Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today in Severe Weather History for August 29

High Resolution Satellite Image of Katrina Approaching Louisiana on 8-29-05

On this date in 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi as a strong category 3 (or borderline category 4)  storm.
Eyewall of Katrina as viewed from a NOAA aircraft
 before making landfall in Louisiana on 8-29-05

Sustained winds of 125 mph were reported at numerous stations in southeast Louisiana, including Buras-Triumph and Breton Sound.  Total damage was estimated at $81.2 billion.

Perhaps the most significant of all damage was caused by the catastrophic flooding that resulted from the breaching of over 50 levees in the New Orleans area alone.  This resulted in over 80% of the city being submerged in up to 10 feet of water.

Horribly stunning figures:  1800 people were killed (1500 in Louisiana and 300 in Mississippi).  Over 200 more were categorized as "missing" and can be presumed dead.  Over 3 million people were without power and other resources  for months after the event.  To this day, debris remains in many coastal areas of southeast Louisiana.

To date, Katrina remains the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.  Due to the massive loss of life and property damage, her name was retired and will never be used again.

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