Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States from New Orleans, Louisiana to Mobile, Alabama. Katrina made landfall in the early morning of 29 August 2005. The hurricane is believed to have killed thousands of people, and known to have displaced more than 1 million â€” a humanitarian crisis on a scale unseen in the U.S. since the American Civil War.
Katrina, a tropical cyclone, developed from a tropical wave about 175 miles east of Nassau, Bahamas. The hurricane strengthened to Category 1 before making landfall on the Miami-Dade/Broward county line in Florida on August 28. Katrina moved southwest across Florida and west into the Gulf of Mexico, where it intensified rapidly to Category 5. In the early morning of August 29, Katrina made its second landfall near Buras, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm featuring 140-mph winds, and its eyewall passed over the eastern edge of New Orleans as the hurricane made its way to water once again. A few hours later, it made landfall for a third time near the Louisiana/Mississippi border with 125-mph Category 3 winds. Katrina weakened thereafter, losing “hurricane” status more than 100 miles inland, near Laurel, Mississippi. It was downgraded to a tropical depression near Clarksville, Tennessee and continued to race northward.