reconstructs Hurricane Katrina's development and destruction and investigates
causes of the flooding in New Orleans.
reviews a computer model of a Category 3 hurricane that was shown to
state and federal officials one year before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.
explains how hurricanes form and build in strength.
presents how forecasters at NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami determine a storm's intensity and track.
relates how U.S. Air Force personnel fly into a hurricane to gather information
about a storm's wind direction, wind speed, pressure, humidity, and
tracks Hurricane Katrina from its inception as a tropical storm to its
Category 4 hurricane rating when it struck New Orleans.
states how New Orleans—which is below sea level and sandwiched between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain—has traditionally relied on a system of pumps, canals, and levees to keep water out of the city.
shows how Louisiana's wetlands, which can help reduce the impact of a storm
surge, are being destroyed.
interviews residents who did not evacuate and reports on what happened
when the storm hit.
notes that of the four major breaches in the city's flood
defenses—two on the canal that flooded the Lower Ninth Ward and two in
the northern part of the city—the northern breaches caused the most
reviews how officials worked to repair the broken levees and to
coordinate rescue efforts amid the turmoil that followed the storm.
that the northern breaches occurred because the flood walls failed to do the
job for which they were designed.
reveals that while hurricane frequency is cyclical, hurricane intensity
seems to be increasing, possibly due to warmer sea surface temperatures brought
on by global warming.
explores whether or how New Orleans should be rebuilt, and whether
residents will return to the city.