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Remembering Hurricane Katrina

Updated on August 5, 2017

The Un-Natural, Natural Disaster

Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters ever. The effects of which still reverberate today.
Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters ever. The effects of which still reverberate today. | Source
Homes under water during Hurricane Katrina was a common thing but everyone pulled together to get out of danger.
Homes under water during Hurricane Katrina was a common thing but everyone pulled together to get out of danger. | Source
Rowing to safety during Hurricane Katrina. Sad images like this just show how bad this disaster actually was.
Rowing to safety during Hurricane Katrina. Sad images like this just show how bad this disaster actually was. | Source
The Horror of the Hurricane was evident from all the pictures that were taken.
The Horror of the Hurricane was evident from all the pictures that were taken. | Source

A Sad Day

Hurricane Katrina was a sad time in U.S. History. Storm and weather predictions were made and preparations were made but, no one could really truly prepare for the mass destruction that was about to happen. It shook up the nation and maybe even the world for that matter and it will never be forgotten. This natural disaster will rewrite history books as we new them. Kids today will learn what happened, how people responded to the evacuation orders, why staying was a bad idea and hopefully they can come out with a better appreciation of helping each other in times of need. Always try to lend a hand when you can to victims of natural disasters.

When the hurricane was just below the pan handle of Florida about 50 miles, it was then determined that the hurricane would indeed take a turn for the Mississippi/Louisiana coast. Once the hurricane got into the Gulf of Mexico, it hit the warm waters and was catapulted into the worst hurricane in our history. Everyone was put on alert....the Governor of Louisiana (Blanco) declared a state of emergency which allows for the activation of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), The Army National Guard and The Air National Guard are also activated, and put on stand by.

That moment in time will always be remembered by those who suffered throughout and the brave men and women who helped save lives and cleanup the destruction. We salute you. It serves as a moment where our country can come together as one for a common goal which is helping mankind.

Evacuation

Saturday, August 25, 2005: The residents were asked to leave by mandatory evacuation for certain areas and by voluntary evacuation. Each day the evacuation area became larger and more inland. The Mayor Ray Nagin asked the 9th Ward and Algiers to get an early start. These residents live in very low lying areas that will get flooded no matter what. Meals ready to eat or (MRE's) and water were brought to the Superdome and people that were going there were encouraged to bring enough items for four days.With the amount of supplies at the Superdome, it is estimated that 15,000 people could be fed for three days. President Bush declared a state of emergency so that necessary funding could be headed in the direction of Louisiana.

August 28, 2005: Hurricane Katrina has reached a Category 4 status at 12:40 am. By 7:00 that evening, the hurricane had intensified and was now a Category 5 storm bearing down on Louisiana. To look at the storm on radar was amazing. This particular storm took up the entire Gulf of Mexico (on radar anyway). This was nothing any one of us had ever seen. Land fall of the massive storm was expected overnight.

Personally, from what I remember, once we saw that the storm on radar, it took up the entire Gulf of Mexico, it seemed like everyone panicked! They realized too little too late to heed the warning to leave. Also, some of the residents there just did not have the money to just pack up and get out of town. It was a sad situation. With Louisiana being below sea levels in so many places, nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living homes were like sitting ducks. Buses were brought in to transport patients as fast as possible, helicopters moved the more critical patients They moved as many as they could until the storm got too close for them to fly any more.

I remember seeing video that was a nursing home and it had a Pontiac Grand Am floating in the main hallway of the nursing home. The nursing home was filled with water half-way up the walls. It was like something out of a movie. It was incredible.

Predictions were made and catastrophic damage was expected. Evacuations were set in place for all of New Orleans. At midnight, the Superdome was opened up as a last resort for any of the residents who were unable to find a way out of the city. It is estimated that 20,000 looked for refuge here. That is an incredible number of people. Preplanning only estimated feeding 15,000 20,000 people with no where to go. The food amount for that many people is unreal. The National Guard brought 3 trucks of water, 7 trucks of MRE's, not to mention the manpower. 4,444 National Guard troops and 932 Air National Guard were deployed to help with this disaster.

Have you ever been?

Have you ever been to New Orleans, La?

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The Damage of Hurricane Katrina

Destruction & Aftermath

At 5:00pm on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made a second landfall, this time as a Category 3 hurricane with winds at 125 mph but, still packing winds of a Category 4 storm, at times in the area. There were 3 areas of landfall in Louisiana: Buras Triumph, St. Bernard and St. Tammany Parish. It took years to repair the city and ten years later it's still being fixed because the destruction was so immense.

At 11:00 there was 10 feet of water in St. Bernard Parish and you couldn't see the roof tops of many of the residents' homes. There were many people that were rescued from roof tops by helicopter and some were brought out by boat. The most amazing video that will always stick out in my head is that of the Pontiac Grand Am, that is being swept with it's lights on down the hall of a nursing home or hospital. The amount of force that is needed to move a car and toss it around like it's a toy in a bath tub is just amazing. One of the most destructive storms in US history was happening and breaches to the levee in areas that are already below sea level doesn't make for a good combination of events.

Due to the breeches in the levee's, the Governor of Louisiana ordered that all of New Orleans be evacuated. Yes, even the Superdome. Buses were brought in and some 15,000 residents were brought from the Superdome. There were instances of looting and even some looting by police officers. Additional troops from the National Guard were called in to restore order to this devastated town. In all the number of troops 9,668 National Guard and 956 Air National Guard were brought in to restore order.

Hurricane Katrina on Tape

Where did it Hit?


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Location of Hurricane Katrina

© 2012 Buster Johnson

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      Paul Harris 5 years ago

      Just to clarify, the mandatory evacuation wasn't issued until Sunday at 10AM. Many of us could not get out of town as they shut down the New Orleans Airport, Amtrak, and Greyhound, Saturday evening, a full day and a half prior to Katrina hitting landfall. We were first able to go into the Superdome beginning around 1PM on Sunday. Katrina hit about 5AM on Monday. Most of the death and destruction in the city were due to unnatural causes ( a shoddy levee system that failed to withstand a Category 3 storm).

      Paul Harris

      Author, "Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina"