EDITORIAL

Preparing for the next Katrina

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Science  28 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6251, pp. 905
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad2209

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Summary

Ten years ago, Katrina, a category 5 hurricane at peak strength, slammed into New Orleans. Its associated storm surge breached the extensive levee system that had protected the city. Nearly 2000 residents died, and damages exceeded $100 billion. The storm remains the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, and the resulting economic, social, and environmental turmoil led to the largest mass migration since the U.S. Civil War. A distinguished panel* of scientists and engineers who had been on the scene of Katrina was convened on the eve of the 10th anniversary of this event to address the question: Are American cities better prepared for the next major hurricane?