After days of anticipation and speculation, early on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States. When the storm made landfall, it brought sustained winds of over 100 miles per hour. Although the storm itself did a great deal of damage, its aftermath was catastrophic.
(See the links below for more detailed information on teaching about Katrina.)
Later hurricanes, such as Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, have also caused significant damage, but were far less destructive than Katrina, as flood waters on the Gulf Coast States lingered for more than 5 weeks.
We, at Pieces of Learning, did what we could to assist those students and teachers impacted by Hurricane Katrina by sending free teacher resource boxes to the temporary makeshift schools in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Many schools contacted us requesting these boxes and hundreds of teacher resource materials and supplemental activity books were sent out.
I attended the Mississippi Gifted Conference held in Olive Branch in late September of that year and listened as the teachers talked about losing their schools and the destruction of their homes. But the worst stories were those of children who lost everything in the flooding, including family members.
In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast States have bounced back and are better than ever. Schools have been rebuilt and parents, students and teachers have survived possibly the worst thing that will ever happen to them.
For more information, check out our Enrichment Units on natural disasters and weather. Also check out www.pbs.org/now/classroom/katrina.html and http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/hurricane-katrina-and-new-orleans-then-and-now/
And now, some Crazy facts about Hurricane Katrina:
- It was the 11th named storm of the 2005 season
- It originated as Tropical Storm Katrina on August 23, 2005
- It was the most costly natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States
- Experts estimated more than $108 billion in damages
- The hurricane caused massive flooding and hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were displaced from their homes
- Out of the 126 public schools in New Orleans, only 16 schools were not severely damaged
- The levee system failed in New Orleans and over 80% of the city was flooded
- Over 90% of the coastal areas in Mississippi were flooded