Hurricane Katrina Case Study

All the information you will need to know for the Key Themes Geography Exam 2012.

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  • Formed 23rd August 2005 over the Bahamas.
  • Dissipated 30th August over central USA.
  • South East USA, New Orleans and Louisiana mostly
  • Category 4/5
  • Pressure 903mbar
  • Cost of damage = $300 billion


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Prediction and Preparation:

· National hurricane centre tracked it and warned of its approach.

· 80% evacuated, but poorer 20% left behind.

· Mayor issued a warning

· The US coastguards called up reserve members and made preparations.

· The president declared an emergency on the 27th.

· Devastating damage predicted.

· 1.2 million ordered to evacuate.

· Into emergency centres (Louisiana Superdrome)

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· Hurricane Katrina began as a very low pressure weather system, which strengthened to become a tropical storm and eventually a hurricane as it moved West and neared the Florida coast on the 25th August.

· New Orleans is low lying land so the levees broke from the storm surge causing more damage.

· High water temperatures in the gulf of Mexico where Katrina passed over.

· New Orleans is near the coast.

· Warm moist air rises off the warm sea and begins to condense into clouds, as they rise the begin to spiral due to the Earths rotation.

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· 1, 836 people died.

· 300,000 houses destroyed

· 3 million without electricity

· Main bridge collapsed

· Coastal habitats damaged

· 250mm + rainfall

· It reached winds above 175mph.

· Storm surge = 6m +

· Farmland ruined by saltwater

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Impacts Continued:

· 1.3 million acres of trees lost

· 100,000 stayed behind in New Orleans

· Casinos destroyed

· Loss of income from farms/casinos etc

· Toxic chemicals released due to damage

· Oil rigs ripped from anchors

· Hotels/tourist facilities destroyed

· 9000 sheltered in the Superdrome

· Coastal Erosion

· 80% of New Orleans submerged under 6ft of water includes roads and railway

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Impacts Continued:

· 90% of buildings damaged in Mississippi

· 1200 people drowned


· Cost of Damage = $300 billion

· Tens of thousands made homeless

· 230,000 jobs lost from destroyed businesses

· Water supplies polluted with sewage, chemicals and dead bodies.

· Fallen trees blocked roads

· Wind smashed windows and damaged high rise

· Flooding

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Impacts Continued:

· Electricity, gas and water supplies lost

· 705 missing

· Insurance companies refuse to those living near the coast

· Widespread looting, murder and **** to fight for the limited supplies

· Telecommunications failed

· Oil prices rise around the world

· Water diseases (Cholera) spread easily

· The dead could not be buried

· Football team had to find a new training ground

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Human Response:

· Volunteers helped evacuees.

· 58, 000 national guard helped with; clean up, law, order and rescue

· Aid offered from around the world

· President George Bush—too slow to help

· 100, 000 trailers provided for the homeless, or hotel bills paid

· $62.3 billion US aid

· 70 countries provided food, medicine and hygiene

· Plans made to strengthen flood defences in New Orleans

· 1 week for the bodies to be removed

· 1 week for all to be given assistance

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