Infamous images that capture the intensity of the 2005 hurricane season

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It All Started in 2005 This Week


By Katy Galimberti

In the most destructive hurricane season in recorded history, images from Katrina, Rita, Wilma and others still resonate today and immediately recall the total despair millions of Americans faced in 2005.

The 2005 season brought three of the six most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded with a staggering 27 named storms.

Click through the gallery below to learn more about the damage the dangerous storms caused:
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Infamous images that capture the intensity of the 2005 hurricane season

One of the worst natural disasters to strike American soil, Hurricane Katrina carved a path of damage from Alabama into Louisiana. Initially hitting Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, as a Category 3 hurricane, the system made its way to New Orleans, flooding the city. 

Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina fill the streets near downtown New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2005. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Katrina was responsible more than 1,800 deaths and resulted in $108 billion of damage. 

A tattered American flag flies in front of the blown out Hyatt Hotel in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)


The fierce wind blew out windows on the north side of the Hyatt Regency in downtown New Orleans and many other high-rise buildings in the city's core. The city was without power before the storm made direct landfall. 

New Orleans residents wait to be rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


Even with mandatory evacuations in place, some New Orleans residents chose to stay at their homes. Others were not capable of evacuating. Rescue teams flew across New Orleans neighborhoods, scouring rooftops for residents who attempted to escape rising floodwater. 

Huge shafts of light strike the playing field of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. The dome is littered with debris after serving as a shelter for victims from Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)


For those that stayed in the city, temporary refuge sites were created by local officials, including the Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints. More than 25,000 took shelter at the stadium, which sustained significant damage during the storm. 

Stacey Burger wipes her brow after hanging family photos out to dry while her husband Christian watches in Bay St. Louis, Miss., on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)


Katrina pounded Mississippi with destructive winds, drenching rain and overwhelming storm surge. All 82 counties were declared disaster areas. A CBS report declared that 90 percent of structures within a half-mile inland along the state's coastline were completely destroyed. Waves towered as high as 20 feet in Waveland, Mississippi, according to the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center. 

Only partial framing remains of houses in a residential community along the Jourdan River, north of Bay St. Louis, Miss., after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

A casket is stuck in a tree surrounded by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita Monday, Sept. 26, 2005, in Grand Chenier, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


Rita made landfall in southwestern Louisiana on Sept. 24, 2005, as the second major hurricane to strike the Louisiana coast in the 2005 season. Rita produced 5 to 9 inches of rain in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, with isolated amounts as high as 15 inches in some areas. 

Kyle Guidry paddles up a street in Laffite, La., to check on his house after surges from Hurricane Rita flooded the area, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)


More than 2 million people were forced to evacuate during the storm. Falling just three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, preparations were in full force and the storm's approach prompted one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history. Widespread damage across Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Mississippi resulted in $12 billion worth of damage. 

In late October 2005, Hurricane Wilma lashed the Yucatan Peninsula and nearby regions with strong winds and drenching rain. In some areas, Wilma delivered more than 5 feet of rain. Twenty-two people died as a direct result of the storm, including 12 in Haiti and five in Florida.


The pews are all that remain at Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in West Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


The hurricane caused an estimated $21 billion in damage with widespread agricultural and property damage to the United States. In the grips of the storm, up to 98 percent of customers in South Florida lost electricity. 
 

Workers guard the entrance to the Hard Rock Cafe in ruins after Hurricane Wilma made its way through the city of Cancun, Mexico, on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005. 
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