Hurrican Katrina

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Hurricane Katrina
Jordan Edge
Herron High School

In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the gulf coast and left widespread devastation in its path. New Orleans was the hardest hit and most affected area in path of the hurricane. As well as physical damage, the hurricane had economic, social, political, and environmental effects on the entire eastern seaboard. The physical storm effects of hurricane Katrina reached states as far north as Ohio, and resulted in a large shift in population from southern states.
Hurricane Katrina was one of the most powerful storms to impact the United States in the last 100 years. During its time in the Atlantic and the central part of the gulf, Katrina reached specifications to be classified as a category 5 hurricane with estimated wind speeds as high as 175 miles per hour (NOAA). When it reached shores in the gulf, Hurricane Katrina was classified as a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale and had estimated wind speeds of 125 miles per hour (Anne Waple).
In terms of economic impact brought about by the hurricane, the largest contributing factor was the disruption of the oil industries located in the affected regions. According to Anne Waple (2010), “Preliminary estimates from the Mineral Management Service suggest that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was reduced by 1.4 million barrels per day (or 95 % of the daily Gulf of Mexico production) as a result of the hurricane.” In direct result to the disruption of oil extraction and production, gas prices had reached record highs by the end of August.
Although the economic effects on the most directly impacted regions are very harsh, economists say that when taking into account GDP and the overall state of the economy in the United States, the changes brought about are minimal. A macroeconomist from Global Insight had this to say on the subject:

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