Hurricanes are severe tropical storms which gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters. Evaporation from the sea water increases their power. When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can cause massive destruction. In the past few weeks, America has had its worst nightmare. Its citizens have witnessed nature's most terrible catastrophes and continue to endure it's after marks. Three major hurricanes in quick succession have had severe impact on America's chief cities causing great devastation. These include Hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia and Rita.
Hurricane Katrina was the eleventh named tropical storm, fourth hurricane, third major hurricane, and first Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It caused great destruction in Bahamas, South Florida, Louisiana (especially Greater New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle and most of eastern North America. The highest wind-speed recorded was 185 mph (280 km/h). Over 1,100 deaths have been reported in seven states, a number which is expected to rise as casualty reports come in from areas currently inaccessible.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin estimates hundreds, and as many as thousands, are feared dead. Shortly after the hurricane ended on August 30, some residents of New Orleans began looting stores. Aside from the lack of water, food, shelter, and sanitation facilities, there was concern that the prolonged flooding might lead to an outbreak of health problems for those who remained in the hurricane-affected areas. Hurricane Katrina stood as a mighty blow to America's economy.
Hurricane Ophelia was the fifteenth named storm and the seventh hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the first time that a storm was named "Ophelia." The highest wind-speed recorded was 85 mph (135 km/h). The areas which it affected include Northeast Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Atlantic Canada.