Hurricane Katrina, USA (MEDC)

Warnings

  • National Hurricane Center tracked Hurricane Katrina and warned of its approach
  • The US coastguard called up reserve members and made preperations
  • President Bush declared a state of emergency on 27th August
  • On the 28th August the National Weather Service predicted devastating damage 
  • On 28th August 1.2 million people were issued with evacuation orders. As a result motoways became jammed as people left the city , emergency centres were set up , including the Louisiana Superdome in the center of the city , for thse without transport and unable to leave
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  • Created by: luke
  • Created on: 20-11-12 18:37

Impact On New Orleans

Primary

  • High winds of 305 km/h(125mph) up to 190 km(120 miles) from the centre
  • Heavy Rainfall of 200-250 millimeters, with a maximum of 380 millimeters un some parts of Louisiana.
  • Storm surge in excess of 4.3 meters in some places

Secondary

  • High winds caused trees ti fall, blocking roads, and caused windows to be blown out and other damage to high-rise buildings
  • Heavy Rainfall contributed to the rise in the wate level of Lake Pontchartrain and made the flood worse
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Response

Immediate

  • Volunteers assisted those fleeing the storm with emergency housing
  • The coastguard rescues 33,500 people
  • 58,000 National Guard  personnel and additional police from other states were mobiliesed to help with law and order, resce and clean up.

Follow up

  • The US Congress authorised US$62.3 Billion in aid for the victims 
  • Caravans were provided for people to live in and hotel bills were paid for the homeless
  • Floodwaters containing sewage, toxic waste were pumped out of the city into Lake Pontchartrain
  • Red Cross, Oxfam and other charities worked to support victims and re-establish communications
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The Cause

  • As with all tropical systems, Hurricane Katrina initially started as a disturbance in the pressure field of the tropics. It was gradually able to get itself organized in the vicinity of the Bahamas due to a favorable environment that included warm sea surface temperatures and minimal wind shear. It further developed into a tropical depression, and then rapidly strengthened into a tropical storm and a hurricane. as it was lifted to the northwest towards Florida by the upper-level steering winds. 
  • Many hurricanes form every year in the tropical oceans, and several achieve strength and size greater than that of Katrina. It should be clear that these are naturally-occurring storms, and Katrina was no different in its behavior - it just happened to hit a highly-populated city, which has long been identified as being vulnerable to hurricanes. It is possible that anthropogenic global warming may have enhanced it somewhat, but there is no way to make this determination. Whether it did or did not, New Orleans should have been prepared for a hurricane of this magnitude (it was only a category 3 when it made landfall) for a long time, and the government response was lacking.
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