Hurricane Katrina Lesson for Kids: Facts & Timeline

Instructor: April Gwen Ellsworth

April has a master's degree in psychology and has experience teaching special populations from preschoolers to adults.

When a natural disaster like a hurricane occurs, many bad things can happen - but often times people respond by helping each other. Find out what happened during and after Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit the United States.

What was Hurricane Katrina?

Hurricane Katrina was one of the strongest, most expensive, and most damaging hurricanes to hit the United States. A hurricane is a storm with very strong winds that starts in the ocean. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina moved from the Atlantic Ocean onto the coasts of Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. By the time it finished, 1,833 people died, damages to homes and property cost $108 billion, and more than one million people had to leave their homes.

Most of the damage happened in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, which is bordered by two lakes, a river and the Gulf of Mexico. The levees, or walls, that usually held back the water broke in many places, flooding eighty percent of the city. In some places, the water was up to 20 feet deep, as high as the roofs of houses.

Hurricane Katrina caused 80% of New Orleans to be under water.

Many people helped rebuild New Orleans and other areas, and many people have returned to their homes or had new ones built. The American government, foreign countries, and charitable organizations donated billions of dollars and many hours of help. Good lessons were learned, too, and Congress even passed an act in 2006 to help cities prepare for future natural disasters.

This map shows the path of Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina Timeline

Here is a timeline showing how Hurricane Katrina formed and what happened during and after the storm.

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