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Last Updated: Monday September 05 2005 13:49 GMT

Hurricane Katrina: Timeline

Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico

Tuesday 23 August
  • A tropical storm called Katrina starts building up over the Bahamas in the Caribbean.

Thursday 25 August
  • Tropical storm Katrina turns into a hurricane.
  • 11.45pm - Hurricane Katrina hits Florida. Nine people are killed and one million people lose power.

Sunday 28 August
  • Traffic on a freeway out of New Orleans
    New Orleans residents leave the city
    Katrina gains strength in the Gulf of Mexico, becoming a category five, the strongest type of hurricane.

  • Authorities order people to leave New Orleans. Roads are jammed as families head for safety, while others who can't leave shelter in places like the Superdome stadium.

Monday 29 August
  • 6.10 am - After weakening to category four, Katrina hits land, with her centre to the east of New Orleans. Around 9,000 people are sheltering in the Superdome.

  • Winds of up to 100mph and heavy rain strike the city.

  • Levees which prevent flooding are breached, and water pours into the city.

Tuesday 30 August
  • Foodwaters fill the streets of New Orleans
    Foodwaters fill the streets of New Orleans
    About 80% of the city is underwater, and the first survivors are rescued.

  • People start to raid shops for food and water.

  • In nearby Biloxi, a nine metre wave apparently kills hundreds of people.

Wednesday 31 August
  • Mayor Ray Nagin orders the full evacuation of the city. It's thought about 100,000 people are still stranded.

  • About 25,000 people are now in the Superdome, with little food and water. Conditions are getting worse.

  • Looting of shops continues, and shootings are reported.

Thursday 1 September
    New Orleans' Superdome stadium
    The Superdome, scarred by the hurricane
  • New Orleans is in chaos. Crime, including shooting and theft, is widespread. Shots are fired at a helicopter trying to rescue people from the Superdome.

  • The Government is accused of not acting fast enough to help the survivors.

  • The evacuation of the Superdome slowly gets going.

Friday 2 September
  • Relief is increased, as convoys of food, water and medicine arrive in the city, and thousands of troops and police are sent in to keep the peace.

  • An explosion rips thorough a chemical store on the banks of the Mississippi.

  • Tens of thousands of people are still stranded.

Sunday 4 September
  • Rescuers take people to safety in the flooded streets of New Orleans
    Rescuers bring aid to New Orleans
    Thousands of people are taken from the city as the US appeals for aid - blankets, food, water trucks and first aid kits.

  • The government admits the number of dead could be in the thousands.

Monday 5 September
  • US troops kill men who shot at people trying to clean up the city.

  • Most of New Orleans is empty.

  • Rescuers search house to house for survivors.

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