focuse+ on the +ela2e+ response to the floo+ing of
6e7 8rleans, an+ the subse=uent state of chaos in the 1rescent 1it2.
The neologism
Katrinagate 7as coine+ to refer to this contro:ers2, an+ 7as a runnerHup for G2005 7or+ of the
Cithin +a2s of KatrinaFs August 2&, 2005 lan+fall, public +ebate arose about the local, state an+
fe+eral go:ernmentsF role in the preparations for an+ response to the hurricane. 1riticism 7as
initiall2 prompte+ b2 tele:ise+ images of :isibl2 shaken an+ frustrate+ political lea+ers, an+ of
resi+ents 7ho remaine+ stran+e+ b2 floo+ 7aters 7ithout 7ater, foo+ or shelter. 0eaths from
thirst, e<haustion, an+ :iolence, +a2s after the storm ha+ passe+, fuele+ the criticism, as +i+ the
+ilemma of the e:acuees at facilities such as the 4ouisiana Super+ome #+esigne+ to han+le 800,
2et 0,000 arri:e+% an+ the 6e7 8rleans 1i:ic 1enter #not +esigne+ as an e:acuation center, 2et
25,000 arri:e+%. Some allege+ that race, class, an+ other factors coul+ ha:e contribute+ to +ela2s
in go:ernment response.
;n accor+ance 7ith fe+eral la7, 'resi+ent 5eorge C. 3ush +irecte+ the Secretar2 of the
0epartment of Homelan+ Securit2, 9ichael 1hertoff, to coor+inate the Fe+eral response.
1hertoff +esignate+ 9ichael 0. 3ro7n, hea+ of the Fe+eral >mergenc2 9anagement Agenc2, as
the 'rincipal Fe+eral 8fficial to lea+ the +eplo2ment an+ coor+ination of all fe+eral response
resources an+ forces in the 5ulf 1oast region. Ho7e:er, the 'resi+ent an+ Secretar2 1hertoff
initiall2 came un+er harsh criticism for 7hat some percei:e+ as a lack of planning an+
coor+ination. 3ro7n claime+ that 5o:ernor 3lanco resiste+ their efforts an+ 7as unhelpful.
5o:ernor 3lanco an+ her staff +ispute+ this.
>ight +a2s later, 3ro7n 7as recalle+ to
Cashington an+ 1oast 5uar+ Kice A+miral Tha+ C. Allen replace+ him as chief of hurricane
relief operations.
Three +a2s after the recall, 9ichael 0. 3ro7n resigne+ as +irector of F>9A
in spite of ha:ing recei:e+ recent praise from 'resi+ent 3ush.
0uring A Concert for Hurricane Relief, a benefit concert for :ictims of the hurricane, rapper
Kan2e Cest :eere+ off script an+ harshl2 criticiIe+ the go:ernmentFs response to the crisis,
stating that G5eorge 3ush +oesnFt care about black people.G Although the camera =uickl2 cut
a7a2, an+ the scene 7as +elete+ from +ela2e+ broa+casts, CestFs comments still reache+ the >ast
1oast broa+casts, an+ 7ere repla2e+ an+ +iscusse+ after7ar+s.
3ush later calle+ CestFs
remarks Fthe 7orst moment in his presi+enc2F, feeling he 7as unEustl2 accuse+ of racism.
1riticism from politicians, acti:ists, pun+its an+ Eournalists of all stripes 7as +irecte+ at the local
an+ state go:ernments hea+e+ b2 9a2or Aa2 6agin of 6e7 8rleans an+ 4ouisiana 5o:ernor
Kathleen 3lanco. 6agin an+ 3lanco 7ere criticiIe+ for failing to implement 6e7 8rleansF
e:acuation plan an+ for or+ering resi+ents to a shelter of last resort 7ithout an2 pro:isions for
foo+, 7ater, securit2, or sanitar2 con+itions. 'erhaps the most important criticism of 6agin 7as
that he +ela2e+ his emergenc2 e:acuation or+er until !& hours before lan+fall, 7hich le+ to
hun+re+s of +eaths of people 7ho #b2 that time% coul+ not fin+ an2 7a2 out of the cit2.
