Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8 Years Later: Katrina Aftermath

On this date, 8 years ago, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, tearing a path through cities and homes, killing 1,577 in the state of Louisiana (NOAA). 1,833 total fatalities were reported.

Hurricane Katrina, 2005

When the storm raged inland from the Atlantic, it reached Category 5 Hurricane strength, with winds up to 174mph. The central pressure of the storm dropped to an astonishing 902mb, as it developed over the course of 8 days in late August.

No storm since the 2005 disaster has come close in comparison to Hurricane Katrina. At roughly $81 BILLION in damages, Katrina broke down the region's levees and flood walls, forcing authorities and the Corps of Engineers to build a new 100-year flood protection system. The storm's surge reached a height of 28ft at its peak and the name 'Katrina' was retired by the World Meteorological Organization in 2005.

Devastation and flooding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina
Eight years later, Karina's scars still exist. The X mark can be seen on some homes, placed there by rescue workers who searched flooded neighborhoods for casualties. According to relief workers in the area today, over 6,000 home owners are still in need of a rebuild-- many without the funds to do so (St. Bernard Project).