HOUSTON — While many Houstonians were battling water from Harvey on Tuesday, it also marked the 12th anniversary of the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, Hurricane Katrina.
And now, hurricanes Harvey and Katrina are drawing lots of comparisons.
Katrina’s cost was $128 billion, but Harvey’s price tag could actually top that once the damage is added up.
“The population size and square-mile size of the area impacted both by the hurricane swath and the flooding is far larger than Katrina,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.
Katrina was blamed for over 1,800 deaths and left New Orleans upside down– and much of the Gulf Coast devastated.
So far, Harvey is blamed for at least 23 deaths, but that number is expected to grow.
Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 storm on the Louisiana-Mississippi border– measuring 350 miles across– causing extensive wind damage in Mississippi. There were breaches of levees in New Orleans as Katrina brought 5 to 10 inches of rain over 48 hours.
With Harvey, the storm was a Category 4 hurricane when it struck the Texas coast, measuring 200 miles across.
But Harvey’s legacy is dumping trillions of gallons of water on the fourth largest city in America with over 50 inches of rain in four days!
With Katrina, over a million people were displaced from their homes, and 250,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
Harvey’s totals are still being gathered, but FEMA officials estimate at least 450,000 people will seek storm aid.
In 2005, Houston welcomed thousands of Katrina evacuees with open arms, turning the Astrodome into a Red Cross shelter.
Now deja vu is setting in all over again for those Katrina survivors who now call Houston home.
Hurricane Harvey brought the nightmare of Katrina right back again.
Seeing people rescued in boats and by helicopters off rooftops is all-too familiar for Katrina survivors.
For all the comparisons, one thing’s the same– for so many, life will never be the same again.