The +estruction 7rought b2 Hurricane Katrina raise+ other, more general public polic2 issues
about emergenc2 management, en:ironmental polic2, po:ert2, an+ unemplo2ment. The
+iscussion of both the imme+iate response an+ of the broa+er public polic2 issues ma2 ha:e
affecte+ elections an+ legislation enacte+ at :arious le:els of go:ernment. The stormFs
+e:astation also prompte+ a 1ongressional in:estigation, 7hich foun+ that F>9A an+ the Ae+
1ross G+i+ not ha:e a logistics capacit2 sophisticate+ enough to full2 support the massi:e
number of 5ulf coast :ictims.G A++itionall2, it place+ responsibilit2 for the +isaster on all three
le:els of go:ernment.
An A31 6e7s poll con+ucte+ on September 2, 2005, sho7e+ more blame 7as being +irecte+ at
state an+ local go:ernments #"5?% than at the Fe+eral go:ernment #)"?%, 7ith **? blaming
3ushFs lea+ership +irectl2.
A later 166$/SATo+a2$5allup poll sho7e+ that respon+ents
+isagree+ 7i+el2 on 7ho 7as to blame for the problems in the cit2 follo7ing the hurricane M
!? sai+ 3ush, !8? sai+ fe+eral agencies, 25? blame+ state or local officials an+ 8? sai+ no
one 7as to blame.
Fi:e former police officers ha:e plea+e+ guilt2 to charges connecte+ to the 0anIiger 3ri+ge
shootings in the aftermath of the hurricane. Si< other former or current officers appeare+ in court
in Bune 20!!. T7o unarme+ ci:ilians 7ere kille+ an+ four others seriousl2 7oun+e+ 7hen police
opene+ fire on people attempting to cross the bri+ge.
:nternational response
9ain articleD ;nternational response to Hurricane Katrina
/nite+ States 6a:2 personnel unloa+ 1ana+ian relief supplies from a 1ana+ian Air Force
transport aircraft in 'ensacola, Flori+a.
8:er se:ent2 countries ple+ge+ monetar2 +onations or other assistance. 6otabl2, 1uba an+
KeneIuela #both consi+ere+ as hostile to /S go:ernment interest% 7ere the first countries to offer
assistance, ple+ging o:er .! million, se:eral mobile hospitals, 7ater treatment plants, canne+
foo+, bottle+ 7ater, heating oil, !,!00 +octors an+ 2).* metric tons of me+icine, though this ai+
7as reEecte+ b2 the /.S. go:ernment.
Ku7ait ma+e the largest single ple+ge,
.500 million( other large +onations 7ere ma+e b2 Oatar an+ /nite+ Arab >mirates #each
.!00 million%, South Korea #.0 million%, Australia #.!0 million%, ;n+ia, 1hina #both
.5 million%, 6e7 Sealan+ #.2 million%,
'akistan #.!.5 million%,
an+ 3angla+esh
#.! million%.
;n+ia sent tarps, blankets an+ h2giene kits. An ;n+ian Air Force ;4H") aircraft +eli:ere+ 25
tonnes of relief supplies for the Hurricane Katrina :ictims at the 4ittle Aock Air Force 3ase,
Arkansas on September !, 2005.
;srael sent an ;0F +elegation to 6e7 8rleans to transport ai+ e=uipment inclu+ing 80 tons of
foo+, +isposable +iapers, be+s, blankets, generators an+ a++itional e=uipment 7hich 7ere
+onate+ from +ifferent go:ernmental institutions, ci:ilian institutions an+ the ;0F.
The 3ush
A+ministration announce+ in mi+HSeptember that it +i+ not nee+ ;sraeli +i:ers an+ ph2sicians to
come to the /nite+ States for search an+ rescue missions, but a small team lan+e+ in 6e7
8rleans on September !0 to gi:e assistance to operations alrea+2 un+er 7a2. The team
a+ministere+ first ai+ to sur:i:ors, rescue+ aban+one+ pets an+ +isco:ere+ hurricane :ictims.
