Hurricane Katrina

Details on how hurricane Katrina formed and the devistation she caused with economic, social and enviromental effects.

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Hurricane Katrina
Lifespan from 23td August to August 31st
Made landfall three times
Affected Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama
Developed on 23rd August over the south Bahamas and was named Katrina the next day
28th August it became a category 4 and was heading for coasts of Mississippi and Louisiana
The hurricane intensified to a category 5 with wind speeds of 280km h-1 and gusts of 345km h-1
with a central pressure of 902mb
President Bush declared a state of emergency on 27th August in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi
Most of the population managed to leave in private cars and school buses but 150,000 people
remained and were instructed to seek refuge in Louisiana Superdrome
Hit Louisiana on morning 29th August with a massive storm surge up to 10m
Impacts (Economic, Enviromental, Social)
Damaged or destroyed 30 oil platforms
1.3 million acres of forest lands destroyed
Cotton and sugar cane crops were flattened
230,000 jobs eliminated on the Gulf Coast
Many oil rigs in the Gulf area were damaged with immediate effect of the price of oil going up
Famous New Orleans French Quarter was severely damaged affecting tourism revenues
New Orleans flood defences were breached causing 80% of the city to be flooded
Trees uprooted and forests destroyed
Flood waters covering New Orleans into Lake Pontchartrain contained raw sewage, bacteria, heavy
metals, pesticides, toxic chemicals and over 24million litres of oil
Over 20% of marshes used for breeding homes were permanently turned into water
Damage forced 16 National Wildlife Refuges to close
55,000 houses too damaged to be repaired
110,000 houses flooded out of 180,000
1242 killed (few died in the aftermath as US had good access to water and medical supplies)
26,000 people were made homeless and put up in the city's Superdrome. It was cramped unhygienic
and a lack of food, water and medical care
200,000 people were trapped in New Orleans because the flood water could not drain out (basin)
Gas pipes burst and then caught alight
Raw sewage over ran into the flooded streets
Some insurance companies stopped providing insurance for homeowners in the area due to high
Substantial beach erosion occurred over a period of time
Remaining residents of New Orleans began looting shops, many in search of food and water
Shootings between police and residents lead to one fatality

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Access to affected areas was extremely difficult post hurricane
FEMA made some preparations to the disaster including sending refrigerated trucks to deal with the
anticipated dead
Volunteers assisted people emerging from Orleans as the storm hit land, continuing to do so for 6
months after
Coast Guard rescued more than 33,000 stranded people
Congress authorised $63 billion for aid
US was heavily criticised for their slow response and after a week asked the EU for emergency help
Media arrived before the aid did
Eventually…read more


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