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The Manifestation of Hurricane Katrina; the Killing Machine

Hurricane Katrina En Route in Louisiana; 08.2005
I want to dedicate this post to a city that is truly loved and will never be forgotten.  The spirit of what we perceive as New Orleans lives in the hearts of the people, in the music, art, history, and within the memories of those who have passed due to Hurricane Katrina’s destruction. The hope and faith that New Orleans needs will be restored. Future generations will always maintain the savoir-faire of the City of New Orleans. The present is just another page in New Orleans’s history. New Orleaners will each carry the sights and scenes and music of the city as they knew it.
Military Official Overlooking Flooded New Orleans at Sunset; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005
The summer of 2008 in the Gulf of Mexico was a long period of hurricanes and tropical storms. I remember on the Polar Sea that several of the crew members and I had a discussion about Hurricane Katrina.  After surviving a hodgepodge of natural disasters, I had time to reflect on those that had lost their lives and suffered a loss greater than I could have ever imagined – “Independence Day; Hurricane Season Galvanized.”
After 2005 when Hurricane Katrina had hit, I discovered on all of my projects working in the Gulf of Mexico, that the topic “Hurricane Katrina” lingered on everyone’s tongues. Whether I met some gentlemen from Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and even Florida; this horrific event was still on everyone’s mind. I recall some in-depth conversations with a few of my colleagues working on the Geco Snapper – “5 Best Flashbacks on the Geco Snapper; a Dedication to a Late Friend.”

I decided to complete a little further research on this hurricane and shine some light on the events of Hurricane Katrina.

Helicopter Pilots Searching for Bodies; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005
My Emotional Response to the Reconstruction of the Beautiful City of New Orleans:

New Orleans, throughout her illustrious history, has withstood hurricanes, fire, and plague. She is a city with a warm and open heart; that heart, her courage, her endurance, her vitality, and her importance to this nation are still there always will be there. All you need to do is visit and you will view her inner beauty, just as I have. I felt the warmness of the residents of New Orleans during my last visit there, few years after Hurricane Katrina had hit.

I felt the city’s vivacity through her life, the music, the food, and the soul of the city; which in result have helped the residents and New Orleans lovers unearth the necessary healing that is needed both externally and internally.


Hurricane Katrina Created:

Hurricane Katrina was caused by the intervention of a dissipating storm south of the Bahamas known as Tropical Depression Ten and another tropical wave.  This reaction created a tropical storm on August 23, 2005.
Flooding in Louisiana; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005
Timeline of Hurricane Katrina:
Hurricane Katrina’s Peak Intensity; 08.2005
On Tuesday, August 23, 2005 a storm located near the south of the Bahamas called Tropical Depression Ten reacted with a tropical wave creating an intense tropical storm. Hurricane Katrina formed as Tropical Depression Twelve over the southeastern Bahamas.

On Wednesday, August 24, 2005, a tropical storm rising in the Caribbean was named Katrina. The system was upgraded to tropical storm status on the morning of August 24th and at this point, the storm was given the name Katrina. The tropical storm continued to move towards Florida, and became a hurricane only two hours before it made landfall between Hallandale Beach and Aventura, Florida on the morning of August 25th. The storm weakened over land, but it regained hurricane status about one hour after entering the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Katrina’s Path; 08.2005

On Thursday, August 25th, a day later, the tropical storm grew to the size of a hurricane.  Later that day, Katrina made the shore of the east coast of Florida killing four people and leaving about 1,000,000 Floridians without power.

The storm was expected to hit the Florida panhandle next, while it was traveling at tremendous speed through the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The storm rapidly intensified after entering the Gulf, growing from a Category 3 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in just nine hours. This rapid growth was due to the storm’s movement over the “unusually warm” waters of the Loop Current, which increased wind speeds.

On Friday, August 26th, Katrina had grown from a category 1 hurricane (the least intense) to a category 2, and it had doubled in size from Wednesday. Later that day, the next projected landfall of Katrina was to the left of the Florida panhandle, planning to hit Mississippi and Alabama.
Residents Scurrying through Water; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005
On Saturday, August 27th, Katrina grew to a category 3 hurricane in the middle of the night.  The path of the hurricane switched and was projected to hit New Orleans. The storm reached Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, becoming the third major hurricane of the season.

