Hurricane Katrina: observations from the field

NRCA Technical Services staff visited areas affected by Hurricane Katrina to observe roof-related damage

On Aug. 29, Hurricane Katrina swept through portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Katrina's hurricane-force winds and storm surge affected everything in its path-roofs, walls, cars, boats, trees, fences and signs. The hurricane's storm surge damage was limited to areas along the Gulf Coast, but the areas suffering from wind damage were considerably inland. The hurricane-force winds tested roof system performance, as well as recent building code improvements that had been instituted as a result of previous hurricanes.

On behalf of NRCA, we visited affected areas to investigate how roof systems performed. Following is a summary of our observations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane conditions

Hurricane Katrina made landfall from the Gulf of Mexico, just southeast of New Orleans, and primarily traveled north into Mississippi. The hurricane's eye passed through areas near Picayune, Miss., up to Hattiesburg, Miss., essentially following northbound Interstate 59.