The Lessons of Hurricane Katrina

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Introduction
Hurricane Katrina resulted in massive loss of life and billions of dollars in property damage. There are many lessons worth learning from this event. Finger pointing started before the event was over. Most of the focus on Hurricane Katrina was on its impact on New Orleans; however, the storm ravaged a much wider area than that. This paper will briefly summarize the event, the impact on the city of New Orleans and the lessons learned to ensure preparedness today.
Hurricane Katrina Formed off the Bahamas August 23, 2005 and after crossing Florida as a category one hurricane, Katrina entered the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm. Once in the gulf, she stalled, gained strength and once again became a hurricane. August 28, 2005 Katrina reached the highest category available for a hurricane, category five with winds in excess of one hundred and seventy five miles per hour. Downgraded to a category three hurricane before making landfall, Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi took a direct hit from Katrina on August 29, 2005.
While the city did not take a direct hit, New Orleans also felt the impact of Katrina as she came ashore. The wind and rain from the storm put enormous stress on the levees protecting the city. Unfortunately, the levees could not withstand the forces applied to them and they eventually gave way flooding large portions of the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas. Large public places began to become places of refuge for those still in the
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