1ountries like Sri 4anka, 7hich 7as still reco:ering from the ;n+ian 8cean Tsunami, also offere+
to help. 1ountries inclu+ing 1ana+a, 9e<ico, Singapore, an+ 5erman2 sent supplies, relief
personnel #like Technisches Hilfs7erk%, troops, ships an+ 7ater pumps to ai+ in the +isaster
reco:er2. 3elgium sent in a team of relief personnel. 3ritainFs +onation of 50,000 emergenc2
meals +i+ not reach :ictims because of la7s regar+ing ma+ co7 +isease.
AussiaFs initial offer
of t7o Eets 7as +ecline+ b2 the /.S. State 0epartment but accepte+ later. The French offer 7as
also +ecline+ an+ re=ueste+ later.
;n a++ition to recei:ing ai+ from aroun+ the 7orl+, there 7as criticism to go along 7ith it,
inclu+ing accusations of racism. Ouote+ from the /K 9irror, G9an2 things about the /nite+
States are 7on+erful, but it has a :ile un+erbell2 7hich is usuall2 kept 7ell out of sight. 6o7 in
6e7 8rleans it has been e<pose+ to the 7orl+.G
$on;go5ernmental organi<ation response
Aesi+ents of 4ouisiana, 7ho ha+ to flee their homes because of Hurricane Katrina, are insi+e the
Houston Astro+ome an+ being helpe+ b2 the Ae+ 1ross an+ other agencies an+ associations.
The American Ae+ 1ross, AmericaFs Secon+ Har:est #no7 kno7n as Fee+ing America%,
Southern 3aptist 1on:ention, Sal:ation Arm2, 8<fam, 1ommon 5roun+ 1ollecti:e, 3urners
Cithout 3or+ers,
>mergenc2 1ommunities, Habitat for Humanit2, 1atholic 1harities, Ser:ice
;nternational, GA Ai:er of HopeG, The 1hurch of Besus 1hrist of 4atterH+a2 Saints,
man2 other charitable organiIations pro:i+e+ help to the :ictims of the storm. The2 7ere not
allo7e+ into 6e7 8rleans proper b2 the 6ational 5uar+ for se:eral +a2s after the storm because
of safet2 concerns. These organiIations raise+ /S.*.25 billion in +onations b2 the public, 7ith
the Ae+ 1ross recei:ing o:er half of the +onations.
Some smaller organiIations an+
in+i:i+uals ignore+ the access restrictions an+ pro:i+e+ earl2 relief. For e<ample, t7o pri:atel2
chartere+ planes from Faster1ures e:acuate+ 200 patents from 1harit2 Hospital in 6e7 8rleans.
Kolunteers from amateur ra+ioFs emergenc2 ser:ice 7ing, the Amateur Aa+io >mergenc2
Ser:ice, pro:i+e+ communications in areas 7here the communications infrastructure ha+ been
+amage+ or totall2 +estro2e+, rela2ing e:er2thing from &!! traffic to messages home.
Hancock 1ount2, 9ississippi, ham ra+io operators pro:i+e+ the onl2 communications into or out
of the area, an+ e:en ser:e+ as &!! +ispatchers.
9an2 corporations also contribute+ to relief efforts. 8n September !, 2005, it 7as reporte+ that
corporate +onations to the relief effort 7ere .*0& million, an+ 7ere e<pecte+ to e<cee+
.! billion.
0uring an+ after the Hurricanes Katrina, Cilma an+ Aita, the American Ae+ 1ross ha+ opene+
!,*"0 +ifferent shelters across an+ registere+ .8 million o:ernight sta2s. 6one 7ere allo7e+ in
6e7 8rleans ho7e:er. A total of 2**,000 Ae+ 1ross 7orkers #&5? of 7hich 7ere nonHpai+
:olunteers% 7ere utiliIe+ throughout these three hurricanes. ;n a++ition, *),&80 comfort kits
#such as toothpaste, soap, 7ashcloths an+ to2s for chil+ren% an+ 205,)0 cleanup kits #containing
brooms, mops an+ bleach% 7ere +istribute+. For mass care, the organiIation ser:e+ )8 million
snacks an+ meals to :ictims of the +isasters an+ to rescue 7orkers. The Ae+ 1ross also ha+ its
0isaster Health ser:ices meet 5&),8!0 contacts, an+ 0isaster 9ental Health ser:ices met
82),5&0 contacts. Ae+ 1ross emergenc2 financial assistance 7as pro:i+e+ to !.* million
families. Hurricane Katrina 7as the first natural +isaster in the /nite+ States in 7hich the
American Ae+ 1ross utiliIe+ its GSafe an+ CellG famil2 location 7ebsite.
