Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years On

This month will mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a storm that caused more financial loss than any on record and more human lives than any had since 1928.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the ultimate toll from Katrina included 1,833 deaths and damage estimated at $151 billion, including $75 billion in the New Orleans area and along the Mississippi coast.

Katrina made U.S. landfall on August 25, 2005, in South Florida as a Category 1. She moved into the Gulf of Mexico, rapidly intensifying into a Category 5 storm, then walloped Plaquemines Parish in Southeast Louisiana early the morning of August as a strong Category 3, with sustained winds of 125 mph, before continuing her epic journey of destruction over land.

Census records show that it took until 2014 for New Orleans to once again join the ranks of the nation’s 50 most populous cities. The city’s population was 494,294 prior to the storm — on July 1, 2005 — before dropping to 230,172 one year later.

While the numbers testify to the destructiveness Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast states, they don’t do justice to the human tragedies that the storm brought.

Americans were shocked by the television images of New Orleans in the days following the inundation, but for those effected in the region the horror would continue on for weeks, months and years.

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