Hurricane Katrin A Devastating Hurricane Hit The Gulf Coast Of The United States

Hurricane Katrin A Devastating Hurricane Hit The Gulf Coast Of The United States

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In 2005, a catastrophic hurricane hit the Gulf coast of the United States, which soon became known as Hurricane Katrina. This event caused a great deal of damage to New Orleans particularly, along with Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Tragically, this disaster took the lives of around 1,300 people and displaced around 400,000 people, many of which were left homeless. It left roughly 1 billion dollars in damage, making it one of the most costly disasters to hit the United States. Naturally, this event left many questions regarding what made New Orleans so vulnerable to flooding and what the effects were of this massive hurricane.
One question that lies at the root of this issue is what made New Orleans so vulnerable to such a massive disaster. The answer lies within the city’s location, being that it lies between two potential floodwaters; the Mississippi River to the South and Lake Pontchartrain connected to the Gulf in the North. Additionally, New Orleans is about 7-10 ft. below sea level, making it act as a huge bowl, which is a main reason there was so much damage when Hurricane Katrina hit. When New Orleans was originally built, it was built on natural high ground otherwise known as natural levees. Although, this worked initially, the city was unable to expand until a man named Baldwin Wood designed an elaborate system of pumps and drainage canals that allowed the city to grow.
The city expanded over areas that were originally wetlands, which caused the soils organic matter to naturally break down which in turn causes the soils to shrink and furthermore, causes the city to shrink even more. This lead to the building of artificial levees known as flood walls, made of steel and concrete, which are suppose to protect the in...


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...he most during this tragic event.
Needless to say, this catastrophic event left many people homeless and their lives turned upside down. Undoubtedly, officials and scientists made multiple mistakes leading up to this event. First, the engineering issues surrounding the levees were something that was unpredicted. However, if the issues had been noticed beforehand it could’ve prevented much of the damage that was inflicted. Most notably, the fact that officials didn’t come public or warn people of the news that the levees had busted was very problematic. Thus, in future situations it is essential that officials are honest and forthcoming with valuable information that could be used to save lives. This tragic event, know as Hurricane Katrina, is undoubtedly a valuable learning experience and huge warning for officials and residents in this area and throughout the world.

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