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How Much Did Hurricane Katrina Cost?
Hurricane Katrina will be one of the most expensive storms in history.
Credit: GOES Project Science Office

Hard to believe it's been two years, and we still don't have a final cost.

On Aug. 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina was in the Gulf of Mexico where it powered up to a Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale packing winds estimated at 175 mph.

At 7:10 a.m. EDT on Aug. 29, Katrina made landfall in southern Plaquemines Parish Louisiana, just south of Buras, as a Category 3 hurricane. Maximum winds were estimated near 125 mph to the east of the center.

Although Katrina will be recorded as the most destructive storm in terms of economic losses, it did not exceed the human losses in storms such as the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which killed as many as 6,000-12,000 people, and led to almost complete destruction of coastal Galveston.

Hurricane Andrew, in 1992, cost approximately $21 billion in insured losses (in today's dollars), whereas estimates from the insurance industry, as of late August 2006, had reached approximately $60 billion in insured losses (including flood damage) from Katrina. The storm could cost the Gulf Coast states as much as an estimated $125 billion when, and if, a final toll is ever tallied, according to NOAA, parent organization to the National Weather Service.

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