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Hurricanes: Science and Society
Community Perspective: What can a hurricane do to a community?

Hurricanes can cause massive and long lasting damage to communities. More than five years after Hurricane Katrina, many communities in and around New Orleans were still recovering from the hurricane’s impact. Besides immediate damage to roads, infrastructure, businesses, and government facilities, longer-term damage takes the form of economic disruption and population loss. Developing hurricane resistant communities is critically important to reducing the long-term impacts of a hurricane and increasing a community’s resilience following a significant storm.

Image of a debris staging area in New Orleans, 3 years later.
July 29, 2008 -- This boulevard in the Lakeview area of New Orleans, LA, served as a staging area for debris collection following Hurricane Katrina. In the nearly three years since the hurricane, approximately 58.8 million cubic yards of debris were collected in Louisiana. Image credit: Andrea Booher/FEMA