Our Katrina Experience

   Aerial view of Our Lady of the Gulf following Hurricane Katrina - August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.  Katrina was the costliest storm in United States history - with amounts over $81.2 billion.  The death toll was over 1,836. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall.

Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005 and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, causing some deaths and flooding there before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico.  The storm weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 storm on the morning of Monday, August. It caused severe destruction along the  Gulf Coast from central Florida to Texas.  The worst property damage occurred in coastal areas, such as all Mississippi beachfront towns, which were flooded over 90% in hours, as boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland, with waters reaching 6–12 miles (10–19 km) from the beach.

When Hurricane Katrina’s high winds and massive storm surge slammed into Mississippi’s Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, many of the Coast’s most enduring landmarks disappeared.  Gracious beach front mansions, simple Creole cottages, bungalows, and shotgun houses—significant historic sites and private homes—the storm spared none of them. Even the downtown commercial centers on the coast were devastated by the storm surge and raging flood waters. Several blocks on the high ground in Bay St. Louis and in Pass Christian were all that was left of the grand miles-long stretch of historic houses that once defined the Mississippi Coast.

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