April 29th, 2013
Case Study: Hurricane Katrina
On day 23 of August tropical storm Katrina formed of the coast of the Bahamas. During which time residences throughout the east coast of Florida were already preparing. During the next six days Katrina made a turn to the south west and when it crossed under the Florida Keys it quickly veered north as it gained strength and turning from a category one hurricane to a category 5 in a matter of days causing deaths and flooding there before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane over the warm Gulf water, but weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on the morning of Monday, August 29 in southeast Louisiana. It caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. The most significant number of deaths occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed; in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. This caused 80% of the city and large neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks. “Awakening to reports of Katrina’s landfall on the Gulf Coast the morning of Monday, August 29, American citizens watched events unfold with an initial curiosity that soon turned to concern and sorrow. The awe that viewers held for the sheer ferocity of nature was soon matched with disappointment and frustration at the seeming inability of the “governmental, State, and Federal—to respond effectively to the crisis. Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent sustained flooding of New Orleans exposed significant flaws in Federal, State, and local preparedness for catastrophic events and our capacity to respond to them town plans.” Prior to Hurricane Katrina’s arrival the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana were responsible for evacuating...