NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA: Down here, they just call it the storm. As in, "before the storm ..." or "right after the storm ...." The storm that finds its way into nearly every conversation in this part of the world? Hurricane Katrina.
AUGUST 29, 2005:
Almost one year ago, Katrina bore down on the Gulf Coast of the United States. But New Orleans didn't lie in the path of the storm's most destructive force. By the time the center of this monster hurricane reached landfall, traveling up the Louisiana/Mississippi border, its eye and walls extended at least 75 miles to the east and west, leveling much of the Gulf Coast region. In all, 90,000 square miles, an area larger than Great Britain, felt Katrina's impact. However, New Orleanians feel that Katrina only nicked their beloved city in comparison to the damage that occurred elsewhere. Yet New Orleans had to face another disaster—the storm surge out of the gulf, which some estimated at 30 feet high. This surge caused flooding from four levees that broke in the city, as well as the numerous interior canals that overflowed and flooded neighborhoods because of abandoned pumping stations. Below New Orleans, the Mississippi River levee broke in several places, spilling the mighty waters of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River gulf outlet into the city.
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