The catastrophic damage and loss of life inflicted by Katrina’s wake over southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi is staggering, with an estimated 1,353 direct fatalities and 275,000 homes damaged or destroyed. Total economic losses could be greater than $100 billion. While NWS offices were heavily engaged in forecast and warning operations during Katrina, the impacts of the storm created extremely challenging working and living conditions.
Both the emergency management and mass media communities indicated that the NWS provided excellent products and services during Katrina. Feedback was mixed on one of the NWS’s newest products, the "Extreme Tropical Cyclone Destructive Wind Warning". Outreach activities on tropical weather services should focus on this issue to educate users about this product and communicate planned future changes to its format and/or content.
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