August 29th marks the anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters to devastate the United States. One year ago today, the world was shocked by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Katrina was the eleventh named storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic season. It formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, causing some damage there, before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico and becoming one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded. The storm weakened considerably before making its second and third landfalls as a Category 3 storm on the morning of August 29 in southeast Louisiana and at the Louisiana/Mississippi state line, respectively.
The storm is estimated to be responsible for $81.2 billion in damages, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. In addition, massive flooding in New Orleans and storm surge damage in Mississippi killed over 1800 people.
The Bush administration faced strong criticism for what many considered a slow federal response after Katrina. Now one year later, some hurricane victims are still waiting for relief funds.