Hurricane Katrina

29 August 2005  

On this date in 2005…

After causing heavy damage in Southern Florida, Hurricane Katrinamade its second landfall on the Gulf Coast as a category 3 hurricane. Katrina left a swath of devastation from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. The rainfall and storm surge overloaded the pumping stations in New Orleans and breached the levee, flooding much of the city.

Accustomed to hurricanes, many of the city’s residents failed to evacuate prior to the storm and died or later had to be rescued. Katrina killed more than 1,836 people and caused more than $115 billion in damage. The federal response to the storm was delayed largely because Louisiana Governor Mary Landrieu failed or refused to request the aid from Republican President George W. Bush. In consequence, assistance from the Dutch Navy and the Mexican Army arrived in New Orleans before the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The news media blamed Bush for the bungled response and published embellished tales of the suffering and devastation, which needed little exaggeration had they simply told the truth. For some reason, the news media relished publishing false reports that Southern landmarks such as the Louisiana Confederate Museum and Jefferson Davis’s home, Beauvoir had been destroyed, when more tragic and necessary stories went unreported.
When the federal government finally did respond, it compounded the chaos by confiscating guns from citizens and leaving them helpless to defend themselves from gangs of predators and looters that swept the city.

Other Years:
  • 1957 – Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina set a filibuster record in the U.S. when ended a marathon speech of 24 hours and 18 minutes.
  • 1971 – Alabama native Hank Aaron became the first baseball player in the National League to hit 100 or more runs in each of 11 seasons.
  • 1977 – Lou Brock of Arkansas beat Ty Cobb’s 49 year-old record
  • of 892 stolen bases while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • 1983 – The anchor of the USS Monitor was retrieved by divers off the coast of North Carolina.
  • 2007 – Six U.S. cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads were illegally flown without proper authorization from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana.

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