Hurricane Katrina caused $180 billion in damages

Dennis Keena ‘16

Cover Editor

Damage from Hurricane Katrina, which occurred in 2005, was widespread in the Gulf region of the U.S. It hit New Orleans particularly hard. Photo by Nick Oza/Macon/TNS

Damage from Hurricane Katrina, which occurred in 2005, was widespread in the Gulf region of the U.S. It hit New Orleans particularly hard. Photo by Nick Oza/Macon/TNS

August 23, 2005: Most thought this day would be like any other. What some may not know is one of the worst hurricanes had just formed off of the Gulf Coast, one that would cause America $108 billion in damage: Hurricane Katrina.

“I remember my mom waking me up, telling me we need to leave,” Emily Rionheart said. She is a Florida resident who once lived in Louisiana and fled the storm and the resulting catastrophe.

Storm warnings were in effect for most of Louisiana, where Rionheart lived, and the surrounding areas.

“My parents didn’t think that it was going to hit our house,” Rionheart said, “so we packed minimally.”

They thought wrong.

“I remember going back and seeing our house ripped apart,” Rionheart said. “It affects me today greatly, but things happen and going with them is all you can really do.”

“I remember I was very young,” Jazzy Lockridge ’16 said. “All I remember is people freaking out about the storm.”

Thousands of people were affected by the storm; 1,833 people died.

The storm hit the shores of Louisiana on August 29 with 125 mph winds, categorized as a category-three storm. At the same time, it destroyed the city of New Orleans, most roads being washed out from the storm. Eighty percent of the city was under water.

“The only thing I have left from my life in Louisiana was my Eyore stuffed animal,” Rionheart said, “and I found him when I came back from Florida. I don’t even have baby pictures, not even one at all.”

“I’m glad I moved to Florida and I have the friends I do now and I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything. Katrina tore my house apart, and my family,” Rionheart said.

Most people take things for granted, failing to realize that the next day, it could all be gone. Hurricane Katrina will always be one of the most important topics brought up about modern day American history, and this devastating disaster still is not over. Many people still do not have their lives back 10 years later.