MDOT urges preparedness on 18th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

-(Mississippi Department of Transportation)
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 2:47 PM CDT
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News release from the Mississippi Department of Transportation

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - On the 18th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Mississippi Department of Transportation is urging residents to have a plan in place, especially during peak hurricane season.

“Even after 18 years, the memory of Hurricane Katrina is still all too vivid for many coastal residents,” said Commissioner Tom King, Southern Transportation District. “I pray we never experience such a storm again. This anniversary serves as a way to underscore the importance of hurricane preparation because we never know when another storm might threaten.”

Katrina made landfall as a category three hurricane on August 29, 2005, along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, leaving behind enormous destruction and significant loss of life.

According to the National Weather Service, Katrina was one of the five deadliest hurricanes to ever hit the United States. The hurricane was responsible for 1,833 fatalities and approximately $108 billion in damage.

Within six hours of landfall, MDOT first responders opened all structurally safe roadways to emergency response teams. Within 16 hours, all state-maintained highway lanes had been cleared and opened for the public to access.

However, major reconstruction was necessary, including two bridges on U.S. Highway 90.

“MDOT crews are first responders in the aftermath of tropical storms and hurricanes,” King said. “It is essential that these crews are prepared and ready to clear the roadways as soon as possible after a storm so that emergency responders can reach those in need.”

To help residents prepare their evacuation plans, MDOT provides free resources including the MDOT Traffic mobile app, a hurricane evacuation kit checklist and the 2023 MDOT Hurricane Evacuation Guide in English, Spanish or Vietnamese.

The Hurricane Evacuation Guide is an essential resource during hurricane season. It features information such as evacuation routes, contraflow information, radio coverage areas through Mississippi Public Broadcasting and important contact information for the Mississippi Highway Patrol, American Red Cross, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and bordering state DOTs and highway patrols.

Information on shelters, pet care, lodging and travel resources are also included.

To download the Hurricane Evacuation Guide and the full hurricane evacuation kit checklist visit

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