The Hurricane Katrina Catastrophe - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: The Hurricane Katrina Catastrophe The Hurricane Katrina Catastrophe The Hurricane Katrina Catastrophe Hurricane season of the year 2005 marks one of the deadliest and most destructive hurricane seasons in American history…
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The Hurricane Katrina Catastrophe
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Download file to see previous pages This paper aims to discuss the statistical facts of the storm and then goes on to analyze it in terms of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery measures. The hurricane Katrina catastrophe remains a somber reminder of the massive destructive force of nature, and the way the American nation confronted its position ‘in the eye of the storm’. “Hurricane Katrina formed over the southeastern Bahamas on August 23, 2005. The storm moved towards Florida made landfall between Hallandale Beach and Aventura on the morning of August 25. From there it moved on to the Gulf of Mexico, growing from a Category 3 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in a matter of mere hours. On Saturday, August 27, the storm reached Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale becoming the third major hurricane of the season. It gained strength and reached Category 5 status on the morning of August 28. Katrina made two more landfalls in the region before finally confronting absorption by the frontal boundary on August 31” (Knabb et al., 2005). In particular, Katrina was one of the five horrifying hurricanes of USA that resulted in deaths of approximately 1,836 people (Knabb et al., 2005). In addition, about 700 missing people were not included in the death count. Hundreds of thousands of local residents were left homeless and unemployed. It was the most expensive hurricane in U.S history, with physical damages worth about seventy-five billion dollars. This estimate does not include the damages to the economy caused by a disruption in oil supply and export of commodities as well as disruption to the sugar and tourism industry in the affected states. “It is estimation that the total economical effect in Louisiana and Mississippi may exceed $150 billion” (Burton & Hicks, 2005). The destruction caused by such a large hurricane is inevitable. It resulted in an impact on a region of approximately 90,000 square miles (DHS, 2008). However, the amount of damage caused could have been reduced had there been proper preparations for such a natural disaster. The biggest tragedy occurred in New Orleans due to the failure of the levee system. This resulted in heavy flooding and as much as 80% of the city became submerged under water (DHS, 2008). Experts indicated that this failure was due to design flaws in the system along with inadequate maintenance. The blame for the failure of the levee system was assigned to “the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the designers and builders of the levee system” (U.S. House of Representatives, 2006), and a lawsuit was filed against them for failing to pay sufficient attention to public safety. In addition, certain flood gates were not closed, this carelessness resulted in further flooding. Beachfront towns suffered worse property damage where 90% of the residential areas were flooded due to lack of proper preventative methods (DHS, 2008). The failure of the levee system is responsible for many deaths in the state of Louisiana. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Research Center stated, "I do not think anyone can tell you with confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not, but that is obviously a very, very great concern” (Blanco, 2006). This in effect marks on of the most fundamental planning failures of the government. In the case of a typical hurricane, the plan was for the disaster relief forces to reach the affected areas by land. However, in case the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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