(IR image of Katrina on August 28th around peak intensity)
August 29th marks the 9th 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.
(Close-up of the eye of Katrina on Aug 28th)
Here is the Post Storm report from our office:
Here is the official Tropical Cyclone Report from the National Hurricane Center: