Hurricane Katrina Case Study

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Introduction On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States. The storm formed over the Bahamas as a tropical depression on August 23rd. The following day the tropical depression was named Katrina. On August 25th, Hurricane Katrina hits the Florida coast as a Category 1, with winds at 80 mph. The National Hurricane Center officially updates the track of Katrina from Florida to the Mississippi and Alabama coast. At this time, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco declares a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana. On August 28th, Hurricane Katrina intensifies into a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds. Soon after, New Orleans Mayor Ray Naqin orders the first-ever mandatory evacuation of the city. The National…show more content…
The rising floodwaters forced thousands of people onto their rooftops without access to potable water. The breeched levee that resulted in the destruction of the Lower Ninth Ward raised suspicions of foul play with many residents. This case study focuses on the deep distrust for the government in the Lower Ninth Ward following Hurricane Katrina. Physical Setting The Lower Ninth Ward is a neighborhood of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Like many areas in New Orleans, the neighborhood originated as a cypress swamp consisting of many bayous. In 1923, the Industrial Canal was dredged, which connected Lake Pontchartrain to the Mississippi River. The canal allowed large cargo ships and barges access to the river. The Industrial Canal separates the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood from the Upper Ninth Ward. In the 1930s, industrial development along the canal created many jobs, which caused many people to settle in the Lower Ninth Ward. On September 9th, 1965, Hurricane Betsy made landfall on Louisiana. Betsy was a Category 3 when it made landfall, with wind gusts measured at 145 mph. The eight-foot storm surge…show more content…
The lower ninth ward suffered extensive flooding due to a breach in the Industrial Canal. Shorty after Hurricane Katrina, many residents throughout the Lower Ninth Ward claimed to have heard explosions before the levee was breached. Dyan French, a New Orleans Citizen and community leader, testified before the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina hearing. She stated that she was on her front porch and ‘witnessed that they bombed the walls of the levee’. Memories of the government blowing up the levees during the Great Mississippi River Flood fueled many conspiracy theorists living in the Lower Ninth Ward. Many claim that the levees were once again purposely blown up to help save the wealthier, and whiter, sections of the city. In response, many people argue that the wealthier and whiter neighborhoods also flooded during hurricane Katrina, and that conspiracy theories are fueled by years of government neglect and discrimination against African Americans. Five years after Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast I visited my family in New Orleans. Throughout the trip I referred to New Orleans as the ‘blue tarp city’. Thousands upon thousands of blue tarps were nailed to wind-damaged roofs throughout the city, and a major amount

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