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Fundamental Facts

Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding, particularly in New Orleans, Louisiana, made Katrina one of the deadliest and most costly hurricane disasters in US history. More people died in Hurricane Katrina than in any other hurricane since 1928 when 2,500 people died in the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane in Florida. At a cost of 100-120 billion dollars, it was at least four times as destructive as Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the next costliest storm. The statistical profile of Katrina is subject to interpretation and analysis. Most of the available figures are estimates, and some vary considerably — for example, estimates on the number of people who have died as a result of the hurricane. To make sense of the numbers that follow, it is important to look at the dates they were reported and the population/ area upon which they are based – the Gulf Coast, Louisiana, or New Orleans.

1,274

Katrina deaths
Hurricane Katrina Deceased Victims List/Quick Stats, The Earth Institute, Columbia University (6/07)

1,833+

Katrina deaths
1980-2006 Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters, National Climactic Data Center (12/06)

200

Number of bodies unclaimed or unidentified

Katrina Full Report, Times-Picayune (9/06)

567

Katrina missing

Hurricane Katrina Deceased Victims List/Quick Stats, The Earth Institute, Columbia University (6/07)

750,000

Number of Gulf Coast families forced to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina
Katrina Family Profile: Where Are They Now? FEMA (8/06)

1,000,000+

Number of Gulf Coast residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina
Housing Families Displaced by Katrina, The Brookings Institution (11/05)

627,525

Population New Orleans at its Peak, 1960
New Orleans of Future May Stay Half its Size, New York Times, January 21, 2007

444,000

Pre-storm population of New Orleans
New Orleans of Future May Stay Half its Size, New York Times, January 21, 2007

191,000

Population of New Orleans one year later (11/06)
New Orleans of Future May Stay Half its Size, New York Times, January 21, 2007

37%

Pre-Katrina, percentage of New Orleans population identified as Black (8/05)
Post-Katrina Demographics Chart, New Orleans Times-Picayune

22%

Post-Katrina, percentage of New Orleans population identified as Black (12/05)
Post-Katrina Demographics Chart, New Orleans Times-Picayune

59%

Pre-Katrina, percentage of New Orleans population identified as White (8/05)
Post-Katrina Demographics Chart, New Orleans Times-Picayune

73%

Pre-Katrina, percentage of New Orleans population identified as White (12/05)
Post-Katrina Demographics Chart, New Orleans Times-Picayune

66,372

Number of students attending Orleans Parish public schools, 10/04
Greater New Orleans Community Data Center

26,165

Number of students attending Orleans Parish public schools, 2/07
Greater New Orleans Community Data Center

4.8%

Current unemployment rate, Louisiana (5/07)
U.S. Department of Labor

5.6%

Pre-Katrina unemployment rate, Louisiana (8/05)
U.S. Department of Labor

12.1%

Immediately Post-Katrina unemployment rate, Louisiana (9/05)
U.S. Department of Labor

$125 – $150 bil.

Estimated economic loss related to Hurricane Katrina
Katrina Full Report, The Times-Picayune and 1980-2006 Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters, National Climactic Data Center

$10 bil.

Estimated cost of repairing the levees (3/06)
The Washington Post, March 31, 2006

90,000 sq. mi.

Land area covered by Federal Gulf Coast Disaster Declarations
By the Numbers – One Year Later FEMA Recovery Update for Hurricane Katrina

80%

Percentage of the city of New Orleans under water on August 31, 2005
Summary of Hurricane Katrina, National Climactic Data Center

35 mil.

Cubic yards of debris left in New Orleans (=10 Superdomes)
The City of New Orleans

76,151

Highest number of travel trailers and mobile homes serving as temporary homes in Louisiana for Katrina evacuees (7/06)
The Katrina Index, The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center

55,698

Number of travel trailers and mobile homes serving as temporary homes in Louisiana for Katrina evacuees (4/07)
The Katrina Index, The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center

   

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Teaching the Levees is a collaboration of Teachers College, Columbia University, The Rockefeller Foundation, HBO Documentary Films, Teachers College Press, and the EdLab