On this day in history, August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastates the Gulf Coast causing massive damage

On this day in history, August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, causing massive destruction.

According to multiple sources, Katrina made landfall early this morning as a major Category 3 hurricane on the Gulf Coast.

Sustained winds of about 145 miles per hour blew across southeastern Louisiana.

Katrina continued to move north, affecting areas ranging from near New Orleans to areas near Mobile, Alabama.

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Devastating damage occurred along the Gulf Coast.

Katrina will most likely go down as one of the worst natural disasters in United States history, the National Weather Service said.

According to History.com, Katrina was the third-strongest storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.

Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on September 12, 2005, neighborhoods are flooded with oil and water.

Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, neighborhoods are flooded with oil and water. This picture was taken on September 12, 2005. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

“After the storm, more than 50 levee and floodwall failures occurred in and around New Orleans and its suburbs. The failures of levees and flood walls resulted in widespread flooding,” the same source reported.

After making brief landfalls in southern Florida on August 25 as a Category 1 hurricane, Katrina gained strength before impacting the Gulf Coast on August 29.

About 80% of the city’s population was evacuated while 10,000 people took shelter to the Superdome.

Due to the threat of Hurricane Katrina at the time, Mayor Ray Nagin ordered the city of New Orleans to be evicted.

About 80% of the city’s population was evacuated, while 10,000 people went to the Superdome for shelter, NewOrleans.com said.

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Others chose to remain in their homes at their own risk.

Katrina arrived Aug. 29 and breached the levee of the 17th Street Canal, causing floodwaters to flow through many New Orleans neighborhoods, PBS said.

Failure of other dikes would flood about 80% of the city.

Bourbon Street in New Orleans during Mardi Gras

Bourbon Street in New Orleans’ famous French Quarter. In 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina, flooding swept through many boroughs of New Orleans. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Despite the evacuation order, people remained in the metro area and these citizens – thousands of them – took refuge in the New Orleans Superdome but were stuck there for days without adequate food or sanitation,” the same source reported.

Meanwhile, reports surfaced of looting and other crimes, and residents awaiting rescue from their flooded homes.

According to PBS, this prompted complaints about emergency management officials’ response to the disaster.

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The areas with the most flooding included the Ninth Ward, Lakeview and St. Bernard Parish, although nearly every neighborhood experienced some level of flooding, NewOrleans.com found.

In the flooded Ninth Ward, helicopters were used to rescue many people from rooftops.

Many local authorities were unable to respond to the increasingly desperate situation as their own headquarters and control centers were under 20 feet of water, Britannica.com said.

In the absence of any organized response, helicopters have been deployed to rescue many people from rooftops in the flooded Ninth Ward, the same source said.

Katrina flood in September 2005

Shown is a Seventh Ward neighborhood with severe flooding from Hurricane Katrina on September 11, 2005 in New Orleans. (Lindsay Brice/Getty Images)

The aftermath of Katrina has been controversial.

“The federal government hesitated for days to provide assistance, not realizing the extent of the damage and how many people needed assistance,” NewOrleans.com said.

On August 31, the first wave of evacuees arrived at the Red Cross shelter in the Houston Astrodome, about 350 miles from New Orleans. But tens of thousands remained in the city, multiple sources said.

The lack of food and drinking water quickly became a problem.

By September 1, an estimated 30,000 people were taking shelter under the damaged roof of the Louisiana Superdome and another 25,000 people had gathered in the convention center, Britannica.com reported.

The lack of food and drinking water quickly became a problem and daily temperatures reached 30 degrees.

According to Britannica.com, it was only on September 2 that an effective military presence was established in the city and National Guard troops were mobilized to distribute food and water.

Neighborhoods of New Orleans were flooded after Hurricane Katrina

Neighborhoods in New Orleans, pictured here on August 30, 2005, were completely flooded after Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco ordered a sweeping evacuation after levees weakened by the storm gave way and the waters of Lake Pontchartrain flooded the city. (Michael Appleton/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

The evacuation of hurricane victims continued and crews began rebuilding the damaged levees.

On September 6, local police estimated that New Orleans had fewer than 10,000 residents, the same source said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pumped the last flood water out of the city on October 11, 2005, about 43 days after Katrina landed.

Dozens of countries provided funds and supplies; According to multiple sources, Canada and Mexico sent troops to the Gulf Coast to help with the cleanup and reconstruction efforts.

According to PBS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pumped the last flood water out of the city on October 11, 2005, about 43 days after Katrina hit the country.

The Katrina death toll is the fourth-highest of any hurricane in U.S. history—after the 1900 Galveston hurricane, which killed between 8,000 and 12,000; Hurricane Maria, which killed over 4,600 people in Puerto Rico in 2017; and the Okeechobee hurricane, which hit Florida in 1928 and killed up to 3,000 people, according to History.com.


Katrina’s impact is said to have killed more than 2,000 people in Louisiana. According to a 2008 report published by the American Medical Association, the leading causes of death were drowning (40%), injury and trauma (25%), and heart disease (11%).


In addition, Katrina caused more than $160 billion in damage.

According to multiple sources, New Orleans’ population decreased by 29% between the fall of 2005 and 2011.

Rick Schindler

Rick Schindler is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Rick Schindler joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: RickSchindler@worldtimetodays.com.

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