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Looking back: Total Force response to Katrina

The most infamous storm in U.S. history, Hurricane Katrina carved a path of destruction from Miami to New Orleans, and up the Eastern United States. The storm reached a maximum intensity of Category 5 status, with 175 mph sustained winds. Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the morning of August 29, 2005. This infrared satellite imagery shows the storm’s intensity: white is the most intense, followed by red, green, and blue. (Image courtesy of NOAA)

The most infamous storm in U.S. history, Hurricane Katrina carved a path of destruction from Miami to New Orleans, and up the Eastern United States. The storm reached a maximum intensity of Category 5 status, with 175 mph sustained winds. Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the morning of August 29, 2005. This infrared satellite imagery shows the storm’s intensity: white is the most intense, followed by red, green, and blue. (Image courtesy of NOAA)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

 

Click to see the Hurricane Katrina over the Gulf of Mexico

Katrina made landfall in south Florida Aug. 25, 2005, as a category 1 hurricane. Over the next 48 hours the storm moved into the Gulf and reached category 5 status Aug. 28 with wind speeds peaking at 175 mph. The 20-30 foot storm surge caused massive property damage throughout Biloxi and Gulfport, and topped the storm surge of the area’s historic 1969 Hurricane Camille by 5-10 feet, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricane Camille, the second category 5 storm to make U.S. landfall the 20th century, had winds of 190 mph and a storm surge of 24 feet. It ravaged the Mississippi coastline and caused 256 deaths and $1.42 billion dollars of damage, or $8.9 billion in today's dollars, according to NOAA. Though Camille was a stronger hurricane at landfall, Katrina was a significantly larger storm, which contributed to the devastating storm surge and flooding, according to NOAA. The surge pushed boats, barges and cars inland, into buildings and houses, destroying everything in their path. Katrina's damages are estimated at $125 billion. In addition to being the United States' costliest hurricane, it is the third deadliest, claiming the lives of 1,800 people, with 238 in Mississippi, 1,577 in Louisiana, 14 in Florida, two in George and two in Alabama, according to NOAA.

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