Hurricane Katrina blew powerful winds –up to 175 mph—devastating homes, shuttering businesses—many for good—and destroying lives. The final death toll was estimated at 1,836 people.
Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans was under water following Hurricane Katrina. In some areas, the water was up to 20 feet deep. Men, women children and pets sought refuge on rooftops to wait for help.
Considered the costliest disaster in U. S. history, Katrina caused $81 billion in property damages. Estimates put the total economic impact of Hurricane Katrina at $150 billion.
Hurricane Rita blew through Texas and Louisiana with winds at nearly 120 mph, making it one of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes in history. It hit Louisiana on Sept. 24, 2005, while the state was still knee-deep in Katrina chaos. In Louisiana, Rita hit low-lying communities near the coast hardest, completely flooding a number of parishes. Rita stole 120 lives and cost over $10.5 billion.