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How New Orleans Flooded

  • By Ivor van Heerden
  • Posted 11.22.05
  • NOVA

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded 85 percent of greater New Orleans, killing more than 1,000 people and leaving 100,000 homeless. Investigations into why this devastating tragedy happened have only just begun, though even a cursory examination shows that it was due in part to man-made engineering failures. For now, all we can do is explain how the deluge occurred, based on reconstructions of events made in the three months since Katrina struck. In this feature, follow the progression of flooding incidents that precipitated the worst natural disaster in American history.

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Examine a chronology of exactly where and how 85 percent of the city wound up underwater following Hurricane Katrina.

Ivor van Heerden is deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center and director of the Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes.

Credits

Photos

(regional map)
Courtesy USGS
(New Orleans satellite images)
© Digital Globe

Related Links

  • Storm That Drowned a City

    Experts and eyewitnesses reconstruct the devastating floods that Hurricane Katrina unleashed on New Orleans.

  • The Man Who Predicted Katrina

    Hurricane expert Ivor van Heerden warned for years that a tragedy like the one brought by Katrina was bound to happen.

  • Hurricane Katrina: Expert Q&A

    Research meteorologist Marshall Shepherd answers questions about hurricanes and the ongoing threat to New Orleans.

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