Today’s Record of the Week was contributed by Dr. Tina L. Ligon, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland
Hurricane Katrina formed on August 23, 2005, over the Bahamas in the Caribbean. It was the 11th tropical depression and the 5th named hurricane of the season. Within five days of formation, this tropical depression reached category five hurricane strength with wind speeds up to 175 mph and gusts near 190 mph. It made landfall in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and other areas along the Gulf of Mexico Coast. Hurricane Katrina left $108 billion in property damage, an estimated 2,000 dead, and devastated a major US city and its surrounding communities.
By mid-day on August 29, 2005, the center of Hurricane Katrina passed just southeast of New Orleans. The winds and the rains stranded hundreds of people on rooftops and inside the Superdome. The storm surge from the hurricane created breaches in the levees system around the city. These breaches caused massive flooding in the area, primarily in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood. The flooding displaced families, destroyed communities, and created havoc around New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest and costly storms in US history.
RG 48 Photographs Relating to the Secretary’s Trips, Speeches, and Other Functions, and Agency Officials, Events, and Managed Sites (NAID 7682706) contains photographs of Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior’s visit to the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. These images shows the massive flooding and damage in New Orleans and the neighboring areas.