;n the 2ear follo7ing KatrinaFs strike on the 5ulf 1oast, The Sal:ation Arm2 allocate+ +onations
of more than .)5 million to ser:e more than !." million people in nearl2 e:er2 state. The
organiIationFs imme+iate response to Hurricane Katrina inclu+e+ more than 5." million hot
meals ser:e+ in an+ aroun+ 6e7 8rleans, 8. million san+7iches, snacks T +rinks. ;ts SAT>A6
net7ork of amateur ra+io operators picke+ up 7here mo+ern communications left off to help
locate more than 25,000 sur:i:ors. Sal:ation Arm2 pastoral care counselors 7ere on han+ to
comfort the emotional an+ spiritual nee+s of 2"",000 in+i:i+uals. As part of the o:erall effort,
Sal:ation Arm2 officers, emplo2ees an+ :olunteers contribute+ more than &00,000 hours of
Analysis of $ew %rleans le5ee failures
9ain articleD 2005 le:ee failures in 5reater 6e7 8rleans
Kie7 of the e2e7all of Hurricane Katrina taken on August 28, 2005, as seen from a 68AA C'H
0 hurricane hunter aircraft before the storm ma+e lan+fall on the /nite+ States 5ulf 1oast.
A Bune 200" report release+ b2 the American Societ2 of 1i:il >ngineers states that the failures of
the locall2 built an+ fe+erall2 fun+e+ le:ees in 6e7 8rleans 7ere foun+ to be primaril2 the result
of s2stem +esign fla7s.
The /S Arm2 1orps of >ngineers 7ho b2 fe+eral man+ate is
responsible for the conception, +esign an+ construction of the regionFs floo+Hcontrol s2stem
faile+ to pa2 sufficient attention to public safet2.
Accor+ing to mo+eling an+ fiel+ obser:ations b2 a team from 4ouisiana State /ni:ersit2, the
9ississippi Ai:er 5ulf 8utlet #9A58%, a 200HmeterH7i+e #))0HfootH7i+e% canal +esigne+ to
pro:i+e a shortcut from 6e7 8rleans to the 5ulf of 9e<ico, helpe+ pro:i+e a funnel for the
storm surge, making it 20? higher an+ !00?H200? faster as it crashe+ into the cit2. St. 3ernar+
'arish, one of the more +e:astate+ areas, lies Eust south of the 9A58. The 1orps of >ngineers
+isputes this causalit2 an+ maintains Katrina 7oul+ ha:e o:er7helme+ the le:ees 7ith or
7ithout the contributing effect of the 9A58.
The 7ater flo7ing 7est from the storm surge
7as perpen+icular to 9A58, an+ thus the canal ha+ a negligible effect.
There 7as unfoun+e+ speculation ma+e b2 resi+ents concerning a possible planne+ le:ee breach.
9an2 references are ma+e to the !&2" floo+ in 7hich a le:ee 7as breache+ south of 6e7
8rleans in or+er to +i:ert floo+7ater to the 5ulf of 9e<ico.
the /.S. Fish an+
Cil+life Ser:ice an+ the 6ature 1onser:anc2 ha:e +e:elope+ a floo+plain reconnection proEect
in 7hich the 8uachita Ai:er 7oul+ be connecte+ to its floo+plain an+ the 5ulf of 9e<ico.
breach in the le:ee
cause+ the 7ater le:el +o7nstream to +rop si< inches #!52 mm% in a
pre:ious e:ent in the earl2 !&&0s. 3oth cases sho7 the man2 benefits of allo7ing the ri:er to run
its course.
