In August 2005, my life changed. What was home to me, New Orleans, became a memory. I was forced by the natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, to move to Houston. Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane that was very devastating. It ruined on sight everything it passed through. Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic hurricane[->0] of the 2005 Atlan[->1]- tic oil platforms[->2] and caused the closure of nine refine- ries. The forestry industry in Mississippi was also affected, as million acres of forest lands were destroyed. The total loss to the forestry industry from Katrina is calculated to rise to about $5 billion. Also, several thousands of local residents were left unemployed. It is estimated $150 billion total of economic impact in Louisiana and Mississippi, which far exceeded the governments assistance. Katrina redistributed over one million people across the United States, which became the United States largest diaspora[->3] in history. By late January 2006, less than half of the citizens were living back in New Orleans. Additionally, due to high costs from both Hurricane Katrina and Rita, some insurance companies have raised insurance premiums or stopped insuring homeowners. Hurricance Katrina also made an environmental impact. Beach Erosion from storm surges devastated coastal areas. The US
Geological Survey has estimated 217 square miles of land was transformed to water by Hurricane Katrina. The lands that were lost were breeding grounds for marine mammals, brown pelicans[->4], turtles[->5], and fish[->6], as well as migratory species such as redhead ducks[->7].
Overall, about 20% of the local marshes[->8] were permanently overrun by water as a result of the storm. The damage from Katrina forced the closure of 16 National Wildlife Refuges[->9]. As a result, the hurricane affected the habitats of sea turtles[->10],