Remembering Hurricane Katrina

8 years ago

 

(IR image of Katrina on August 28th around peak intensity)

 

 

August 29th  marks the 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina landfall in southeast Louisiana and
coastal Mississippi.  Katrina was an extraordinarily large, powerful and deadly hurricane that
carved a wide swath of catastrophic damage and inflicted large loss of life across the area.  
 
After reaching Category 5 intensity on the Saffir Simpson Scale over the central Gulf of Mexico,
Katrina weakened to Category 3 before making initial landfall near Buras, in lower Plaquemines
Parish 0610 AM CDT on Aug 29, with a second landfall a few hours later near the mouth of the Pearl
River, east of Slidell, LA
  
Pressure – landfall pressure in lower Plaquemines Parish was 920 mb making this the 3rd lowest
pressure recorded in United States by a landfalling tropical cyclone. Only the 1935 Labor Day
Hurricane in the Florida Keys (892mb) and the 1969 - Hurricane Camille on the Mississippi Coast
(909mb) produced lower pressure.

Wind – data from aircraft reconnaissance indicates that maximum sustained winds at landfall were around 110 knots
or 127 mph and due to power outages along with wind damage prior to the storm, many wind anemometer failed
before the most intense part of the hurricane arrived at the coast. Some unofficial wind observations in the area included
East New Orleans 107 kts/123 mph - Slidell Airport 87 kts/100 mph - Pascgoula MS 108 kts/124 mph - Poplarville MS 117 kts/135 mph

Storm Surge – Due to the large breadth of hurricane force winds along the coast, Katrina produced a deep
and devastating storm surge across the coastline from Southeast Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain to Mobile Bay.
The maximum high water mark indicated a storm surge 27.8 feet near Pass Christian, MS.   A storm surge
in excess of 15 feet occurred across a wide area from St Bernard and Plaquemines Parish to Jackson
County, MS.  Storm surge extended inland for over 6 miles along the Mississippi Coast and crossed
Interstate 10 in several locations.

Impacts – The most devastating impact from the Hurricane Katrina was the storm surge, resulting in
inundation of large sections of the coast from southeast Louisiana and the New Orleans area across
the Mississippi Coast. An estimated 1200 people lost their lives, with many more from indirect causes.
Thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed and severely damaged. Total damages were estimated
at $108 billion, making Katrina the costliest hurricane in U.S. history.

 

Select a location on the map below for images of the damage produced by Hurricane Katrina.


 

LEGEND

Damage Picture Locations
Radar Image Locations
Satellite Image Locations
Latitude/Longitude Disclaimer: The locations shown in the above map are the approximate locations based on the latitude/longitude coordinates provided to the NWS. Some of the locations have been altered slightly to allow for better viewing on the standard map.

 


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