Hurricane Katrina: Facts, Damage & Aftermath

Hurricane Katrina was a very destructive and deadly category 5 storm that hit Florida, New Orleans and other states. The Hurricane happened in 2005 and is one of the costliest natural tragedies to have ever occurred in the United States. More than one thousand people died, while many others were wounded and displaced. New Orleans was the most affected region since the Hurricane was exceptionally strong. The paper will discuss the effect of Hurricane Katrina on Florida residents that stayed through the storm.

Hurricane Katrina began on August 23rd, 2005 in the Bahamas and spread towards Florida at speeds that exceeded 100mph. Hurricane Katrina was a combination of heavy rains and strong winds that went on for several hours. At first, it began as humid depression before it converged to rings of stormy clouds. At that stage, it was called Tropical storm Katrina (Hardin 15). A day later, the winds were moving at speeds of over 65 mph. By the time the storm hit Florida, it had changed to category one storm.

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At first, the storm caused a landfall in Florida, which killed two people. After a while, the rain reduced and was classified as just a storm. However, as days went by, the storm increased, and by 28th August, it was a category 5. The speed of the wind was 175mph (Hardin 18).

By 29th August 2005, the storm had reached New Orleans. The larger fraction of damage happened in New Orleans. Compared to other states, New Orleans was the most hit; it overpowered the sleeves that had been constructed to prevent floods and overwhelmed the drainage system.

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Unfortunately, the sleeves in place had been designed to handle level three hurricane, and Katrina was level 5. Therefore, the sleeves could not contain the storm. Additionally, the soil beneath the sleeve gave in and made the sleeve structure weak in specific sections (Hardin 18). As a result, over 85 % of the whole city was covered with water, and the residents were forced to climb to the rooftops. Most houses were destroyed including St.Bernard, Tammy and Plaquemines Parish (Lansford, Covarrubias and Miller 25).

Though the response saved many lives, it came in late. However, it ensured that that the affected individuals got the essential resources that made it possible for them to survive the storm. Nonetheless, the response plans had several mistakes. First of all, the evacuation process was poorly planned. More than 25,000 individuals were trapped at the Superdome for long. The individuals at the Superdome had to undergo extreme hardships. The response arrived 19 hours late after the floods had struck the city. This caused the death of many people, a situation that could have been controlled. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) buses were later deployed to rescue people who had been stranded (Lansford, Covarrubias and Miller 36), this response came late after most people who had been affected had succumbed.

There was another mistake in the sense that the coordination between government and emergency agencies who were providing rescue had poor coordination. FEMA who should have been in the forefront providing relief had only one agent in New Orleans (Labib and Read 7875). Moreover, New Orleans governor took long before they called in for support from the military. This increased the number of deaths for people who could not leave their houses on time. The preliminary response was not adequate to mitigate the destructive nature of Hurricane Katrina. The response did not reflect the intensity of the storm that had afflicted the city.

The repercussion of Hurricane Katrina motivated the creation of various disaster aversion strategies. First of all, Homeland security created a division to support the fusion of command and administration of national catastrophes. This will address the communication hiccups that were witnessed during Hurricane Katrina (Labib and Read 7870). The developed framework would combine all command and management structures. Under the formation, both the national and State agencies will be aligned and placed under one command. This will address issues of confusion during emergencies.

A lot of lives were lost during Hurrican Katrina; more properties were destroyed, while the economy was severely affected. It is vital that the individuals involved in the rescue must be informed of the rescue plans in place. Finally, the United States is better equipped to address disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. The use of an integrated management system allows for speedy response in case of an emergency. Additionally, the logistics set up has increased transparency, while more sophisticated equipment has been put in place to mitigate the effect of national disasters in case of an occurrence.

Updated: May 19, 2021
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Hurricane Katrina: Facts, Damage & Aftermath. (2020, Sep 27). Retrieved from

Hurricane Katrina: Facts, Damage & Aftermath essay
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