Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Publication: Historical Archives. Posted by
Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
A man holds on tight to the roof of a vehicle in the floods of Hurricane Katrina. He was rescued shortly after the photo was taken.
Natural disasters are an unfortunate part of life no matter where you live, and the United States is no exception. With a country of this size, there are different types of disasters that occur with several different climates in certain regions within the United States. The deadliest natural disaster occurred in Galveston, Texas, while an earthquake in San Francisco and tropical cyclones in Florida and Cheniere Caminada, Louisiana also rank toward the top of deadliest disasters.
Right behind all of them, however, is Hurricane Katrina. While the other natural disasters that we mentioned took place at least 90 years ago, Hurricane Katrina is still fresh in the memories of a lot of people. The hurricane affected much of America’s southeast, including states such as Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, but it was Louisiana that was hit the hardest.
Hurricane Katrina took place in 2005, costing the lives of more than 1,800 people and causing $160 billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster ever recorded in the country. It was the final week in August in which the hurricane made its way to the mainland of the United States, and the city of New Orleans looked like a warzone when the hurricane finally left and headed north.
Being just below sea level and right on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans knew that it was prone to flooding. Unfortunately, not even the best preparation could have allowed them to be ready for what Hurricane Katrina was about to bring. New Orleans had dozens of surge protection walls put in place, but most of them were breached by flooding, causing the city to experience unprecedented flooding that affected more than three quarters of the city.
In some spots in New Orleans, the water reached as deep as 20 feet, causing massive property damage and even structural damages. It didn’t go away in just a couple of days, either, as New Orleans had been flooded for weeks on end. Emergency relief efforts were criticized for not responding in a timely manner, as many people were without shelter, food or clean water for days as they waited to be rescued.
Here, we see one man that’s clinging to the top of his vehicle as water rushes through the streets, hoping to be rescued. Thankfully, the United States Coast Guard was able to get to this man who otherwise might have been forced into braving the waters below. This scene looks like it’s straight out of an action movie that takes place in the ocean, but in actuality is simply in a neighborhood in New Orleans.
The US Coast Guard that helped to save this man was one of the few agencies that received praise for their actions following the hurricane’s landfall. With helicopters and other tools necessary for rescue efforts, the Coast Guard was among the first on the scene to rescue citizens that were unable to leave New Orleans. There had been an evacuation warning that was given by the National Weather Service in advance to some areas that were affected, though some would stick around.
Some members of the Coast Guard would go for days without sleeping, as many were reserves that were put to work and citizens of the affected area. Knowing what they were going through personally, they wanted to help as many of their fellow New Orleans natives as they could, riding in helicopters almost entirely around the clock.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the handling of Hurricane Katrina, especially at a federal level. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had not been sent right away, and a state of emergency wasn’t immediately called for by President George W. Bush in the area that had been affected the most.
Of the 1,833 counted people that lost their lives in Hurricane Katrina, 1,577 of those would come from Louisiana. States that had been affected such as Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky only had one or two people, showing that the focus of the hurricane should’ve been almost entirely shifted to Louisiana, who was ill-prepared for the hurricane.
Many of the New Orleans citizens that had their homes destroyed by the flooding or the winds of Hurricane Katrina were forced to take refuge in the New Orleans Superdome. The NFL stadium housed these citizens on the field in cots, and even the stadium itself took damage, forcing it to close down for a season while it underwent repairs.
After the hurricane finally left, New Orleans was facing a major rebuilding project that’s still taking place to this day. It was nearly an entire year before the city, which is known for its tourism industry, was finally promoting for people to come back and visit. Some businesses and homes would never rebound from the hurricane, as volunteer efforts to rebuild for those that suffered the biggest losses were underway.
Of course, the city of New Orleans hopes that they never have to experience another disaster like Hurricane Katrina that produced unnerving images like the one seen here. Infrastructural repairs and new construction has taken place to hopefully ensure that another flood of that magnitude won’t happen. While nothing is guaranteed, New Orleans will at least be better prepared in the event of another natural disaster.