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Lessons Learned: Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina

Katrina - Lessons Learned

Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. It was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the third-strongest landfalling U.S. hurricane ever recorded.

Katrina formed in late August during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and devastated much of the north-central Gulf Coast of the United States. Most notable in media coverage were the catastrophic effects on the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Katrina's sheer size devastated the Gulf Coast over 100 miles away from its center.

The storm surge caused severe or catastrophic damage along the coastlines of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, including the cities of Mobile Alabama, Biloxi and Gulfport Mississippi, and Slidell Louisiana.

Levees separating Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne from New Orleans were breached by the surge, ultimately flooding 80% of the city and many areas of neighboring parishes. Severe wind damage was reported well inland.

The government's response to Katrina was highly criticized, and a commitee was commissioned to determine how the government could have responded better.

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Hurricane Katrina formed as Tropical Depression Twelve over the southeastern Bahamas on August 23, 2005 as the result of an interaction of a tropical wave and the remains of Tropical Depression Ten. The system was upgraded to tropical storm status on the morning of August 24 and at this point, the storm was given the name Katrina.

Introduction | Forward | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2
Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6
Chapter 7 | Appendices

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