,improper snthesis?-
8n April 5, 200), months after in+epen+ent in:estigators ha+ +emonstrate+ that le:ee failures
7ere not cause+ b2 natural forces be2on+ inten+e+ +esign strength, 4ieutenant 5eneral 1arl
Strock, 1hief of >ngineers an+ 1omman+er of the 1orps of >ngineers, testifie+ before the
/nite+ States Senate Subcommittee on >nerg2 an+ Cater that GCe ha:e no7 conclu+e+ 7e ha+
problems 7ith the +esign of the structure.G
He also testifie+ that the /.S. Arm2 1orps of
>ngineers +i+ not kno7 of this mechanism of failure prior to August 2&, 2005. The claim of
ignorance is refute+, ho7e:er, b2 the 6ational Science Foun+ation in:estigators hire+ b2 the
1orps of >ngineers, 7ho point to a !&8) stu+2 b2 the 1orps itself that such separations 7ere
possible in the ;H7all +esign.
9an2 of the le:ees ha:e been reconstructe+ since the time of Katrina. ;n reconstructing them,
precautions 7ere taken to bring the le:ees up to mo+ern buil+ing co+e stan+ar+s an+ to ensure
their safet2. For e<ample, in e:er2 situation possible, the 1orps of >ngineers replace+ ;H7alls
7ith TH7alls. TH7alls ha:e a horiIontal concrete base that protects against soil erosion
un+erneath the floo+7alls.
Ho7e:er, there are fun+ing battles o:er the remaining le:ee impro:ements. ;n Februar2 2008,
the 3ush a+ministration re=ueste+ that the state of 4ouisiana pa2 about .!.5 billion of an
estimate+ .".2 billion for 1orps of >ngineers le:ee 7ork #in accor+ance 7ith the principles of
local cost sharing re=uire+ b2 1ongress as earl2 as the Floo+ 1ontrol Act of !&28%, a proposal
7hich angere+ man2 4ouisiana lea+ers.
8n 9a2 2, 2008, 4ouisiana 5o:. 3obb2 Bin+al use+ a speech to The 6ational 'ress 1lub to
re=uest that 'resi+ent 3ush free up mone2 to complete 7ork on 4ouisianaFs le:ees. 3ush
promise+ to inclu+e the le:ee fun+ing in his 200& bu+get, but reEecte+ the i+ea of inclu+ing the
fun+ing in a 7ar bill, 7hich 7oul+ pass sooner.
"edia in5ol5ement
9ain articleD 9e+ia co:erage of Hurricane Katrina
9an2 representati:es of the ne7s me+ia reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina became
+irectl2 in:ol:e+ in the unfol+ing e:ents, instea+ of simpl2 reporting. 3ecause of the loss of
most means of communication, such as lan+Hbase+ an+ cellular telephone s2stems, fiel+ reporters
in man2 cases became con+uits for information bet7een :ictims an+ authorities.
The authorities, 7ho monitore+ local an+ net7ork ne7s broa+casts, as 7ell as internet sites,
7oul+ then attempt to coor+inate rescue efforts base+ on the reports. 8ne illustration 7as 7hen
5eral+o Ai:era of Fo< 6e7s tearfull2 plea+e+ for authorities to either sen+ help or e:acuate the
thousan+s of e:acuees stran+e+ at the >rnest 6. 9orial 1on:ention 1enter.
The storm also brought a +ramatic rise in the role of ;nternet sitesMespeciall2 blogging an+
communit2 Eournalism. 8ne e<ample 7as the effort of !", the 7eb affiliate of 6e7
8rleansF $imes-%icaune. A group of reporters from the paper inclu+ing 0oug 9ac1ash, 9anuel
Torres, Tr2maine 4ee, an+ 9ark Schleifstein 7ere a7ar+e+ the 3reaking 6e7s 'ulitIer 'riIe,
an+ the TimesH'ica2une share+ the 'ublic Ser:ice 'ulitIer 7ith the 3ilo<iHbase+ &un Herald.

The ne7spaperFs co:erage 7as carrie+ for +a2s onl2 on 684AFs blogs, as the ne7spaper lost its
presses an+ e:acuate+ its buil+ing as 7ater rose aroun+ it on August 0. The site became an
international focal point for ne7s b2 local me+ia, an+ also became a :ital link for rescue
operations an+ later for reuniting scattere+ resi+ents, as it accepte+ an+ poste+ thousan+s of
in+i:i+ual pleas for rescue on its blogs an+ forums. 684A 7as monitore+ constantl2 b2 an arra2
of rescue teamsMfrom in+i:i+uals to the 1oast 5uar+M7hich use+ information in rescue
efforts. 9uch of this information 7as rela2e+ from trappe+ :ictims :ia the S9S functions of
their cell phones, to frien+s an+ relati:es outsi+e the area, 7ho then rela2e+ the information back
to The aggregation of communit2 Eournalism, user photos an+ the use of the internet
site as a collaborati:e response to the storm attracte+ international attention, an+ 7as calle+ a
7atershe+ moment in Eournalism.
