Oscar Chan / Student reporter
Hurricane Katrina was a category 5 hurricane that was the costliest hurricane in US history, amounting up to $161 billion in damages. There were many reasons why it costed so much, the most important ones were that it halted 19% of US oil production and the levees around New Orleans were not made for hurricanes like hurricane Katrina. Levees are meant to be water barriers for when a flooding happens and helps prevent major flooding from hurricanes, unfortunately, 50 levees failed because they were made for category 3 hurricanes which could not help against the category 5 hurricane.
It completely destroyed New Orleans and killed 1,833 people and another 705 people went missing. They are still reconstructing New Orleans 14 years after hurricane Katrina, it is an estimated 59% through with recovery, they got into a few financial problems as the US ran into problems with the Army Corps of Engineers along with FEMA.
After hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was completely flooded and the reason the flooding was so extreme is because New Orleans was built just below sea level. The failure of the levees were not only because hurricane Katrina was too strong, it was also a cause of design flaw and poor engineering on the levees. The levees were worked on so it doesn’t happen again, there were several improvements, they made them taller so waves wouldn’t wash over the barrier and they made the levees more resistant so that they don’t fall over and fail again. Emergency pumps and canal closures were installed at the ends of the outfall canals. The pumps that they made this time around were better and are supposed to reduce flooding heights for any events that happen in the next 100-500 years.
A big reason for the deaths is the poor community in New Orleans. New Orleans warned their citizens in a timely manner and evacuated more than a million people from the city, this would be the biggest evacuation in US history. There were a group of people who didn’t evacuate however and those were the ones who were poor and couldn’t afford a vehicle or transit to get out of New Orleans, poor people were the ones that stayed in New Orleans and most of the people who stayed in New Orleans died.