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Hurricane Katrina
Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
800px-Hurricane Katrina August 28 2005 NASA
Hurricane Katrina at peak strength
on August 28, 2005
Formed August 23, 2005
Dissipated August 31, 2005
(Extratropical after August 30, 2005)
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 175 mph (280 km/h)
Lowest pressure 902 mbar (hPa); 26.64 inHg
Fatalities 1,245–1,836
Damage $108 billion (2005 USD)
(Costliest on record)
Areas affected Bahamas, South Florida, Cuba, Louisiana (especially Greater New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle, most of eastern North America
Part of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Katrina was the eleventh named storm and fifth hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. The storm is currently ranked as the third most intense United States landfalling tropical cyclone, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Overall, at least 1,245 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest United States hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. Total property damage was estimated at $108 billion, roughly four times the damage wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Meteorological History

Katrina originated over the Bahamas on August 23 from the interaction between a tropical wave and the remnants of Tropical Depression Ten. Early the following day, the new depression intensified into Tropical Storm Katrina. The cyclone headed generally westward toward Florida and strengthened into a hurricane only two hours before making landfall at Hallandale Beach and Aventura on August 25. After very briefly weakening to a tropical storm, Katrina emerged into the Gulf of Mexico on August 26 and began to rapidly deepen. The storm strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on August 29 in southeast Louisiana.

Katrina caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge and levee failure. Severe property damage occurred in coastal areas, such as Mississippi beachfront towns; over 90 percent of these were flooded. Boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland; water reached 6–12 miles from the beach.

Over fifty breaches in New Orleans's hurricane surge protection are the cause of the majority of the death and destruction during Katrina on August 29, 2005. Eventually 80% of the city and large tracts of neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks.

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