Fast facts about Hurricane Katrina

As we reach the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall along the Gulf coast… people are reflecting on the devastating impact that the storm and subsequent levee failures had on New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast region.

Here are some fast facts about the storm and its impact on the region and people.

  1. According to FEMA… Katrina is, “the single most catastrophic natural disaster in United States history. FEMA also says the total damage for Katrina is estimated at $108 billion. This makes it the “costliest hurricane in U.S. history.
  2. It ranks sixth overall in strength of recorded Atlantic hurricanes. It was a very large storm… at its peak… maximum winds stretched 25 to 30 nautical miles and its extremely wide swath of hurricane force winds extended at least 75 nautical miles to the east from the center.
  3. In all… hurricane Katrina affected nearly 93,000 square miles across 138 parishes and counties.
  4. Hurricane Katrina’s winds and a storm surge of up to 27 feet dealt a ferocious blow to homes… businesses and property along the central Gulf coast and for many miles inland.
  5. There were 1,833 Fatalities directly or indirectly related to Katrina.
  6. Nearly half the fatalities in Louisiana were people over the age of 74.
  7. 40% of the deaths in Louisiana were caused by drowning. 25% were caused by injury and trauma and 11% were caused by heart conditions.
  8. More than one million people in the Gulf region were displaced by the storm. At their peak hurricane relief shelters housed 273,000 people. Later… approximately 114,000 households were housed in FEMA trailers.
  9. 70% of New Orleans’ occupied housing… 134,000 units… was damaged in the storm.  80% of the city flooded after the levees failed.
  10. The debris from Katrina… if stacked onto the space of a football field… would reach over ten and a half miles high.
  11. The population of New Orleans fell from 484,674 in April 2000 to 230,172 in July 2006… a decrease of over 50%. By last year…  the population had increased to an estimated 384,320… according to the U.S. Census Bureau… putting New Orleans back on the list of the 50 most-populous cities in 2014.

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