By Joshua Rhett Miller
Published August 23, 2010
Hurricane Katrina, seen here in a satellite image from Aug. 28, 2005, killed nearly 2,000 people and caused damages in excess of $125 billion, according to federal estimates.
Nearly five years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf region, killing nearly 2,000 and displacing more than 250,000 others from Louisiana to Florida. This week, in a series titled “Hurricane Katrina: Five Years After,” FoxNews.com looks back on the costliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States.
Tropical depressions are common in the Atlantic Ocean during the annual summer-fall hurricane season. So there was nothing unusual when the 12th one of the season formed exactly five years ago in the southeastern Bahamas.
And there was nothing unusual when the storm strengthened as it headed west, escalating rapidly from tropical depression to tropical storm to a hurricane named Katrina. And there was nothing unusual when it blew across southern Florida as a low-level storm and killed 12 people four days later.
But when Katrina became a Category 5 hurricane — a potentially catastrophic menace in the Gulf of Mexico — it was clear it was no ordinary storm.