The U.S. Gulf Coast suffered a one-two punch when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita barreled onto the populated coastline. Katrina, which struck August 29 near New Orleans, packed the biggest blow, with extensive damage along 90-miles of coast in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Rita roared ashore near the Texas/Louisiana border on Sept. 24, causing flooding and wind damage. Katrina, a Category 4 storm when it hit landfall, has become the costliest natural disaster to occur in the United States. Experts say Hurricane Katrina caused about $35 billion in insured damage. When flood damage is included, the number could jump as high as $60 billion. Nearly 1,300 people died and thousands more were injured. Early estimates for Hurricane Rita, a Category 3 storm, set the insured property damage at about $5 billion. This does not include flooding or offshore oil rig damage. The business community was especially hard-hit when Katrina struck. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco
Hurricanes Deliver 'Worst-Case Scenario'Written by Janette Ballman
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