Katrina Re-Visited

Last Fall, I wrote a Katrina online activity entitled, Hurricane Katrina: A Citizen Resource. This citizen resource is designed to help us understand the magnitude of this natural disaster, and to point us toward ways to reduce the destruction and loss of life caused by natural disasters. Nearly 3,000 visitors have made use of the Hurricane Katrina site.

Image: The Path of Katrina

One of the most important documents regarding what we knew about the potoential effect of a Category 4 or 5 Hurricane on New Orleans was documented in an article Washing Away published in 2002 by the Times-Picayune Newspaper. The Pulitzer Prize winning article was written by John McQuaid and Mark Schleifsten.

I want to update readers of the blog, and those who have visited the Hurricane Katrina website that McQuaid and Schleifsten published a book, Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms..

What is powerful about this book is the scientific and historical context that the authors describe by providing a vivid exploration of the relationship between hurricanes and the location of New Orleans, from the Native Americans that inhabited the area as far back as 900 AD, and the French who built the city in the middle of a swamp. The authors, who provided a documented warning of the effects of a superstorm years before Katrina explore the aftermath of Katrina, as well the scientific relationship between intense hurricanes and global warming.

About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University