‘Katrina’ Trends on Twitter Just Before Hurricane Laura Makes Landfall

by Caroline Bynum
katrina-trends-twitter-before-hurricane-laura-landfall

This week marks the fifteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Category 5 storm that ravaged the city of New Orleans, in particular. Now, fifteen years later, a new storm threatens Louisiana and Texas: Hurricane Laura.

As the hurricane ramped up to hit landfall in the early hours of Thursday, August 27, social media users couldn’t help but draw comparisons between the two vicious storms.

Meteorologists On Hurricane Laura Vs Hurricane Katrina

Meteorologist tweet their analysis on the two hurricanes, giving their forecasts on Laura’s upcoming wreck compared to Katrina’s past destruction. Additionally, survivors of Hurricane Katrina give their personal accounts of the 2005 hurricane that took nearly 2,000 lives.

New Orleans meteorologist, Margaret Orr, struggled to hold back tears as she read a National Hurricane Center alert. In the video, she says the warning reminds her of Katrina before proceeding to read the message from her phone. She quickly leaves after delivering the emotional announcement.

Kyle Roberts, a north Texas meteorologist, reports that Laura has since the strongest winds at landfall in Louisiana since 1856. At 150mph, Hurricane Laura’s landfall winds were 25mph stronger than Katrina’s.

CNN cites Laura’s strength in light of the 2005 record-breaking hurricane. Katrina is the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, coming in at 170 billion dollars, according to Statistica.

Added Complexity Of Laura’s Destructive Path

Many user’s posts compare the two hurricanes at similar stages, as well as consider the added challenge of 2020’s pandemic.

This user attempts to explain the immense strength of Laura, emphasizing the hurricane’s greater strength at near landfall than Katrina.

Of course, many send their thoughts and prayers to the citizens of the places Laura is expected to wreck. One user recognizes the extreme challenge of facing the storm while battling a global pandemic at the same time. Typical hurricane stressors are heightened with the pandemic’s nature. For example, the difficulty of relocating, gathering resources, and staying safe, are all more difficult now with Covid-19 precautions in place.

Further, another user shared an image from Katrina in which thousands seek shelter in a large stadium. The tweet asks, “How are we supposed to deal w hurricane in the middle of a pandemic???”

Hurricane Katrina Survivors Fear The Similar Storm

NBC News correspondent Helena Humphrey worries Laura may affect the citizens of the Gulf Coast in the same way as Katrina. She shared a video in which a Katrina survivor tells her she certainly can not face another similar storm: “I can’t go through all that again.”

Additionally, one Hurricane Katrina survivor warns via Twitter “this isn’t a game.”

Another survivor shares her traumatic childhood memories of Katrina as she prepares now, in a similar fashion.

After Laura hit last night, images and reports begin to surface about the true tragedy of the current hurricane. More comparisons continue to flood in now that the impact becomes more visible in Thursday’s daylight.

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