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Old 02-16-2006, 04:05 AM   #1
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The Story of a Hurricane

Not the federal agencies tasked with preparing for catastrophes. Not the local officials responsible for aging levees and vulnerable populations. Least of all the residents themselves, who had been warned for decades that they lived on vulnerable terrain. But when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, it seemed as though the whole country was caught unawares. Accusations began to fly even before floodwaters receded. But facts take longer to surface. In the months since the storm, many of the first impressions conveyed by the media have turned out to be mistaken. And many of the most important lessons of Katrina have yet to be absorbed. But one thing is certain: More hurricanes will come. To cope with them we need to understand what really happened during modern America's worst natural disaster. POPULAR MECHANICS editors and reporters spent more than four months interviewing officials, scientists, first responders and victims. Here is our report
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