Hurricane Katrina was the eleventh named tropical storm, fourth hurricane, third major hurricane, and first Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the third most powerful storm of the season, behind Hurricane Wilma and Hurricane Rita, and the sixth-strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. It first made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane just north of Miami, Florida on August 25, 2005, then again on August 29 along the Central Gulf Coast near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm.
Location of landfall: Hurricane Katrina smashed into three US states on the Gulf of Mexico on August 29, leaving in its wake the worst natural catastrophe in US history. It was massive enough to break down the levees of New Orleans flooding the entire city from Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. It inflicted heavy damage on the Mississippi and Alabama coasts. In Louisiana, the hurricane's eye made landfall at 6:10am local time on Monday, August 29. After 11:00 am local time, several sections of the levee system in New Orleans collapsed.
Extent of damage: Katrina ...
Miles of coastal Mississippi towns such as Waveland and Gulfport were smashed. Eighty percent of New Orleans was under water after its levees broke.
There were at least 36 confirmed tornadoes associated with Hurricane Katrina, with 11 tornadoes in Mississippi, 4 tornadoes in Alabama, 15 tornadoes in Georgia, 1 tornado in Virginia, and 5 tornadoes in Pennsylvania. Though they were thankfully low in magnitude, they added insult to injury. The world saw families stranded on roofs and hungry and people were housed in the Superdome and Convention Center. Bodies and debris floated in the flooded waters and hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered homeless. Some of them have no homes to return to yet.
Toll on Human Life: The official death toll now stands at more than a 1,000, the third highest in US history. It has been difficult to put an accurate figure on the death toll, with still a lot of people missing. Over a million people were displaced and contributed to a humanitarian crisis on a devastating scale. Five million people were estimated to be without power and it may take months for power to be restored. On September 3, Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff described the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as "probably the worst catastrophe, or set of catastrophes" in the country's history, referring to the hurricane itself plus the flooding of New Orleans. The provisional death toll from the storm in Louisiana alone could top 10,000. At least 273,000 people made homeless by the storm were put up in a variety of shelters in 16 US states. Katrina displaced more than one million people in Louisiana.
Economic Toll: Initial estimates