Katrina and New Orleans: What Went Wrong
S. Elizabeth Brinson
December 3, 2009

The story begins innocently, with yet another little disturbance in the Caribbean, the next in a summer's growing storm count during 2005.   But some scientists were already fearing the worst as tropical depression twelve strengthened into a hurricane, grew still more in the Gulf of Mexico, then took deadly aim at the most vulnerable coastal region in the United States, south Louisiana and the famed "city that care forgot," New Orleans. (van Heerden)
In August 2005, a small area of disturbance that had the potential to develop into a severe storm formed somewhere over the Caribbean, and by late afternoon, on Tuesday, August 23rd, the system was noticed by weather-observing aircraft and ships.   On Wednesday, August 24th, the National Hurricane Center classified this disturbance as "Tropical Depression Twelve", which later was called Tropical Storm Katrina.   By 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25th, NHC officials upgraded Tropical Storm Katrina to a hurricane, and two hours later, Katrina made landfall as a category one hurricane in southern Florida.   Hurricane Katrina quickly increased in strength as it entered the warm sea surface temperatures in the northern Gulf of Mexico, growing from a Category 3 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in just nine hours. (Leben, Born, Scott)   "A hurricane is like a steam engine," said Leben. "The more heat that is put into it, the faster it is going to run. When I saw the predicted storm track over the Loop Current, I became concerned we might see a doomsday scenario."   On Saturday, August 27th, the storm reached Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, becoming the third major hurricane of the season.   Katrina again rapidly intensified, attaining Category 5 status on the morning of August 28th and reached its peak strength at 1:00 p.m. CDT that day, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph
When Hurricane Katrina made landfall...