Click on image to see satellite imagery of Hurricane Katrina make landfall Aug. 29, 2005. Flooding in New Orleans and of damaged Super Dome. Katrina’s storm surge broke levees. Flooded parish. Photos/video courtesy: NOAA, christitripod.com, FEMA
Hurricane Katrina was one of the most destructive and the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Nationally, 1,836 people died during Hurricane Katrina from Aug. 23 -31, 2005. The Louisiana death toll was 1,577, as of June 2006. Insured losses totaled approximately $108 billion in 2005. Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 storm, highest maximum winds were 175 mph. The storm crossed South Florida and churned in the Gulf of Mexico before taking aim at the New Orleans area and Gulf Coast.
FEMA trailers on Esteban Street in Arabi, Louisiana in St. Bernard Parrish between the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and Chalmette during a Hurricane Katrina tour in February 2006. Photo Courtesy: Carol Lim
Katrina was barely a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall south of New Orleans early Monday morning, August 29, 2005. The Times-Picayune reports the storm went up the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet and into the Intracoastal Canal. After that, Katrina’s storm surge breached levees along the coast and went over the flood walls of the Industrial Canal. Late Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, New Orleans was mostly underwater and flooded from Lake Pontchartrain and breached canals. Katrina’s destruction stretched from Morgan City, Louisiana to Apalachicola Bay off the Florida panhandle. The extent of the damage also could be seen at night. For months, New Orleans Parrish was dark at night while Jefferson Parish was lit. Any opening of a family restaurant or store in destroyed neighborhoods were signs of hope for residents. The recovery continues today in St. Bernard Parish for homeowners and victims of shoddy repairs and construction after Hurricane Katrina.
For a while, the Bush administration allowed illegal Mexicans to help New Orleans recover and rebuild damaged homes. The Times-Picayune reported dishonest contractors are swindling them out of the paychecks they earned in helping New Orleans recover from Katrina and threatening to report the Mexican workers to U.S. authorities.
During the chaos, looting of businesses in New Orleans and the long wait for federal aid to arrive, many Katrina survivors also left and moved to Houston and other states to start new lives.
Now 10 years later, 80% of New Orleans’ population has returned.