Pre-storm preparations[ edit ] Strength of Katrina's winds.
New Orleans was settled on a natural high ground along the Mississippi River. Later developments that eventually extended to nearby Lake Pontchartrain were built on fill to bring them above the average lake level. Navigable commercial waterways extended from the lake into the interior of the city to promote waterborne commerce.
Inheavy flooding caused by Hurricane Betsy brought concerns regarding flooding from hurricanes to the forefront.
That year Congress passed the Flood Control Act of which, among other issues, gave authority for design and construction of the flood protection in the New Orleans metropolitan area to the United States Army Corps of Engineerssubject to cost sharing principles, some of which were waived by later legislation.
The local municipalities were charged with maintenance once the projects were completed. Afterthe corps built a levee system around a much larger geographic footprint that included previous marshland and swamp.
Many new subdivisions were developed to cater to those who preferred a more suburban lifestyle but were open to remaining within the city limits of New Orleans. Historians question why the area farthest east was developed, since it was viable wetlands and because ringing this region with levees did nothing significant toward protecting the city.
What expansion accomplished was to increase the amount of land that could be developed, and it was a reason for the Army Corps to expand the size of its project. In addition the structures caused subsidence of up to 8 feet 2.
Bernard parishes lie at or above sea level, with the highest neighborhoods at 10—12 feet 3.
When authorized, the flood control design and construction were projected to take 13 years to complete. Many collapsed well below design thresholds 17th Street and London Canals. In eastern New Orleans, levees along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway failed in several places because Account of the new orleans disaster hurricane katrina were built with sand and erodible materials instead of clay, an obvious construction flaw.
In that event, the wind was predicted to come from the north as the storm passed, forcing large volumes of water from Lake Pontchartrain against the levees and possibly into the city. It was also forecast that the storm surge in Lake Pontchartrain would reach 14—18 feet 4.
Anticipated effects included, at the very least, the partial destruction of half of the well-constructed houses in the city, severe damage to most industrial buildings, rendering them inoperable, the "total destruction" of all wood-framed low-rise apartment buildings, all windows blowing out in high-rise office buildings, and the creation of a huge debris field of trees, telephone poles, cars, and collapsed buildings.
The resulting mess would coat every surface, converting the city into a toxic marsh until water could be drained. Some experts said that it could take six months or longer to pump all the water out of the city.
He called the governors of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi to warn them of the severity of the coming storm. He issued a special warning to Mayor Ray Nagintelling him that some levees in the greater New Orleans area could be overtopped.
On Sunday, he made a video call to U. Bush at his farm in Crawford, Texas about the severity of the storm. Many New Orleans residents took precautions to secure their homes and prepare for possible evacuation on Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th.
On August 27 the state of Louisiana was declared an emergency area by the Federal Government,  and by mid-morning of that day, many local gas stations which were not yet out of gas had long lines. Nagin first called for a voluntary evacuation of the city at 5: In a live news conference, Mayor Nagin predicted that "the storm surge most likely will topple our levee system", and warned that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico would be shut down.
Many neighboring areas and parishes also called for evacuations. By mid-afternoon, officials in PlaqueminesSt. CharlesLafourcheTerrebonneJeffersonSt. Tammanyand Washington parishes had called for voluntary or mandatory evacuations.
In Plaquemines Parish, an official described those remaining behind as "gambling with their own lives.
These reasons were complicated by the fact that an evacuation the previous year for Hurricane Ivan had resulted in gridlocked traffic for six to ten hours.
The fact that Katrina occurred at the end of the month before pay checks were in the hands of many was also significant. Beginning at noon on August 28 and running for several hours, city buses were redeployed to shuttle local residents from 12 pickup points throughout the city to the "shelters of last resort.
Checkpoint in the Ninth Ward at the Industrial Canal. Residents were allowed in to examine and salvage from their property during daylight. Hurricane Katrina made its second and third landfalls in the Gulf Coast region on August 29,as a Category 3 hurricane.
On Monday, August 29 area affiliates of local television station WDSU reported New Orleans was experiencing widespread flooding due to breaches of several Army Corps-built levees, was without power, and that there were several instances of catastrophic damage in residential and business areas.
Entire neighborhoods on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain were flooded. The extensive flooding stranded many residents who were forced to stay in place long after Hurricane Katrina had passed.
Stranded survivors dotted the tops of houses citywide. Some were trapped inside attics and were unable to escape. Many people chopped their way onto their roofs with hatchets and sledge hammers, which Mayor Nagin had residents urged to store in their attics in case of such events.New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Tour.
In New Orleans, 12 years after Hurricane Katrina, Gray Line offers a three-hour tour that starts at the city center and takes in hurricane-wrecked neighborhoods such as Lakeview and the Upper Ninth Ward. The company is one of a handful of operators offering hurricane-themed tours to holidaymakers for around $45 USD per person.
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In the span of five violent hours on August 29, , Hurricane Katrina destroyed major Gulf Coast cities and flattened miles of coastline. Yet those wind-torn hours represented only the first stage of the relentless triple tragedy that.
Base MapsHurricane Katrina Preliminary High Water MarksHurricane Katrina Surge Inundation LimitsAdvisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFEs)Hurricane Katrina Surge Elevation ContoursMapping Methods and Data SourcesThe Hurricane Katrina Surge Inundation and Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps (or “Katrina Recovery Maps”) show a variety of information concerning the hurricane.
Hurricane Katrina Tour “America’s Worst Catastrophe” Get an eyewitness account of the events surrounding the most devastating natural - and man-made - disaster on American soil with a local’s chronology of events leading up to Hurricane Katrina and the days immediately following the disaster.