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Transcript of Hurricane Katrina
By Amber Liu and Aubrey Stevens
Only tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or eastern Pacific Ocean are called "hurricanes." Hurricanes only form over really warm ocean water of 80°F or warmer, and the atmosphere must cool off very quickly the higher you go. Also, the wind must be blowing in the same direction and at the same speed to force air upward from the ocean surface. Tropical waves, fronts that develop in the tropical Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, are able to develop into tropical storms or hurricanes if conditions allow. These storms often develop when a cool air front stalls over warm tropical waters, allowing large amounts of the warm water vapor to be transferred into the air.
Hurricane Katrina occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana in August 23, 2005 – August 31, 2005
Hurricane Katrina was best known for its devastating effects on New Orleans, Louisiana and surrounding areas. It lasted for 8 days and caused an estimated 1,836 people died and it caused about $125 billion in damage.
Hurricane Katrina: The Basics
Hurricane Katrina had been predicted two days prior to the hitting of New Orleans and mandatory evacuation was ordered 30 hours before the storm had occurred. Many people were evacuated to the non-coastal regions of Louisiana. Even with the preparation, many people died.
Prediction and Evacuation
Why Hurricane Katrina is Well Known
Hurricane Katrina is best known for the aftermath in New Orleans and this was mainly caused by harsh 150 mph winds and the large amount of moisture in the air. The storm itself did a great deal of damage, but its aftermath was catastrophic. Levee breaches led to massive flooding, and many people charged that the federal government was slow to meet the needs of the people affected by the storm. Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were displaced from their homes, and experts estimate that Katrina caused more than $100 billion in damage.
In Louisiana, events similar to Hurricane Katrina happen quite frequently due to the fact that it is right above the Gulf of Mexico, one of the most common places for hurricanes in the world. Before the hurricane occurred, the citizens of Louisiana had noticed some strange weather like extreme tides, which gave slight warning to what was happening just south of them.
Hurricanes - Explained
Survivors and How They Survived
As we've mentioned before, an estimated 1,836 people died. With numbers like this, it is hard to believe that people in or near New Orleans survived the hurricane. One survivor who didn't escape the town in time was Hardy Jackson who said, "We were up on the roof, all the way in the roof. And the water came in, and the house just opened up, divided." This survivor was lucky and ending up escaping with his life, but many did not. Many of the survivors lived by standing on their roofs as water surged through their houses.
Range of Destruction
Evacuation Route. Digital image. Wikimedia, n.d. Web.
Hurricane Katrina As Seen From Space. Digital image. USCG. N.p., n.d. Web.
Hurricane Katrina. Digital image. RHRealityCheck. N.p., n.d. Web.
Hurricanes. Digital image. Wikimedia, n.d. Web.
"Hurricane Katrina." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.
"Hurricane Katrina Survivor Finds Peace." Hurricane Katrina Survivor Finds Peace. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
"Hurricane Katrina." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.
Hurricane Katrina. Digital image. MTHurricane. N.p., n.d. Web.
"New Notre Dame Study Proposes Changes in New Orleans Area Levee Systems." Consortium for Ocean Leadership. N.p., 24 July 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
"11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina." 11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.
Louisiana. Digital image. Wikimedia. N.p., n.d. Web.
The hurricane swept across large amount of southeastern USA. It devastated large portions of Louisiana as well as parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The area of it's focus was mainly around New Orleans, it did have catastrophic damage to surrounding areas.
The map below shows the track of about where Hurricane Katrina's eye was located at different times and the points farther north indicate winds. Hurricane Katrina traveled north from the Caribbean Sea, ending a while after reaching land.
Hurricane Katrina Fun Facts
Hurricane Katrina was the largest and 3rd strongest hurricane ever recorded to hit the US.
An estimated 80% of New Orleans was under water, up to 20 ft deep in places.
The final death toll was at 1,836, primarily from Louisiana. More than half of these victims were senior citizens.
Hurricane Katrina caused $81 billion in property damages, but it is estimated that the total economic impact in Louisiana and Mississippi may exceed $150 billion, earning the title of costliest hurricane ever in US history.
Hurricane Katrina impacted about 90,000 square miles.
More than 70 countries pledged monetary donations or other assistance after the hurricane. Kuwait made the largest single pledge of $500 million, but Qatar, India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh made very large donations as well.
How did Katrina Form?
On August 24th, 2005, the temperature of the ocean near the Bahamas was around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm, moist air was rising from the ocean's surface, and eventually condensed to form a system of thunderstorms. This condensation released heat, which caused the atmosphere to heat up. The moist and warm air from the ocean continuously moves up into the atmosphere, creating a cycle. The cycle creates a pattern of wind that begins to circulate and forge a center. This is a tropical storm, and it later evolved to become Hurricane Katrina. It was at first a category 1 hurricane when it first hit Florida, yet it still kept moving into the Gulf of Mexico, where it became a category 5 hurricane, with at 160 mph winds. Once it it land, although it had been downgraded to a category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Katrina still delivered a devastatinng blow to Louisiana.