Hurricane Isaac Will Be Bad But Won't Be Katrina (VIDEO)

As Hurricane Isaac barrels toward the Gulf Coast and seems to have New Orleans in its sights, thoughts are naturally turning to the horrific tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina. Especially since Isaac may make landfall by Wednesday, the seventh anniversary of Katrina. Can anyone forget the devastating images we saw during Katrina? Thousands of people waiting for help on their rooftops. Thousands more holed up in the poorly-equipped Superdome. Reporters and celebrities (like Anderson Cooper and Sean Penn) getting into the city while the government claimed it couldn't. The head of FEMA, after being told what a "heckuva job" he did by George Bush, being fired. Thousands of people and pets homeless. And, of course, 1,800 people dead. So it's no wonder that the locals are on edge right now. But Isaac shouldn't be Katrina. Here's why.

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Strength of hurricane. Isaac isn't nearly as strong as Katrina was. Katrina hit NOLA with 175 mph winds, as a Category 3 cyclone. Isaac has winds of 65 mph, is a Category 1, and is more "spread out" than Katrina was. Additionally, its winds aren't expected to gather more strength and storm surges are expected to be half the size of Katrina. The storm still has time to completely change its path.

Safer. During Katrina, the levee of the Lower Ninth Ward gave way, all but leveling that area. Since then, billions of dollars were spent making New Orleans safer and more able to handle hurricanes. The levees and pumps surrounding NOLA have been fortified and the levee of the Lower 9th Ward is 16 feet higher than it was.

Preparedness. After Katrina, and Hurricane Gustav, which came near the city in 2008, residents are more aware of the dangers of staying behind during a hurricane and more likely to evacuate. Additionally, people who stayed behind during Katrina because they couldn't bring their pets with them now will be able to. Due to Katrina, a law was passed that says states asking for help from FEMA must accommodate pets and service animals.

All in all, there was so much devastating fallout from Katrina, both in human and political terms (who can forget how badly FEMA, Bush, and the state and local governments came off?), that there will no doubt be much more help this time around. You can track Hurricane Isaac live here.

Do you live in a hurricane-prone area? Were you affected by Katrina?

Image via Wikipedia Commons

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