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20 Facts About Hurricane Katrina

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Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.

A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples include floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other geologic processes.

The date of the start of the history of the United States is a subject of debate among historians.

Katrina, The New Orleans Nightmare : Documentary on the Devastation of Hurricane Katrina by Arnoldo Armanafa

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The storm is currently ranked as the third most intense United States landfalling tropical cyclone, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.

The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was the most intense hurricane to make landfall in the United States on record, as well as the 3rd most intense Atlantic hurricane ever.

Hurricane Katrina Historic Storm Surge Video - Gulfport, Mississippi by Ultimate Chase

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Overall, at least 1,245 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest United States hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane.

The Okeechobee hurricane, also known as the San Felipe Segundo hurricane, was one of the deadliest tropical cyclones in the recorded history of the North Atlantic basin.

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Total property damage was estimated at $108 billion, roughly four times the damage wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 in the United States.

Hurricane Andrew was a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that struck the Bahamas and Florida in mid-August 1992, the most destructive hurricane to ever hit the state.

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Katrina was the eleventh named storm and fifth hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.

The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, shattering numerous records.

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The storm originated over the Bahamas on August 23 from the interaction between a tropical wave and the remnants of Tropical Depression Ten.

Tropical waves, easterly waves, or tropical easterly waves, also known as African easterly waves in the Atlantic region, are a type of atmospheric trough, an elongated area of relatively low air pressure, oriented north to south, which moves from east to west across the tropics causing areas of cloudiness and thunderstorms.

The Bahamas, known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an archipelagic state within the Lucayan Archipelago.

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Early the following day, the new depression intensified into Tropical Storm Katrina.

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The cyclone headed generally westward toward Florida and strengthened into a hurricane only two hours before making landfall at Hallandale Beach and Aventura on August 25.

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After very briefly weakening to a tropical storm, Katrina emerged into the Gulf of Mexico on August 26 and began to rapidly deepen.

The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent.

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The storm strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on August 29 in southeast Louisiana.

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The storm caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge and levee failure.

A storm surge is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water commonly associated with low pressure weather systems, the severity of which is affected by the shallowness and orientation of the water body relative to storm path, and the timing of tides.

A levee, dike, dyke, embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels.

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Severe property damage occurred in coastal areas, such as Mississippi beachfront towns where boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland; water reached 6–12 miles from the beach.

Mississippi is a state located in the southern region of the United States, with part of its southern border formed by the Gulf of Mexico.

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Over fifty breaches in New Orleans's hurricane surge protection were the cause of the majority of the death and destruction during Katrina on August 29, 2005.

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Eventually 80% of the city and large tracts of neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks.

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According to a modeling exercise conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, two-thirds of the deaths in Greater New Orleans were due to levee and floodwall failure.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers, also sometimes shortened to CoE is a U.S. federal agency under the Department of Defense and a major Army command made up of some 37,000 civilian and military personnel, making it one of the world's largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies.

New Orleans–Metairie Metropolitan Statistical Area, or the Greater New Orleans Region is a metropolitan area designated by the United States Census encompassing eight parishes in the state of Louisiana, centering on the city of New Orleans.

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All of the major studies concluded that the USACE, the designers and builders of the levee system as mandated by the Flood Control Act of 1965, is responsible.

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This is mainly due to a decision to use shorter steel sheet pilings in an effort to save money.

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In January 2008, Judge Stanwood Duval, U.S. District Court, ruled that despite the Corps' role in the flooding, the agency could not be held financially liable because of sovereign immunity in the Flood Control Act of 1928.

The Flood Control Act of 1928 authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design and construct projects for the control of floods on the Mississippi River and its tributaries as well as the Sacramento River in California.

Sovereign immunity, or crown immunity, is a legal doctrine by which the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution.

Stanwood Richardson Duval Jr., is a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

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Exactly ten years after Katrina, J. David Rogers, lead author of a new report in the official journal of the World Water Council concluded that the flooding during Katrina "could have been prevented had the corps retained an external review board to double-check its flood-wall designs.

The World Water Council is an international think tank founded in 1996, with its headquarters in Marseille, France.

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There was also an investigation of the responses from federal, state and local governments, resulting in the resignation of Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael D. Brown, and of New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Eddie Compass.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders on April 1, 1979.

Michael DeWayne Brown served as the first Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

The New Orleans Police Department has primary responsibility for law enforcement in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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