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Hurricane Katrina was the name given to the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic tropical cyclone of 2005.
- The sixth most intense storm on record
- Katrina remains one of the costliest destructive storms in U.S. history
- Responsible for some $81 billion in damage
- The loss of over 1800 people
Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas in late August 2005, before crossing Florida as a Category 1 storm. It then moved out over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened to a Category 5 storm. It weakened somewhat and made landfall near New Orleans as a Category 3 storm on August 29, 2005.
Hurricane Katrina, Death and Damage
Significant damage was caused by the storm and the resulting storm surge in Louisiana and Mississippi. The vast majority of damage and death occurred in New Orleans, where the storm broke numerous levees, flooding the city and leaving 80% of New Orleans flooded.
Perhaps more important to the legacy of Hurricane Katrina was the seeming indifference of the federal government and President George W. Bush to its impact. Rather than visit the affected areas, President Bush preferred to fly over the area and commended the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Widespread looting and violence broke out in New Orleans after the storm. Many displaced residents were forced to stay in the Super dome for a period of time.