Hurricane Katrina - Before and After Photo Comparisons

Science Center Objects

Before and after photos from the Chandeleur Islands, Dauphin Island, and Mississippi show coastal change caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Chandeleur Islands

The Chandeleur Islands are a north-south oriented chain of low-lying islands located approximately 100 kilometers east of the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Below, photo pairs reveal the nearly complete destruction of the islands in recent hurricane seasons. The first image in each pair was taken in July 2001, before Hurricanes Lili (2002), Ivan (2004), Dennis (2005), and Katrina (2005, the strongest and closest in proximity to the Chandeleurs). The second image was taken on August 31, 2005, two days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Louisiana and Mississippi coastline. 

Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island is located directly south of Mobile, Alabama, more than 110 kilometers east of the region where the eye of Katrina came ashore in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The island suffered extensive overwash, and a major breach was formed toward the western end of the island (not shown). Below, photo triplets show the changes that have occurred in the recent hurricane seasons to a developed section of the island. The time period covers Hurricanes Lili (2002), Ivan (2004), Dennis (2005), and Katrina (2005). The first image in each triplet was taken in July 2001, before Hurricane Lili (2002). The second photograph was taken on September 17, 2004, immediately after the passage of Hurricane Ivan. The third image in each triplet was acquired on August 31, 2005, two days after Hurricane Katrina. All triplets show that the changes due to Hurricane Dennis (2005) and Hurricane Katrina are much greater than the changes from Hurricanes Lili and Ivan.

Mainland Mississippi

The mainland shoreline of Mississippi, located in the right-front quadrant of Hurricane Katrina, experienced one of the greatest storm surges in U.S. history. Most of this coastline stretching from Waveland through Pascagoula suffered extensive damage up to several kilometers inland from the coast. The photo pairs below show the complete destruction of the gulf-front homes and businesses in Gulfport, Biloxi, Waveland, and Bay St. Louis. In each pair the top image was acquired by the University of New Orleans in September 1998 and the bottom image was acquired by the USGS on August 31, 2005, two days after Hurricane Katrina. Additional post-Katrina images are available from the oblique photography viewer.

Additional post-Katrina images are available from the oblique photography viewer.