Hurricane Katrina on August 28, the day before landfall
Katrina followed the typical process of hurricanes. It began as “tropical depression twelve” over the Bahamas on August 23, strengthened to Tropical Storm Katrina the following day, and made landfall over Florida as a hurricane on August 25. It entered the Gulf of Mexico and quickly picked up speed and power, doubling in size. It achieved Category 5 hurricane status with sustained winds of 175 mph after nine hours, and hurtled toward the southern coast of the United States. The eye reached landfall again on August 29 in Louisiana, just south of New Orleans, having been downgraded to Category 3. The effect of Katrina, however, had no downgrade in effects compared to previous storms.
New Orleans underwater following Hurricane Katrina, looking toward Lake Pontchartrain
Because of the sophisticated array of predictive technology operated by the federal and state governments, the predicted trajectory indicated possible devastating effects on southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The governor of Louisiana requested federal aid to evacuate fourteen parishes and the City of New Orleans. The National Hurricane Center began issuing warnings on August 27, upgrading the danger over the next two days. The mayor of New Orleans ordered the first ever full city evacuation at 10:00 A.M. August 27. It was too late.
New Orleans underwater following Hurricane Katrina, looking toward downtown