Most destructive hurricane in US History 2005

Most destructive hurricane in US History according to

Flooding in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina

Views of inundated areas in New Orleans following breaking of the levees surrounding the city as the result of Hurricane Katrina. Credit: NWS/Lieut. Commander Mark Moran, NOAA Corps, NMAO/AOC

2005: Hurricane Katrina

On Aug. 29, 2005, after passing over the Caribbean and Florida, Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale with winds of 125 mph (201 kph).

Though it was not as strong as some of the other destructive storms that have hit the coast when it struck, Katrina had been a Category 5 the day before it hit land. That previous strength and its large footprint in the Gulf of Mexico created large swells in the ocean waters, resulting in a huge, unrelenting storm surge when the hurricane finally did hit.

Storm surge flooding of 25 to 28 feet (7.6 to 8.5 m) above normal tide level occurred along portions of the Mississippi coast, with storm surge flooding of 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6.1 m) above normal tide levels along the southeastern Louisiana coast.

Ultimately, this storm surge was responsible for much of the damage as it flooded coastal communities, overwhelmed levees, and left at least 80 percent of New Orleans underwater.

By the time the hurricane subsided, Katrina had claimed more than 1,800 human lives and caused roughly $125 billion in damages. It was the deadliest hurricane to strike the United States since the Palm Beach-Lake Okeechobee hurricane of September 1928

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