An eye wall replacement cycle disrupted the intensification, but caused the storm to nearly double in size. Katrina again rapidly intensified, attaining Category 5 status on the morning of August 28 and reached its peak strength at 1:00 p.m. CDT that day, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 902 mbar.


The pressure measurement made Katrina the fourth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record at the time, only to be surpassed by Hurricanes Rita and Wilma later in the season; it was also the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico at the time (a record also later broken by Rita).



RV and Houses Submerged in Water; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005



On Sunday, August 28th, Katrina was upgraded to a category 4 hurricane during the night, with winds that exceeding 145 mph. That morning Katrina grew to a category 5, which is the most catastrophic of all hurricanes.

On Monday, August 29, 2005 Katrina made landfall in Mississippi and Louisiana where levees were being breached and the city began to flood. Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana.

At landfall, hurricane-force winds extended outward 120 miles (190 km) from the center and the storm’s central pressure was 920 mbar. After moving over southeastern Louisiana and Breton Sound, it made its third landfall near the Louisiana/Mississippi border with 120mph (195 km/h) sustained winds, still at Category 3 intensity.


Flooded City Streets; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005



Katrina maintained strength well into Mississippi, finally losing hurricane strength more than 150 miles (240 km) inland near Meridian, Mississippi. It was downgraded to a tropical depression near Clarksville, Tennessee, but its remnants were last distinguishable in the eastern Great Lakes region on August 31st, when it was absorbed by a frontal boundary. The resulting extra tropical storm moved rapidly to the northeast and affected eastern Canada.

Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. It was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the third-strongest hurricane on record that made landfall in the United States.


Katrina formed on August 23rd during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and caused devastation along much of the north-central Gulf Coast. The most severe loss of life and property damage occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed; in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. 

Rescuers to Assist on Rooftop; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005

Broken Records:


The hurricane caused severe destruction across the entire Mississippi coast and into Alabama, as far as 100 miles (160 km) from the storm’s center. In the 2005 Atlantic season, Katrina was the eleventh tropical storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane.


Hurricane Katrina … was the costliest hurricane, as well as one of the five deadliest, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall.


Katrina was the costliest storm in United States history – with amounts over $81.2 billion.  The death toll was over 1,836.
Military Official Frowing upon Flooded City; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005

   
Emotional Impact on a Family:
After reviewing previous articles on Hurricane Katrina, I believe that this one family summed up this horrific event perfectly:
“There are no words for the shock felt when walking back to your dream home or what you have given your entire life for – to see it washed away and devastated wind and water of a deadly storm.  Power so great makes you feel so small and so helpless … yet the strength of a people to start over just to survive … one family at a time.”

Writing for Help on Rooftops; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005



Physical Damage (My Personal Encounter):
While en route to mobilizing on the Viking Vision – “Helicopter Ride to Viking Vision; the Quest for Sperm Whales,” I had the opportunity to explore New Orleans, Louisiana for a few days. As I made my way to the usual Margarita joint that I visited every time I came to New Orleans, I noticed a large bump in the middle of the street.
This was not your typical bump caused by a small event, but this was evidence of the most recent Hurricane that took the South by surprise – Hurricane Katrina. As I glanced around the crossroads, I noticed several large bumps strategically placed in the middle of the streets.
As I crossed the street to the Margarita place, I felt the rigidness of the road squishing beneath my flip flops. This was truly uncomfortable to walk on; several large patches of road seemed to intertwine with the oncoming traffic lane.



Boats on Bridge; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005



One thing was for sure; the wrath of Hurricane Katrina was still left behind and created an uncomfortable zone of traffic flow.
The surface rock indentations on the road proved that a greater power than we could have ever imagined crossing our paths took this particular ‘party’ city by one large horrific storm. The storm may have passed, but the damage still lingers. Hurricane Katrina left her footprints all over New Orleans!
Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast, destroying lives, leveling homes, and leaving thousands of survivors with the same story: We lost everything.

Inspiration Corner:
“A Momma’s Love: One woman’s journey through hell to find her son” – http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/katrina/green.family/separated/index.html
“Hurricane Katrina: Story from a Survivor” –
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Photographs were collaborated from different websites and all were taken by CNN reporters







Dead End; Hurricane Katrina 08.2005





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