A look back at Katrina and what happens with Erika - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

A look back at Katrina and what happens with Erika


Ten years ago this week, I was working for the NBC affiliate in Nashville covering Hurricane Katrina. This hurricane became one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. It caused 1200 deaths and more than $100 billion in damage as it barreled across Florida and then slammed into the Gulf Coast as a category 3 hurricane. Katrina’s highest storm surge, over 27 feet, was recorded at Pass Christian, Mississippi. While in New Orleans, a surge from 5-10 feet piled up along the western shores of Lake Pontchartrain, straining the levee system until parts of it gave way, eventually inundating about 80% of the city in waters that reached up to 20 feet.

And as we approach the peak of hurricane season, we are watching the track of Tropical Storm Erika closely. Erika is not going to be anything like Katrina and is very disorganized as of Friday August 28th. Erika has winds of 50 mph and  is crossing through the Dominican Republic. Erika will likely strengthen some as it moves over warmer water and approaches Florida. It looks like it’s going to be a heavy rain and gusty wind event for much of Florida and it could slow down and linger into much of the first week of September. If you have plans to head to Florida beaches, you may want to keep an eye on this storm system over the coming days.

Spencer Denton
Noon and 4 PM Meteorologist
Follow Me On Twitter: Click @sdentonwx
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WMC Action News 5 Storm Tracking Team

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