Earthshots introduces remote sensing by showing examples of how environmental changes look from space.
Hurricane Katrina was one of the most intense and costliest hurricanes to hit the United States. On August 28, 2005, Katrina was a category 5 storm (on the Saffir-Simpson scale) in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall the next morning as a strong category 3 storm with sustained winds of 125 miles (200 kilometers) per hour.
Flooding in New Orleans began early that morning, and water continued pouring into the city until September 1. State health departments estimate that Hurricane Katrina caused about 2,000 deaths, most occurring in Louisiana. About 75 percent of the New Orleans metropolitan area was flooded. The storm caused an estimated $80 billion in damage.
Landsat recorded the devastation and continues to monitor the region’s wetlands. New Orleans, Louisiana, is near the bottom of the images along the Mississippi River. The city lies just south of Lake Pontchartrain. Hundreds of square miles of wetlands were lost after Katrina. Some marshlands became permanent water bodies. Some projects now aim to bring back marshlands because of their value in defending the coastline from storms.
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