Hurricane Katrina

What is a Hurricane and How Does it Form?

A hurricane is a tropical storm that begins in the Atlantic. When the winds reach 75 miles an hour, it is considered a hurricane. Meteorologists categorize the storms on a scale from 1-5. A category 5 storm is the worst because the winds are rains are the most powerful. The season for hurricanes lasts from June to November. Hurricanes begin over warm water but they can reach land and can cause severe damage, flooding, and death.

Why Was Hurricane Katrina So Devastating to New Orleans?

Hurricane Katrina was thought to be an average storm moving it's way up the Gulf of Mexico. While in the Gulf of Mexico it crossed over a warm, deep, strong, current called the Loop current. The storm gained great power from the current and changed an average hurricane into a super-storm. The people of New Orleans were at the most risk. Half of the land is 6 feet below sea level and the city is surrounded by water. By the time Mayor Ray Nagin notified the residents of New Orleans that there was an evacuation order it was too late. People who heard the Mayor's warning were stuck in miles and miles of traffic trying to leave the city but 100,000 people had already lost power and never heard the evacuation order. On August 29, 2005, Katrina hit land. A powerful storm surge (a wall of water pushed onto land by the hurricane) broke through New Orlean's levees. Levees are walls or barriers made of concrete and steel built around the city to protect them from flooding.

The Helpers and Those Who Were Left Behind.

100,000 people were left to face Katrina. The flooding and damage drove people out of their homes looking for shelter. The Super Dome was home to many during and after the storm but it was overcrowded and people were lucky to find food or water. The Red Cross, the National Guard, and FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency) tried to rescue as many people and animals as they could but thousands were killed or injured during and after Katrina.

New Orleans Today.

In total, 1,800 people lost their lives and many more were injured. 11 years after Katrina hit New Orleans, some parts of the city are still in need of repair. Many people are now moving back to the area after leaving when their homes or businesses were destroyed or badly damaged. The people of New Orleans suffered a terrible tragedy but the love for their city is stronger than Katrina ever was.
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