In a story Wizbang has been all over for months, it has now been confirmed by the National Hurricane Center that Katrina was a "Cat 1" when she hit New Orleans.
Hurricane Katrina Hit As Category 3, Not 4
MIAMI - Katrina hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 hurricane, not a Category 4 as first thought, and New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain likely were spared the storm's strongest winds, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday. New Orleans' storm levees were generally believed to be able to protect the city from the flooding of a fast-moving Category 3 storm. But Katrina was generally a slow-moving storm, said Jim Taylor, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers. [Sorry Mr. Taylor, that's an excuse and more importantly a lie. -ed]
Parts of the levee system were either topped or failed, leaving up to 80 percent of the city under water.
Katrina made landfall Aug. 29 with top sustained wind of about 125 mph, not the 140 mph that was calculated at the time, the hurricane center said in its final report on the hurricane.
New Orleans was on the storm's west side, which normally has weaker wind. Although an accurate reading of the highest wind in the New Orleans area was made difficult by the failure of measuring stations, a NASA facility in eastern New Orleans measured sustained wind of about 95 mph, the report said.
There is a profound reason this is important.
First it makes it obvious that the "Cat 3" floodwalls weren't. But more importantly, it shows what the real damage to the city was caused by... The dam break. If you drive thru New Orleans, the wind damage is minimal. Many homes will be torn down with perfectly fine roofs.
Absent engineering malfeasance, New Orleans would be booming right now much like lower Florida booms after a storm rolls thru. The roofers would be working overtime and life would be getting back to normal.
Instead we have the worst
natural man made disaster in history.