Case study: Hurricane Katrina, 2005

Map showing path of Hurricane KatrinaPath of Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina hit landfall on 29th August 2005 and quickly became known as one of the most expensive natural disasters in the history of the USA.

Over 1,300 people died and the damage was estimated at $108 billion.

Photograph of Hurricane Katrina destruction

Destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina


Impact on People
Death Over 1,300 people died as a result of the hurricane.
HomelessOver 500,000 people were listed as homeless.
Water Drinking water was contaminated by sewage for 5 months.
Electricity3 million people were left without access to an electricity supply.
Education18 schools were destroyed and another 74 were badly damaged.
Jobs Local people lost around 230,000 jobs as a direct consequence of the hurricane putting factories and businesses out of business. Prices for oil and petrol went up.
Health There were many different health hazards caused by the dirty water and unclaimed dead bodies.
Law Looting took place in many areas and the US National Guard had to be called up to keep the peace.

Impact on Property
Flooding The damage (mostly caused by flooding) cost over $108 billion. In New Orleans, the levees and flood walls that should have protected the city failed and over 80% of the city was flooded. Some areas were flooded to depths of 3 metres.
Housing Over 1 million houses were damaged along the Gulf coast. 300,000 homes were destroyed by the flood.
Debris Some debris caused by the flood still could be found in New Orleans over 5 years later. In 2017 there are still vacant homes in New Orleans because of the flood
RebuildingRebuilding following Hurricane Katrina continues today.
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