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Weather Disasters

Weather disasters do great harm to people. They include storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. From historical records, they are known to be one of the most massive forces. They cause significant destruction, affecting economy and leading to human victims. The main factor, which determines the destructive effect of hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, is high-pressure air masses. Hurricane blows damage buildings, break wire communication lines, devastate fields, as well as break and uproot trees. People also run the risk of being affected. A hurricane that passes over the ocean forms massive clouds that are a source of heavy rains that cause flooding. Heavy rainfalls are a prerequisite for such natural disasters as mud flows and landslides. Hurricane Katrina, which became one of the most devastating in the U.S. history, took lives of more than a thousand people.

The name Katrina is known by absolutely every American since this is the strongest and the most destructive hurricane that has ever hit the coast of the country. Hurricane Katrina appeared in August 2005 in the Bahamas (Waple, 2005). It was quickly gaining strength and began to develop in the direction of the U.S. East Coast. Once the storm has reached American shores, its strength increased to the fifth category. However, it was too late to take necessary measures. The authorities could not cope with the consequences of the disaster. The hurricane was formed over the warm waters of the Atlantic. It crossed Southern Florida as a hurricane of the first category. It has led to several deaths and a slight flooding. Then, the storm considerably strengthened over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Although Katrina weakened somewhat approaching the land, it struck Louisiana on August 29, 2005 as a storm of the third category (Waple, 2005). The passage of the hurricane caused severe destruction on a wide strip of coast from East Texas to the West of Florida, primarily because of storm surges.

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The hurricane left many people without their homes. New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana, was affected most of all (Waple, 2005). Mississippi also experienced great losses. Moreover, there were many deaths in the states of Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida. As a result of the disaster, a great part of the territory of New Orleans was under water. Most of its residents left the city. Despite the fact that a large part of the city has been restored, some areas have been still bearing the stamp of this tragedy. There are many regions that should be renewed. To the greatest extent, it relates to the Lower 9th Ward. Before Hurricane Katrina, its population had consisted mostly of African-Americans. It was a district with the highest index of home ownership in the city. As a result of the hurricane, all of its inhabitants were forced to leave. The water from the streets of the region was evacuated at last with an effort. It got at the district over the dam, which was built in the industrial channel. Powerful currents washed away some houses to their foundations and destroyed a few blocks. Sparks (2009) stated that eighty percent of New Orleans was flooded. The hurricane destroyed about 300,000 homes. 1,330 people with eighty percent from New Orleans died. In Louisiana, seventy percent of killed people were older than sixty. Nearly 770,000 were displaced and more than one million were evacuated (Sparks, 2009). Today, these districts are recovering gradually.

Hurricane Katrina caused a great economic damage. The first branch, which it hit, was the oil business. The disaster stopped the processing capacity of oil, which meant a loss of production. Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico declined, and its price began to grow. For the full recovery of gasoline, there was a need to repair plants. Hurricane Katrina caused such serious damage to the U.S. economy that its effects were reflected on a sharp increase in gasoline prices and lower production volumes, as well as world energy prices.

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Events that took place in New Orleans were considered the most serious failure of engineering services in the U.S. history. Immediately after the rescue operations, a lawsuit against engineering corps of the U.S. Army, responsible for the planning and construction of levees in New Orleans required by the federal law on the control of floods, was filed. There were also investigations into the reaction of the federal and state authorities at different levels, which had not provided the timely evacuation of people. It led to the resignation of the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Michael Brown and Police Chief of New Orleans Eddie Compass (Pao, 2015). However, some government agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, National Center for Monitoring Hurricanes, and the National Weather Service, did their job perfectly. They gave correct predictions that pointed to the catastrophic character of Katrina with a margin of time, which would be enough for a large-scale evacuation. However, these forecasts that recommended getting away from the coast did not assume that the hurricane might damage levees and New Orleans would be flooded.

Therefore, the most destructive natural disaster in the U.S. history for the last decade was Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans and the surrounding area at the end of August 2005. It was the most expensive hurricane for the American economy and one of the five most deadly weather disasters. Hurricane Katrina gave fundamental lessons that should be considered in order to strengthen the preparedness and mitigation of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and other extreme weather events and natural disasters that affect hundreds of millions of people annually.