Katrina hits New Orleans


Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans and the neighboring environs in August 2005 and was recorded as the fourth most intense to make fall in the United States. The category five Atlantic hurricane caused over one thousand eight hundred deaths and approximately one hundred and twenty-five billion dollars in the total property value that was damaged. Notably, most of the lives lost during the pandemic resulted from flooding caused by engineering flaws in the levees around New Orleans (Sandro, R Chris, Gruber, & T Jones, 2007). The flooding consequently destroyed communication and transportation networks in the city, leaving thousands of people stranded with little access to necessities such as food and shelter.  

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans got characterized by extensive reports of rape, looting, shooting against rescuers, and violence. While some of these crimes did happen, like Walmart’s total emptying, there were levels of exaggeration or only fabrication of these reports. The false statements included but were not limited to snipers taking potshots at rescuers on helicopters.  Reports indicated that gangs were roving New Orleans shooting at survivors and police officers. Notably, in the real sense, only one police officer got shot in the wake of Katrina, and the authorities did not induct the supposed gangs.  The looting cases happened as the many stranded survivors not evacuated in time scavenged for necessary supplies such as shelter, clothing, food, and water (Sean P, Schafer, Cancino, Decker, & Greene, 2010). The New Orleans sex crime unit investigations on rape found two verifiable cases of sexual assault. Additionally, there were rumors of significant chaos in the Superdome, which got dismissed later on as efforts to frustrate rescue missions worsening the survivors’ living conditions. Stories about many deaths in the Superdome got majorly exaggerated, and government officials expected many deaths. Only six people died: one suicide, one drug overdose, and four natural deaths. 



Galea, S., Brewin, C. R., Gruber, M., Jones, R. T., King, D. W., King, L. A., … & Kessler, R. C. (2007). Exposure to hurricane-related stressors and mental illness after Hurricane Katrina. Archives of general psychiatry64(12), 1427-1434.

Varano, S. P., Schafer, J. A., Cancino, J. M., Decker, S. H., & Greene, J. R. (2010). A tale of three cities: Crime and displacement after Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Criminal Justice38(1), 42-50.