Facts About Hurricane Katrina

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One of the most devastating hurricanes the United States has experienced is Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 hurricane.  Millions lost homes along the Gulf Coast in New Orleans.  An estimated 1,836 people died in the hurricane and the flooding that followed in late August, 2005.  Still to date, the region has not recovered from the hurricane with parts of the suburbs submerged in dense, jungle growth.

Fact 1.  Katrina ranks sixth in terms of the strength of Atlantic hurricanes, but it was the most destructive storm to strike the United States. At its peak, maximum winds hit 25 to 30 nautical miles.

Fact 2.   The reasons given for the economic impact from the hurricane was due to the aging and neglected levee system. In addition, the relatively slow response after the hurricane resulted in further loss of life and damage.  Residents did not take heed to warnings to evacuate as advised which resulted in unwarranted resource utilization which could have been used for needs that were more critical.

Fact 3.    The total amount lost due to damaged property is estimated to be $81 billion, triple the amount caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Fact 4.  The aftereffects of Katrina saw the rise of negative incidents such as police officers involved in violent incidents and the numerous fraud calls for assistance. The policemen were charged in court. The FBI became aware of these emails which exploited people who had lost loved ones during the hurricane.

Fact 5.  The highest ever wall of water measured in the United States occurred during the hurricane when a 29-foot wall of water pushed ashore.

Fact 6.  In November, 2009, Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr. of the Federal District Court ruled that poor maintenance of a major navigation channel, the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, or MR-GO, by the Army Corps of Engineers led to some of the worst flooding after the hurricane.

Fact 7.  The ruling by the Federal District Court was the first time that the government was held liable for any of the flooding that inundated the New Orleans area after August 29, 2005.

Fact 8.  A Category 1 hurricane, Isaac, caused severe flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi seven years after Hurricane Katrina. The $14.5 billion levee installed after Hurricane Katrina was effective in preventing any damage albeit the levee was built to withstand a hurricane of a higher category.

Fact 9. The French Quarters in New Orleans escaped unscathed from Hurricane Katrina as it is situated 5 feet (1.5 meters) above sea level.

Fact 10.  Oil prices and oil production were severely impacted by Katrina. Total U.S. offshore oil production declined by one-third for eight months after Katrina. Oil prices increased from the mid-$60s per barrel to over $70 per barrel, and gasoline prices at the pump rocketed to near $5 a gallon in some areas of the U.S.

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