Today in History: Hurricane Katrina

| August 29, 2017

170828_news_219x365For a year — if not more — after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, reaping unimaginable destruction, citizens near and far — including our very own library staff — volunteered in relief efforts down in New Orleans;  parishes were inhabitable, governmental responsibility seriously questioned, life exacerbated by the highly charged political climate. As one colleague described, it was “human ineptness” compounded by poverty. With Hurricane Harvey, downgraded to a tropical storm now devastating Texas, we are reminded of the lessons learned from Katrina — and wary of the season, only just begun. Addressing global change, including ways to prepare for and manage disaster, is timely from a variety of perspectives, especially educational.

Hurricane Katrina, a storm that began forming in the central Bahamas on August 24, 2005 and deepened to Category 5 in the Gulf of Mexico, caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast, from central Florida to Texas. Due largely to the storm surge and failure of the levees and flood walls to block the water, major death and destruction occurred in New Orleans on August 29th. In all, 1,273 people died, with another 564 missing, and property damage was estimated at 108 billion dollars, overall, despite the lessening of the storm to Category 3. Katrina was one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States — among them, Great Galveston Hurricane (1900, Category 4); Okeechobee Hurricane (1949, Category 4); Louisiana Hurricane (1893, Category 4) ; and S. Carolina/Georgia ( (1893, Category 4).

Hurricane Katrina inspired Teaching The Levees: A Curriculum for Democratic Dialogue and Civic Engagement, a joint project of Teachers College, the Rockefeller Foundation, and HBO Documentary Films.

The following articles are selected from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.


slide design-Hurricane Katrina-03

Check out these vialogues on the levees.


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