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Hurricane Katrina: 5 years after the storm

August 29, 2010

EDITOR’S NOTE: It has been called the deadliest, costliest, most eye-opening natural disaster in the history of the United States. Hurricane Katrina formed Aug. 23, 2005 as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, but rapidly gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico, just as government leaders began declaring it a state of emergency. Its landfall on the City of New Orleans resulted in levee breaches and the subsequent submerging of 80 percent of the city.

Five years after the storm, the political, social, economic and scientific impact of Katrina still weighs heavily on the American consciousness – and is still felt by the ASU community. In this retrospect, the university takes pause to examine the devastating storm and its ever-expanding wake.


1,825 days of lost opportunities: post-Katrina reflections
"A funny thing happened on the way to a better life for New Orleans," writes Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU and Louisiana native, whose dismay over the disaster was further heightened not only by the fact that members of his family were among those affected by the city's destruction, but by the city's rejection of an innovative rebuild.

portrait of Randy Cervany

Katrina in a historical climate context
As a historical climatologist working with the World Meteorological Organization, ASU's Randy Cerveny asks that we place Hurricane Katrina in its correct place in the global history of massive storms.

ASU rock entry

Family grateful for new life in Arizona
In the months that followed Hurricane Katrina, Arizona welcomed a large population devastated by the storm. New students joined the ASU community, and families began to recover and start anew.

How the humanities will save New Orleans
Five years after Katrina, hands and hearts continue the work of helping the Crescent City and its environs come back together. Several students and scholars in the Department of English at ASU are among those doing this restorative work – with pens, compassion and generosity of spirit that refuses to forget.

A look back at Katrina in poems, pictures
For 35 years, James Davidson lived peacefully and painted landscapes and skyscapes in New Orleans. After the storm, Davidson came to Tempe. His paintings were full of anger and frustration, and awe at the power of the storm. But then the calmness of the desert began to seep onto his canvases.

Video | When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina
ASU professor and poet, Cynthia Hogue and ASU alumna, Rebecca Ross collaborated to create a book of photographs and poems culled from interviews with evacuees of Hurricane Katrina.

Class examines Hurricane Katrina, environmental justice
Monica Casper’s graduate course, “Environmental Justice, Body Politics and Human Rights,” is taking her students by storm, literally and figuratively. “This course offers a unique perspective by examining environmental justice struggles, such as those that have occurred in NOLA (New Orleans, LA), through the conceptual lenses of body politics and human rights," said Casper.

Photo gallery | Rebuilding New Orleans
In an attempt to impact the situation in New Orleans in a positive way, students and faculty from ASU's School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture initiated its first ever design|build program.

Professor's book offers new hero, emerging from the storm
Jewell Parker Rhodes penned children's story "Ninth Ward" in about three months, drawing on an already extensive knowledge of New Orleans and its history. “Lanesha is the character I would’ve loved reading about,” said Rhodes, who first felt the protagonist's voice creeping into her head in 2008, as Hurricane Ike threatened the recovering city of New Orleans.