On this day in cruise history, twelve years ago today, a tropical depression (see video below) formed on Tuesday August 23, 2005, located about 200 miles southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas. The depression became Tropical Storm Katrina the next day.
Katrina became a hurricane just before making landfall near Miami-Dade/Broward county Florida. Katrina then strengthened significantly, reaching Category 5 intensity on August 28.
Later that day, maximum sustained winds reached 175 mph with an aircraft-measured central pressure of 902 mb while centered about 195 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
At least 1,245 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest United States hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane.
Many of the dead were those people with limited financial means to leave the region. Many people with pets which were not allowed in shelters, chose to stay with their pets. The dead included as well, those with decreased physical and mental abilities, who felt they had no choice but to shelter in place.
There were a record 27 named storms in 2005, of which 14 were hurricanes, exceeding the 1969 record of 12 hurricanes, and 7 were major hurricanes. Of the 7 major hurricanes, an unprecedented 3 reached category 5 status, with a 4th reaching the greatest possible wind speed within category 4 of the Saffir-Simpson scale.
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: The video below was produced by National Geographic. It follows a day-by-day account of Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, from its birth in the Atlantic Ocean to its catastrophic effects: flooded streets, flattened homes, and horrific loss of life.
Video: National Geographic Hurricane Katrina