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On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States. With winds as high as 175 mph and over 1,800 deaths in just Lousiana alone, the category 5 hurricane is considered to be one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the U.S.
Hurricane Katrina took a huge toll on New Orleans. The hurricane left 80 percent of New Orleans under water. The city would not have been left under water if the levees hadn’t broke. The levees that were built after Hurricane Betsy, another hurricane that did a significant amount of damage to the city of New Orleans, the city demanded levees to be built around the coast. Unfortunately, the levees were very poorly built. The levees were said to be built with sand and other materials that would erode easily. This is said to be one of the biggest engineering disasters in history. While there was a mandatory evacuation before the storm actually hit, not everyone was able to leave. Disabled, elderly and poor people without transportation were left in the city. Most were taken to the Louisiana Superdome, but others refused to leave their homes.
After watching the documentary When the Levees Broke I think the government is to blame for the lack of response after Katrina. The citizens of New Orleans were not allowed to leave the city and were left without electricity, clean water and even cell phone service. Many people were not able to survive the conditions and ended up dying. Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco ordered a mandatory evacuation that she hoped would only take two days. However it took many days to evacuate the thousands of people in the city.
The government did not try hard enough or care enough to make sure everyone in the city was safe and to get everyone evacuated on time. They should have sent a lot more people out to help and it would’ve gotten things done a lot faster.
The economy of New Orleans went way downhill after the hurricane. Even today, eleven years later, New Orleans still isn’t 100 percent back to normal. With many the help of many relief organizations and tourist attractions like Mardi Gras, the city is still on its way back to its pre-Katrina economy.
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