Hurricane Katrina strikes New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 29, 2005) - Flooded roadways can be seen as the Coast Guard conducts initial Hurricane Katrina damage assessment overflights here during late August 2005.
Image Credit: U.S. Coast Guard photographNEW ORLEANS (Aug. 29, 2005) - Flooded roadways can be seen as the Coast Guard conducts initial Hurricane Katrina damage assessment overflights here during late August 2005. Image Credit: U.S. Coast Guard photograph

Hurricane Katrina was the worst natural disaster in the history of the USA. It started over the Bahamas on 23 August 2005 and crossed Florida, where it killed a few people and did some damage. But when it reached the Gulf of Mexico it became really deadly. The city of New Orleans and the area around it were hit hardest, and 80% of the city was under water for weeks.

Katrina did more damage to property than any hurricane before it, and killed at least 1,800 people. Thousands more lost their homes, and three years after Katrina many homeless people in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi were still living in trailers.

The Superdome and the Hyatt Regency Hotel were two of the biggest buildings in New Orleans which were damaged. Luckily, the city’s airport did not suffer, so the government was able to fly in food, medicines and other supplies to help the survivors. People were surprised that the famous French Quarter in New Orleans, the city’s big tourist attraction, was not badly hit, and soon it was “business as usual” there.


Activity

True or false? Which of these statements contain correct information, and which are wrong?

  1. Hurricane Katrina was strongest when it crossed Florida.
  1. New Orleans was very badly damaged.
  1. Large areas of New Orleans were flooded.
  1. Hurricane Katrina damaged more property than any other hurricane in history.
  1. The Superdome was not hit.
  1. The airport was flooded and had to close.
  1. The French Quarter is popular with visitors.
  1. The French Quarter did not suffer as much as other parts of New Orleans.

 

Activities for the links below

  1. Go to the first link and read all about New Orleans. Now plan a long weekend (Friday to Monday) in the city. Where will you stay? Where and what will you eat? What will you see? Write up your plan.

    You might like to start by writing something like this: “When I have checked into the ... Hotel on Friday morning, I will take a Gray Line bus to see ... ”
     
  2. The second link is an article published by the Earth Science Department of St Louis University in Missouri. Read it a couple of times and then identify which disasters are referred to here:
  • It was the worst earthquake in recent years.
  • This prehistoric disaster was probably due to something from outer space.
  • When this volcano erupted, it did not kill many people.
  • This happened in the Bible, and quite possibly the Bible story is based on fact.
  • Thousands and thousands of people died of hunger after this catastrophe in the 19th century.
  • This 19th century earthquake would have been a much greater disaster if it had happened today, because many more people now live in the area where it happened.

 

Web resource

Experience New Orleans!

http://www.experienceneworleans.com/tastes.html

10 'Worst' Natural Disasters (Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)

http://www.eas.slu.edu/hazards.html