By MEGAN BARRETO
What many called 'the storm we always feared,' Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 storm on August 29, 2005 in Louisiana. The devastating event split New Orleans into two cities: Before Katrina and After Katrina.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were displaced from their homes, and over 1800 lost their lives. Experts and officials estimate Katrina ultimately caused over $80 billion of damage. Hurricane Katrina was the largest and 3rd strongest hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in the US.
History.com reports that Katrina started as a tropical depression that formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, and meteorologists were soon able to warn people in the Gulf Coast states that a major storm was on its way.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued the city's first-ever mandatory evacuation order and declared the Superdome stadium would serve as a shelter for people who could not leave the city.
According to DoSomething.org, the final death toll was at 1,836, primarily from Louisiana (1,577) and Mississippi (238). More than half of these victims were senior citizens. 705 people are reported as still missing.
NOLA.com shares that there are people who have rebuilt their homes but kept the Katrina X that National Guard rescue teams used to mark their post-flood search for victims: "It is also a reminder of the misery we shared with so many others who stayed behind, our eternal bond with them and the city."
The photos of the devastation and the rescue efforts still bring tears to our eyes, nine years later. Share with us in the comments what you remember about the tragic event and the days and weeks that followed.