August 2019

This Day in History: Hurricane Katrina Slams Into Gulf Coast

August 29, 2005 The Category 4 hurricane became the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. The city of New Orleans bore the brunt. 145 mph winds turned cars into projectiles and overwhelmed poorly tended levees that protected the city, located six feet below sea level. Though an evacuation order had been issued by the New Orleans mayor, tens of thousands stayed behind, many with no other recourse. 80% of the city experienced massive flooding. A full scale rescue effort took two days to begin. As most of those who remained were African American, the perceived poor response of U.S. government agencies and President George W. Bush brought racial inequalities in America to the surface. Katrina led to more than 1,300 deaths, displaced one million people, left almost a half a million unemployed and caused up to $150 billion in damages to public and private property.