Hurricane Katrina Flooding Activity

This page authored by Marianne Caldwell, Hillsborough Community College
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For this assignment students will explore the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. Students will use animations from the NOAA website to visualize the effects of the flooding on the city and answer questions from the interactive graphics. Then using NASA's satellite imagery the students will learn about the climatology of the hurricane and answer questions about Hurricane Katrina's characteristics and history.

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Learning Goals

Students will learn about the general characteristics of Hurricane Katrina and the associated flooding on New Orleans. Students are asked to read graphical data and make inferences. The geological reasons for the unique location and elevation of New Orleans and possibility for future flooding events are included.

Context for Use

This activity is appropriate for students in entry-level classes at a two-year or four-year college. It was developed as a supplementary activity for a lecture on historical hurricane impacts. Approximately 30 minutes to one hour is required for completion. Students will need access to computers with fast internet speeds capable of displaying graphics to complete the assignment. Students should feel comfortable reading graphs and using the computer. This activity is currently used as an assignment in an online course but could also be used as an out-of class assignment for a face-to-face class.

Description and Teaching Materials

In this activity students learn about Hurricane Katrina and its impact on New Orleans. Using interactive graphics from NOAA and NASA website students answer questions about the hurricane and flooding. Questions are short answer and multiple choice but may be made more open-ended discussion-type questions.

Questions for Hurricane Katrina Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 14kB Apr11 14)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Prior to using the exercise make sure the links are still active.


The questions are designed to test if students are able to read and interpret graphical data about flooding and their understanding of the meteorological characteristics of Hurricane Katrina. The questions may be designed as multiple choice, short answer, or discussion.

References and Resources