contributor Kim Ann Zimmermann reports, “But, once over water again, Katrina stalled beneath a very large upper-level anticyclone that dominated the entire Gulf of Mexico, and rapidly gained strength. Katrina re-intensified into a hurricane on Aug. 26, and became a Category Five storm on Aug. 28,
Weather Disasters3with winds blowing at about 175 mph (280 kph). The storm turned north toward the Louisiana coast. The storm weakened to a Category 3 storm before making landfall alongthe Louisiana-Mississippi border on the morning of Aug. 29 with sustained winds of 120 mph” (Zimmermann 2015).While over one million residents evacuated from the areas most expected to be hit by the storm, many did not have the ability or desire to leave their homes. As the hurricane hit the coast, a storm surge caused the levee system to fail in over 50 different locations. The city of New Orleans is below sea level, which is why the levee system was designed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the first place. Once this system failed, it was a matter of time until most of the city was completely under water. This dramatic turn of events caused more than 1,500 people to lose their lives in the state of Louisiana and around 1,800 people total related to the storm. For weeks,the city was covered in water with some areas reaching to fifteen feet of water. The effects of thisdevastation were felt for years to come. Katrina has been named as the costliest hurricane the United States has been hit by. Katrina left more than 800,000 housing units destroyed. The estimated cost of damage was 81 billion dollars that reached costs of over 160 billion dollars as reported by Science and Society (Hurricane Science 2017). The storm left over a 100 million cubic yards of debris according to one report. Massive cleanup efforts and the rebuilding of homes were a nightmare for many people. On top of thousands of people that were left homeless after the storm, over 600,000 pets were either made homeless or did not survive.