More than 1,300 people in Louisiana died during Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing floods last year. And while the deaths cut across all races, it was age that appeared to determine the likelihood of survival. Nearly 40 percent of the people identified so far were over the age of 71.
Results: We identified 971 Katrina-related deaths in Louisiana and 15 deaths among Katrina evacuees in other states. Drowning (40%), injury and trauma (25%), and heart conditions (11%) were the major causes of death among Louisiana victims. Forty-nine percent of victims were people 75 years old and older.
Results: Hurricane Katrina was responsible for the death of up to 1,170 persons in Louisiana; the risk of death increased with age. Most deaths were caused by acute and chronic diseases (47%), and drowning (33%). Moreover, in Orleans Parish, men were 1.47 times more likely to die than women.
Among the elderly, the proportion was higher. Sixty-five percent of poor elderly households in New Orleans did not have a vehicle, making it more difficult for them to escape the storm and its effects. The Census data also confirm that African Americans made up a disproportionate share of the hurricane’s victims.
Why were nearly half of the more than 1800 people who died from Hurricane Katrina senior citizens? The high death toll in the elderly was likely due to those factors along with older people being more vulnerable and frail and unable to fight the catastrophic storm, the report said.
In Louisiana, where more than 1,500 people are believed to have died due to Katrina’s impact, drowning (40 percent), injury and trauma (25 percent), and heart conditions (11 percent) were the major causes of death, according to a report published in 2008 by the American Medical Association.
More than 175,000 black residents left New Orleans in the year after the storm; more than 75,000 never came back.
Estimates range from 1,245 to 1,833. The National Hurricane Center states that 1,833 fatalities are directly or indirectly related to Hurricane Katrina, reporting that 1,577 people died in Louisiana, 238 in Mississippi, 14 in Florida, 2 in Georgia, and 2 in Alabama.
The nation is still grappling with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall Aug. 29 and knocked out power to more than 1 million customers in Louisiana. At least 82 people have died due to the storm — which hit Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane — as well as the devastation it left across eight states.
In New Orleans, the levees were designed for Category 3, but Katrina peaked at a Category 5 hurricane, with winds up to 175 mph. The final death toll was at 1,836, primarily from Louisiana (1,577) and Mississippi (238).
Katrina pummeled huge parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but the desperation was most concentrated in New Orleans. Before the storm, the city’s population was mostly black (about 67 percent); moreover, nearly 30 percent of its people lived in poverty.
African Americans are estimated to have accounted for approximately 44% of the storm victims. An estimated 88,000 elderly persons (age 65 and older), many with strong community ties, may have been displaced, along with 183,000 children, many of whom were just starting the school year when the storm struck.
Flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system (levees) around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives.
The Katrina photos show how horrific the flooding was for most of New Orleans. My comparison photos show the extent the city has recovered. Some areas have fully rebounded, while other sites still have storm damage or have been left uninhabited. But overall, the city has bounced back well since 2005.
The New Orleans levee system, rebuilt at a cost of $14 billion after Katrina, featured numerous upgrades: The new flood walls are stronger, they’re rooted deeper in the ground, and they’re designed to hold up even if water goes over them.
The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was, and still is, the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States. The hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, on September 8, 1900, as a Category 4 hurricane.