On August 29, 2005, one of the strongest hurricanes to impact the coast of the United States made landfall hitting southern Florida as a category 1. By August 29th, Hurricane Katrina reached the Gulf Coast smashing and destroying the city of New Orleans as a category 4. Many living in the city
fled prior to the storm, but many believed the reminiscences of the storm wouldn’t be as bad as they thought and they stayed. As a result of New Orleans being below sea level, levees were placed around the city to keep the streets and homes from flooding. When the intensity of winds and mass flooding came from the storm, these levees broke, flooding nearly 80% of New Orleans leaving people homeless, jobless, and even some lifeless ( Caruso). Hurricane Katrina left a devastating impact on the city of New Orleans.
On August 27th, prior to Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, New Orleans’ Mayor Ray Nagin expressed his deep concern for the city and asked the people living there to evacuate voluntarily. Many began boarding up their homes and preparing to evacuate the city, but many people remained believing they could survive the hurricane’s temper. By mid-afternoon on the 27th, Mayor Nagin made the evacuation mandatory. For those who didn’t have money or waited too long to leave, a “refuge of last resort” was designed at the Louisiana Superdome. “When Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the 29th, approximately one million people had fled the city” (Wikipedia).
When Katrina made landfall, the storm dumped treacherous amounts of rain causing the levees around the city to break. The water behind these levees flooded the city leaving some places under 20 feet of water. As the storm pressed on, the flood waters continued to rise causing the streets to look more like rivers, and swept victims and their cars off into the depths. The worst hit area involved the levees at the Industrial Canal. The Lower Ninth, a huge residential area, was completely swamped leaving survivors homeless and claiming many lives of those who couldn’t make it out in time (Wikipedia).
Some of the life claiming and changing devastations from the hurricane were not only from flooding, but also dehydration from a lack of good water, infection, and even depression. Depression stemmed from loss of loved ones, loss of homes, and possessions that displaced over one million residents of the gulf states, mostly Louisiana. New Orleans, which was eighty percent under water, lost close to 180 thousand houses from the severity of the flooding (Climate). Many had their temporary displacement, in the safe haven better known as the New Orleans Super Dome, extended by having to move from their home town (Wikipedia). Although some people were fortunate to still have their home somewhat intact, they lacked the source of power and water to enhance the time to remodel it in a timely manner. New Orleans was in a state of disaster. Everybody once living in the city was either deceased, abandoned from their home, or evacuated not knowing if they could ever call New Orleans their “home” ever again.
On August 29th, 2005, many people living in New Orleans lost everything to one of the greatest disasters to ever hit America, Hurricane Katrina. The near two thousand lives that were lost, the million plus that were displaced, and delayed federal aid for the people of New Orleans left this proud colorful culture in shambles. The devastation rendering a prominent U.S. city seem like a war torn third world country unrecognizable as suitable living and working space for its citizens; this may well be the worst natural disaster in the young history of the United States.
Caruso, Kevin. “Hurricane Katrina 2005.” Suicide.org. 21 Jan. 2008 http://www.hurricanekatrina.com/hurricane-katrina-2005.html.
“Climate of 2005 Summary of Hurricane Katrina.” National Climatic Data Center. 29 Dec. 2005. 21 Jan. 2008 http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2005/katrina.html.
“Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans.” Wikipedia. Apr. 2007. Wikipedia Encyclopedia. 21 Jan. 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect_of_Hurricane_Katrina_on_New_Orleans.