In 2005, Hurricane Katrina became the most expensive hurricane in history, costing an estimated $45 billion. Prior to that, Hurricane Andrew, which caused $23.7 billion in damages, had been the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.
Hurricane Katrina first made landfall as a Category 1 storm in Florida on Aug. 25, 2005, but when it hit Louisiana’s coast four days later, it was a Category 4 hurricane. The storm breached the levees protecting New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River, flooding the city. More than 1 million people were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and more than 1,300 people died.