Hurricane Katrina

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The Hurricane Katrina is ranked as the worst storm to have hit the United States in the 21st century, causing untold destruction, deaths and damage to property (Kotkin, 2011). The Gulf Coast area, comprising the Louisiana, Mississippi and New Orleans areas under approximately 600,000 square miles, were the region most hit by this storm (Kotkin, 2011). A total of 15 million people were badly affected by the storm, which ranks as the third largest storm to have hit the United States in history (Amadeo, 2017).

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The economy of the Gulf Coast area comprised largely of Louisiana, New Orleans and other areas such as Mississippi that were largely affected by the storm supported approximately more than 1 million non-farm jobs before the Hurricane Katrina struck, ranking the fastest growing job market in the U.S. (Kotkin, 2011). The areas affected by the Hurricane Katrina had very vibrant economies, with the cities in these areas having a major economic impact related to contributing significantly to the US GDP (Kotkin, 2011). Additionally, industrial productivity, most notably associated with the oil economy was a major economic anchor of the areas, until the storm hi, while agriculture, fishing and tourism also ranked as major economic boosters of the larger Gulf Coast economy (Kotkin, 2011).


The Louisiana and New Orleans and other areas such as Mississippi are largely regions that host and are home to a vast of the middle and upper class residents (Mann & Pass, 2010). The culture of tourism and living large is one that characterized the Gulf Coast areas, while the elderly wealthy population comprised a major segment of the social fabric of the areas, with families and relatives living together with their elderly ones (Mann & Pass, 2010).

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The Gulf Coast areas school districts comprise of 1250 independent public schools in addition to many other certified private schools under the larger Texas jurisdiction (, 2017). The Gulf Coast areas have a reputation of providing their students with quality education, with the lowly paid teachers in these areas earning $38, 857, although by 2008, the large Texas metropolis had a shortage of an estimated 82,000 teachers (, 2017).



The hurricane had a devastating impact on over 15 million people’s lives. Culturally, a large number of people that lived together as families and relatives were separated and up to this day, most have never been able to reunite and live together (, 2017). Families have lost homes, businesses have been destroyed and livelihoods completely shuttered, with over 1,800 people left dead by the hurricane, while thousands of more families have been left spread through the 50 states of the US, most suffering from depression, psychological trauma and other psychological conditions (Amadeo, 2017). Many families that lived together with their elderly have now been forced to live without them considering that approximately 50% of the people who lost their lives, especially in New Orleans were the elderly aged above 74 years (, 2017).


The Hurricane Katrina had a major impact on the education sector, with most schools within the Gulf Coast school districts remaining closed for approximately a whole year following the floods (Amadeo, 2017). The education sector has not only been affected by the closure of schools but also by the even greater destruction of school infrastructure, while the displacement of students from their homes and former residences means that tens of thousands of students still remain scattered away from their school, with many not able to get back in schools (Wade, 2015).


Hurricane Katrina caused an economic damage worth approximately $108 billion (Amadeo, 2017). The storm damaged 300,000 homes, while the economic stagnation and the losses incurred by means of destroyed businesses, infrastructure and means of livelihoods for families estimated to be the higher of $215 billion (Amadeo, 2017). Additionally, the US economic growth declined significantly from the 3.8% growth rate before the Hurricane Katrina to a low of only 1.3% following the devastating storm (Amadeo, 2017). Thousands of former residents of the Gulf Coast areas who shifted to other states of the US still remain without jobs to present day.

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  1. Amadeo, K. (September 08, 2017). Hurricane Katrina facts: Famage and costs. The Balance. Retrieved from:
  2. (2017). 11 facts about Hurricane Katrina. Retrieved from:
  3. (2017). Texas school districts by region. Retrieved from:
  4. Kotkin, J. (2011). The rise of the third coast: The Gulf region’s ascendancy in U.S. Forbes. Retrieved from:
  5. Mann, N. & Pass, V. (2010). Introduction: The Cultural Visualization of Hurricane Katrina. Retrieved from:
  6. Wade, L. (Sep 2, 2015). The devastating effect Hurricane Katrina had on education. Pacific Standard. Retrieved from:
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