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Hurricane Katrina


Poor planning is the perfect recipe for disaster and this is exactly what hurricane Katrina made startlingly clear. Considered one of the five deadliest hurricanes in history, it was the fifth hurricane of the 2005 hurricane season and by far, one of the most expensive ones.

The path of Katrina

It began as a tropical depression over the Bahamas on august 23rd, intensifying into a tropical storm during a 24 hour time period. It traveled west towards Florida where it intensified into a full fledged hurricane just two hours before making land fall. At this point it weakened into a tropic storm again as it headed into the Gulf of Mexico

Over the warm waters of the Mexican Gulf, Katrina was again able to increase its strength, this time reaching category 5 status. Luckily, it weakened to a category 3 hurricane before returning inland, southeast of Louisiana.v

The effects of Katrina

Katrina greatly impacted the areas along the gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of this destruction attributed to the effects cause by its storm surge. Aside from infrastructural damage, many lives were lost as a result of this storm. The most significant number of deaths occurred in New Orleans, where levee systems failed just hours after the storm began moving inland.

Entire parishes were flooded with storm surge waters reaching 6 to 12 miles inland in some areas. Surging waters along the coastlines dragged vehicles and boats into houses, causing devastating property damage along with lost of life.

Planning

We live in an age where satellites can pinpoint weather patterns before they become an immediate threat and this can allow us to better prepare ourselves for an impending natural disaster. However, many communities were built using plans that are now very dangerous to human life and civilization, for example, the levees of New Orleans.

With enough warning, evacuation measures could have been taken that would have saved many lives. Hurricane Katrina was a serious wake up call for many people, it showed us just how devastating nature could be and how unreliable engineers could easily spell disaster for thousands of people.

We are advanced enough to be able to plan and prepare for weather patterns that we have observed for years. Disasters like Hurricane Katrina can be avoided and engineering failures like the one that caused the breaking of the levees, should be a thing of the past with all our technologies and innovations..

 

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