Has it really been 8 years since Hurricane Katrina? Seems like yesterday that every TV channel was filled with horrendous footage and tragic news on this monstrous storm. Many in the world remember seeing pictures of a devastated Gulf Coast and saying “God, help us all.”
For those who don’t remember this catastrophic event very well, “Katrina was a strong category 3 storm when it made landfall on Aug 29, 2005 in Louisiana. Days prior, Katrina broke the record for strongest hurricane ever record with a 902mb central pressure (later broken by Hurricane Rita) and 175mph sustained winds,” WeatherBug Meteorologist Jacob Wycoff says.
Here are facts and statistics from Hurricane Katrina:
- Although Katrina made landfall as a category 3 hurricane, it created a category 5 storm surge (water pushed inland by the force of hurricane winds). The storm surge reached 25-28 feet above normal tide level on the Mississippi Coast, and 10-20 feet above normal tide level on the Louisiana Coast. The surge was so massive, it reached as far as 12 miles inland in Mississippi!
- Deaths, both direct and indirect, were high with a total of 1,833 lives lost. Here is a breakdown: 1,577 in Louisiana, 238 in Mississippi, 14 in Florida, 2 in Georgia, and 2 in Alabama. This makes Katrina the 3rd deadliest natural disaster to ever hit the US.
- Damage was astronomical, with a total of $108 billion — $41.1 billion of which were insured losses. If you take into account not just damage, but the impact of disrupted gas production and effects on national economic growth, this figure rises to a staggering $250 billion!
- 43 tornados were a product of Katrina. Here is a breakdown: 20 in Georgia, 11 in Alabama, 11 in Mississippi, and 1 in Florida.
- 1.2 million people in the northern Gulf coast region were under evacuation order. At their peak, hurricane relief shelters housed 273,000 people. Later, approximately 114,000 households were housed in FEMA trailers.
- Katrina affected 19% of US oil production, destroying 113 offshore oil and gas platforms, damaging 457 oil and gas pipelines and spilled nearly as much oil as the Exxon Valdez oil disaster.
- Clean up efforts were mind-boggling with at least 118 million cubic yards of debris and devastation!
Eight years later, many cities are still rebuilding. WeatherBug salutes your hope and determination. Thank you Gulf Coast for being a true role model of American resilience!
Stay Safe. Know Before™.
-The WeatherBug Team