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In August of 2005, the largest and most destructive hurricane surged through many states along the Gulf Coast, with New Orleans in Louisiana getting slammed the hardest. I remember watching the destruction happening live, holding my three-month-old baby, and worrying about my cousin, who just moved to Mississippi with her ten-month-old baby and her husband only two months prior to the catastrophic hurricane.

Her husband (Tim), a public adjuster from Biloxi, Mississippi, moved his family back down to help his sick mother, who was recently widowed. They didn’t realize how much help his mother was going to need, especially after the destruction that hit their sleepy little town.

The hurricane’s powerful winds and storm surge caused massive destruction along the coasts of:

  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama

According to The National Weather Service (NWS), “The damage and loss of life inflicted by this massive hurricane in Louisiana and Mississippi was staggering with significant effects extending into Alabama and the western Florida panhandle,”.

NWS went on to state, “The failure of levees in New Orleans led to catastrophic flooding, with approximately 80% of the city submerged. Hurricane Katrina resulted in over 1,390 deaths, making it one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history,”.

Thankfully, their home and belongings were not destroyed. However, since my cousin worked in retail, she did not have the job she was initially hired to do as the local mall was flooded. As a result, she had to travel more than an hour to the next location to work, which lasted for more than a year.

Wikipedia shares that, “According to MSNBC, a 28-foot (8.5 m) storm surge came ashore wiping out 90% of the buildings along the Biloxi-Gulfport coastline. A number of streets and bridges were washed away, including the bridge sections of U.S. Highway 90. In particular, the roadway portion of the U.S. Highway 90 bridge between Bay St,”.

Of course, her husband’s job got extraordinarily busier as he worked tirelessly to help his clients recoup what they could from their insurance policies. To say it was a hectic time for my cousin and her family would be an understatement.

When I think of Mississippi, I think of Hurricane Katrina, my cousin, and the Mississippi River. My cousin and I kept trying to plan a family vacation so we could experience a riverboat tour. However, because it took so long for her town to recover, by the time we had the opportunity to do so, they were already packing to move back up north to Michigan.

How many states does the Mississippi river flow through?

Living in Michigan, with all the Great Lakes, large inland lakes, and multiple rivers, I have yet to consider exploring the Mighty Mississippi. Since the river flows in close neighboring states, it might not be too difficult to plan that river trip my cousin and I were trying to plan years ago. And even though we are older, our “babies” are now grown and can help their old, decrepit mothers! Maybe even pay for themselves? We’ll see…

There are ten states that the Mississippi River runs through. The river starts in Minnesota and goes through Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and finally Louisiana, where it flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Starting in Minnesota, the river provides a vital waterway for the transportation of goods and materials, supporting the state’s economy. In Wisconsin, it offers opportunities for recreation such as boating, fishing, and camping along its banks, attracting tourists and locals alike.

In Iowa, the Mississippi River plays a crucial role in irrigation for agriculture, providing water for crops and livestock. Moving into Illinois, the river continues to support agriculture, serving as a critical source of water for farming operations in the region.

As the river flows into Missouri, it serves as a hub for commercial shipping, allowing businesses to transport products efficiently. In Kentucky, the river fosters a rich ecosystem, supporting diverse wildlife and plant species along its shores.

Traveling through Tennessee, the Mississippi River is a significant source of drinking water for local communities, playing a vital role in maintaining water quality and supply. Moving into Arkansas, the Mississippi River continues to support agriculture, providing irrigation for crops and sustaining the state’s farming industry.

In Mississippi, the river serves as a natural boundary, shaping the state’s geography and influencing its culture. The Mississippi River Delta is a unique ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife and habitats. Finally, as the river flows into Louisiana, it is a lifeline for the state’s fishing industry, providing a fertile breeding ground for marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

How long to canoe the Mississippi river in miles?

Okay, let’s pretend for a minute that my cousin and I are physically capable of going on a canoe trip on the Mississippi River. How long would it take? And how many miles of paddling are there? Apparently, it takes about two months for average canoeists to paddle at a steady rate for 8-9 hours a day, with resting in between. The record is 18 days for the whole 2300 miles and has been done numerous times.

Camping in between paddling would be the way we would plan our adventurous excursion. So, if I am going to camp along the Mississippi River, I might consider bringing the following items:

  1. Small tent
  2. Collapsable cot
  3. Multitool
  4. Water purifying kit
  5. Dried Army food
  6. Snacks
  7. Clothing gear meant for outdoor excursions
  8. Waterproof map and GPS device:
  9. Portable camping stove and fuel
  10. First aid kit
  11. Insect repellent and sunblock
  12. Dry bags or waterproof containers

Well, I believe my cousin and I will have to pass on the 2000-plus mile canoe trip down the Mississippi River. The endurance required for such a long journey may be more suited for the younger generation of cousins. Instead, we’ll go on local adventures on Michigan’s clean and serene rivers like the Au Sable, Betsie, or Rifle River. I am almost certain these rivers can offer a more manageable and serene experience without worrying about encountering Japanese jumping fish or piranhas along the way!

Where did Katrina hit the hardest?

In conclusion, hurricane Katrina in August 2005 hit the city of New Orleans the hardest as the failure of levees led to catastrophic flooding, with approximately eighty percent of the city submerged. Mississippi was hit the next hardest. Hopefully, we have learned from this catastrophe and spend tax dollars on repairing our country’s infrastructure.

Photo Credit: Jim Hudak via Friends of Mississippi

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