Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast of the United States in late August 2005, was one of the most devastating natural disasters to ever befall the U.S., with more than 1,800 confirmed deaths and $108 billion in damages. Hardest hit was New Orleans, where the levees broke, flooding a large portion of the city, especially the Lower 9th Ward. But there was ample destruction all along the Gulf Coast, stretching from western Louisiana to towns like Biloxi, Mississippi.
- Timeline of Hurricane Katrina: This timeline from ThinkProgress.org ranges from August 26, 2005, through August 2006, and provides a very thorough look at Katrina, government response to the storm, and recovery efforts.
- Information on Hurricane Katrina from Wikipedia
About.com Guides on Hurricane Katrina
Several of our About.com guides have information regarding Katrina, its aftermath, and the current state of tourism post-Katrina.
Our New Orleans Travel guide offers a look at New Orleans after the hurricane and a personal post-Katrina tour.
- The Truth About New Orleans After Katrina
- Personal Tour of Hurricane Katrina's Devastation in New Orleans
- Gallery of Katrina's destruction in New Orleans
In addition to the toll Katrina took on residential areas, the hurricane also leveled many Gulf Coast buildings of historical value. Our guide to Architecture provides a list of Lost Architecture in Mississippi and provides links to several articles on the Gulf Coast's cultural losses.
- Lost Architecture of Mississippi
Finally, About's Weather guide explains why New Orleans was hit so hard by Katrina
- Hurricane Katrina Explained
Museum Exhibits and Media on Hurricane Katrina
From the moment Katrina began to look like a threat in the Gulf of Mexico to years after it altered the landscape of the Gulf Coast, the devastating storm has been the subject of documentaries and museum exhibits.
Following are a few exhibits, films, and websites that can help deepen your understanding of Katrina and what was left in its wake.
Visitors to New Orleans can experience first-hand the aftermath of Katrina in an exhibit at the Louisiana State Museum titled Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond. The permanent exhibit uses letters, photographs, and personal items to tell the story of the lives of people who lived through - or died because of - the hurricane. There are also plans to build the Katrina National Memorial Park in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward. The memorial will honor those who died or were evacuated during Hurricane Katrina.
For further information on Katrina, you may also wish to check out some documentaries about the hurricane. About's guides to Independent Film and Documentaries provides us with reviews of several Katrina documentaries.
- Trouble the Water: Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Award-Winning Documentary About Hurricane Katrina
- Desert Bayou, which chronicles the lives of African-Americans who were airlifted from New Orleans to Utah
- When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Spike Lee's epic documentary about Hurricane Katrina
- HBO's Treme: Not a documentary, but a fictional portrayal of life in New Orleans post-Katrina.