Hurricane Katrina: Path of Destruction
Updated Mon. Sep. 5 2005 7:19 PM ET News Staff

Following is a chronology detailing Hurricane Katrina's path of destruction in the U.S. Gulf Coast.

August 23: The U.S. National Hurricane Center issues a statement saying that a tropical depression had formed over the Bahamas. A tropical storm watch is issued for portions of the Florida Keys and Florida's east coast.
Oil and gas prices jump with word that energy production on the Gulf Coast could be disrupted.

August 24: The storm is upgraded to Tropical Storm Katrina. By the end of the day, a hurricane warning is in effect for the southeast Florida coast from Vero Beach southward to Florida City.

August 25: Katrina -- now a Category 1 hurricane -- makes landfall just south of the Fort Lauderdale area at about 7 p.m. ET, drenching southern Florida with up to 10 inches of rain before moving towards the Gulf of Mexico.
Eleven people die, mainly from falling trees or traffic accidents. Nearly three million people lose electricity.

August 26: Late in the day, Katrina is on a slow-moving but erratic course through the Gulf of Mexico, and on a path to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
Forecasters warn that Katrina -- now a Category 2 hurricane -- could hit the area at Category 3 or possibly even Category 4 strength.

August 27: Katrina is gaining strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico as it moves westward. Forecasters believe the hurricane is expected to hit land two days later, between New Orleans and Pensacola, Fla.
The hurricane centre issues a statement warning that Katrina threatens the north central Gulf Coast.

August 28: Forecasters say the storm will hit land at about 8 a.m. ET the next day, at Grand Isle, which is about 90 kilometres south of New Orleans.
The hurricane centre issues a statement warning that Katrina is now a "potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane" and that it is headed for the northern Gulf Coast.

August 29: A slight deviation in the hurricane's path to the east avoids a direct hit on the city of New Orleans. Katrina makes its second landfall near the bayou town of Buras in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane packing winds of 233 km/h.

At 10 a.m., the centre of the storm is moving ashore near the Louisiana-Mississippi border as it continues to pound southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. At noon, Katrina, while still powerful, is gradually weakening as it moves farther inland.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the north central area of the Gulf Coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border, including the city of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. Four hours later, Katrina is weakening over Mississippi but strong winds and heavy rains are a continuing threat.

The hurricane warning for Lake Pontchartrain and from the mouth of the Pearl River eastward to the Alabama/Florida border is modified to a tropical storm warning. All other warnings are discontinued. By 10 p.m., Katrina is continuing to weaken over northeastern Mississippi and all coastal warnings have been discontinued.

August 30: Water from Lake Pontchartrain rushes into the streets of New Orleans after two major breaches occur in the city's levee system. The rising flood waters overwhelm the pump stations, flooding an estimated 80 per cent of the city with water up to 20 feet deep. The estimate was later reduced to about 50 per cent.

Up to 25,000 survivors fill the Superdome sports complex, where conditions rapidly deteriorate as people had to live without food, water or electricity.

Looting begins, with some taking necessities such as food and water while others steal electronics, other valuables and guns.

August 31: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin orders the evacuation of the entire city, telling people it will be months before they'll be able to return.

About 2.6 million customers along the Gulf Coast are without power, two days after the storm hit shore. New Orleans-based Energy Corp. says restoration could take weeks.

Prices of regular unleaded gas in some areas of the U.S. are reportedly selling for well above $3.00 U.S. a gallon.

September 1: Washington asks Congress for $10.5 billion U.S. in emergency disaster relief, which Congress approves the next day.

National Guard and military troops finally arrive in New Orleans. To deal with those responsible for committing acts of violence, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco instructs the troops to "shoot to kill."

September 2: The first major convoys of food, water and medicine arrive in the centre of New Orleans.

City Mayor Nagin, livid over the slow federal response to the crisis, calls on politicians to "Get off your asses and let's do something."

The evacuation of the Superdome, where evacuees were living in appalling conditions, is complete. People are ferried to the Houston Astrodome, which fills up quickly and prompts officials to open other emergency centres.

September 3: For the first time since Katrina devastated the area, President George Bush orders a large influx of military troops -- 5,200 Army active-duty Army soldiers and 2,000 Marines -- to secure New Orleans.

Nearly 27,000 Army and Air Guard men and women were on state active duty in the stricken region; around 54,000 military personnel committed to relief efforts.

To ease fuel shortages caused by Katrina, Japan said it would provide about 12 percent of the 60 million barrels of emergency oil that the International Energy Agency will release.

September 4: The Department of Homeland Security reveals the devastated area stretches more than 233,000 square kilometres.

Repairs to the breach in the 17th Street Canal levee are complete.

New Orleans police kill at least four people in a shootout at a bridge. And two officers, including the department's spokesperson, committed suicide. Both shot themselves in the head.

September 5: At least one water pump is up and running in New Orleans, as work crews continue to repair the levee system. There are now about 51,000 troops on active duty in the hurricane zone.

Residents of Louisiana's Jefferson Parish are allowed to return temporarily to salvage what's left of their homes, while officials warn those who still remain in New Orleans that there are no jobs, no food, and no reason to stay.

Mayor Nagin announces that no water will be handed out to people who refuse to evacuate. He tells CTV News tens of thousands in his city are unaccounted for.

New Orleans' official death toll of 59 is expected to rise dramatically. Dozens of morticians comb the city for dead bodies.

The official death toll in Mississippi is 161, while 20,000 are still without power, and authorities say the situation might stay that way for more than a month.

Texas Governor Rick Perry says 1.5 million people are living in shelters in his state, and calls upon other states to help

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