15 YEARS AGO: Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast

Tropical Weather Education

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — August 29, 2005 was a devastating day as Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina made landfall twice on August 29, 2005. Once in southeast Louisiana and once along the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a category 3 hurricane.

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Katrina was the costliest hurricane to ever strike the U.S. (was Hurricane Andrew in 1992) with $108 billion in damages and 1,833 fatalities. Katrina originally made landfall on the east coast of Florida as a category 1 hurricane on August 25. As it moved into the Gulf, the storm underwent rapid intensification becoming a category 5 (winds of 175 mph) hurricane just three short days later. Katrina ended up weakening to a category 3 just before landfall on August 29.

The write-up on Hurricane Katrina from the National Weather Service adds, “The loss of life and property damage was heightened by breaks in the levees that separate New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain. At least 80% of New Orleans was under flood waters on August 31st.”

Katrina was not only known for its damaging winds and low central pressure, but also for its storm surge nearing 20 feet at the AL/MS state line, 11.45 feet at the Alabama State Docks, and 11-14 feet at Bayou La Batre, according to NWS. Katrina also spawned five tornadoes in SE Alabama and four in NW Florida. As far as rainfall goes, most spots got 8 to 10 inches with 12 inches likely in isolated spots.

Hurricane Katrina is a storm that will never be forgotten along the Gulf Coast.

More information on Hurricane Katrina: https://www.weather.gov/mob/katrina

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