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Old 03-27-2021, 12:10 PM
Location: Houston/Austin, TX
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The USA has seen plenty of major hurricane destruction from many hurricanes. Andrew, Maria, Harvey, Sandy, Ike, Irma, Laura, etc. But how come Katrina is always seen as the one we always reference when we measure damage. “this is Katrina-esque” “obviously not as bad as Katrina but...” etc. It’s the reference point for some reason?
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Old 03-27-2021, 07:43 PM
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Some storm names just seem to 'stick' for some reason. But it may be for a combination of reasons in this case perhaps. Highest US storm surge on record 27.8ft in MS. Depending which site you look at, when adjusted for inflation typically tops the named storm list in terms of most damage in dollars. Highest US mainland death toll from a hurricane since 1928 at 1,800+. With the flooding in New Orleans sticking around for weeks the storm didn't just disappear off the news after a few days. Stirred up political controversies. 2005 was the last time a Cat3 or higher struck the US mainland until Harvey in 2017, the longest stretch of no Major Hurricane(Cat3+) landfalls ever recorded in the US. Also I think a good portion of the more well known names in the weather community watched it unfold back then so probably stuck with them.
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Old 03-27-2021, 10:44 PM
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It's simply the most recent really big one and pretty much every adult remembers it. Before it everything was measured in Andrew. And before it Hugo. And before that Camille. When we get another really big, bad hurricane of the same scale, then they'll forget all about Katrina and compare everything to the next "big one."
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Old 04-01-2021, 12:13 PM
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Storm surge is the reason, and location.
Katrina was a massively large system in diameter, moving entire off-shore oil rigs onto land; and permanently displacing thousands who never returned to NO.
These are once per generation type events, where many unlikely factors all come together.
I went through Charlie in 04', a much stronger storm from wind perspective; and almost zero surge due to it being a super small diameter cat 5.
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