Publication Date September 25, 2005

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Were Like Night and Day

United States
A helicopter tries to repair a breached New Orleans levee that was damaged by Katrina. Photo: Gabooza

Reinforced armies of federal search teams, medics and National Guard troops began fanning out into wind-whipped and waterlogged southwestern Louisiana and coastal Texas yesterday, racing to prove the government had learned from its disastrous missteps earlier this month on the Gulf Coast...Hurricane Katrina "was so much more massive. Most people still don't understand that," said Michael Lowder, deputy director of response operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington. In New Orleans, the levees failed, "then you had the civil unrest piece of it. That was something that was not planned for, not anticipated. . . . That affects the whole response."