As we have blogged this week today marks the anniversary of one of the most devastating days in American history-Hurricane Katrina. Today is the day that she made landfall on New Orleans. Like 9/11 and other memorable days in history I think everyone remembers where they were. I was actually at the gym. I remember I was on the Elliptical and in front of me they had every news station on. It was early in the morning and the sites were unbearable. It actually hit land at 6:10 am, and remember this was the second landfall on the United States, it had hit landfall in Southern Florida on August 25th only two hours prior to the landfall on Florida had it become a hurricane.
What was the biggest issues in New Orleans was the levies and something we constantly heard after it hit- would the leaves hold. Katrina storm surge causes 53 levee to breach causing most of the city to be inhabitable.
Overall Katrina was the most costly and destructive hurricane to hit the United States. It produced 81.2 billion dollars in damage, this is double the most destructive hurricane before Katrina which was Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Damage occurred in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. It was also sadly the deadliest hurricane since Hurricane Okeechobee in 1928, which is astonishing considering the technology and advanced warning we have in the 21st century. Over 1800 people died from Katrina in August of 2005.
During the time Katrina happened I remembered talking with friends that lived in New Orleans about their experience. I was on a national board for an organization and a few of the members were from Xavier. It really hits home when you talk to them about living through the day. I also remember talking to a friend who attended Loyola which ended up being close for the semester. It’s crazy how in one day everything can change.
I visited New Orleans in May of 2007, although alot of recovery had occurredit was unbelievable to still see how much they still had to rebuild. I remember most the drive from the airport and looking at the sections of town that hadn’t even been touched with rebuilding. I also saw an IMAX film with Harry Connick Jr which explained why the marshes are so important at protecting the coastal Parishes and how Katrina really tore them apart. There was still markings from what was inhabitable. And still 5 years later there are areas under construction.
Katrina was a sad reminder to just how powerful mother nature can be. I know we learned about about preparation, construction and advanced time in warnings and these are lessons that will hopefully prevent such a disaster happening again to the US.
Look at the flooding. Here is a link to the damage and recovery.
Meteorologist Kristen Connolly
This post was written by kconnolly on August 29, 2010