;n the 7ake of these onlineHonl2 efforts, the 'ulitIer
1ommittee for the first time opene+ all its categories to online entries.
The role of A9 ra+io 7as of importance to the hun+re+s of thousan+s of persons 7ith no other
ties to ne7s. A9 ra+io pro:i+e+ emergenc2 information regar+ing access to assistance for
hurricane :ictims. ;mme+iatel2 after Hurricane Katrina, ra+io station CC4HA9 #6e7 8rleans%
7as one of the fe7 area ra+io stations in the area remaining on the air. The 8"0 kHI fre=uenc2
has a clear channel high po7er +esignation an+ the onHgoing nighttime broa+casts continue+ to
be a:ailable up to 500 miles #800 km% a7a2. Announcers continue+ to broa+cast from
impro:ise+ stu+io facilities after the storm +amage+ their main stu+ios.
0uring the perio+ of se:eral 7eeks 7hen most area ra+io stations 7ere off the air, CC4HA9Fs
emergenc2 co:erage 7as simulcast on the fre=uencies of other area ra+io stations. This
emergenc2 ser:ice 7as name+ GThe /nite+ Aa+io 3roa+casters of 6e7 8rleans.G To reach
emergenc2 ra+io operators in stormHra:age+ areas, man2 of 7hom ma+e their :olunteer ser:ices
a:ailable to the Ae+ 1ross an+ go:ernment entities, CC4HA9 7as simulcast on short7a:e
outlet CHA;, o7ne+ b2 Corl+ Har:est Aa+io ;nternational. The cellular phone antenna net7ork
7as se:erel2 +amage+ an+ completel2 inoperable for se:eral months.
As the /.S. militar2 an+ rescue ser:ices regaine+ control o:er the cit2, there 7ere restrictions on
the acti:it2 of the me+ia. 8n September &, the militar2 lea+er of the relief effort announce+ that
reporters 7oul+ ha:e GIero accessG to efforts to reco:er bo+ies in 6e7 8rleans. ;mme+iatel2
follo7ing this announcement, 166 file+ a la7suit an+ obtaine+ a temporar2 restraining or+er
against the ban. The ne<t +a2 the go:ernment backe+ +o7n an+ re:erse+ the ban.
See alsoD 4ist of retire+ Atlantic hurricane names
3ecause of the large +eath toll an+ +estruction of propert2 along the 5ulf 1oast, the name
Katrina 7as officiall2 retire+ on April ), 200) b2 the Corl+ 9eteorological 8rganiIation at the
re=uest of the /.S. go:ernment. The name 7ill ne:er again be use+ for another 6orth Atlantic
hurricane. ;t 7as replace+ b2 Katia on 4ist ;;; of the Atlantic hurricane naming lists, 7hich 7as
use+ in the 20!! Atlantic hurricane season.
9ain articleD Aeconstruction of 6e7 8rleans
Kolunteers from Ameri1orps in 6e7 8rleans, Banuar2 200)
Aeconstruction of each section of the southern portion of 4ouisiana has been a++resse+ in the
Arm2 1orps 4A1'A #4ouisiana 1oastal 'rotection an+ Aestoration% Final Technical Aeport,
7hich i+entifies areas to not be rebuilt an+ areas 7here buil+ings nee+ to be ele:ate+.
The Technical Aeport inclu+esD
• locations of possible ne7 le:ees to be built
• suggeste+ e<isting le:ee mo+ifications
• G;nun+ation SonesG, GCater +epths less than !* feet, AaiseH;nH'lace of StructuresG,
GCater +epths greater than !* feet, 3u2out of StructuresG, GKelocit2 SonesG an+ G3u2out
of StructuresG areas for fi:e +ifferent scenarios.
The /.S. Arm2 1orps of >ngineers submitte+ the report to the /.S. 1ongress for consi+eration,
planning, an+ response in mi+H200&.