Gulf of Mexico
via The Weather Channel

LA - The Last Major Hurricane Landfall in Louisiana, Rita, Was 15 Years Ago. It's Been Forgotten By Some.

This week, Laura could bring Louisiana its first landfall from a Category 3 or stronger hurricane in 15 years, since Hurricane Rita throttled parts of the state.

Laura has the potential to rapidly intensify over the Gulf of Mexico, possibly reaching Category 3 intensity before heading toward either the Texas or Louisiana coast.

Despite Louisiana's notorious hurricane history, a Category 3 or stronger hurricane hasn't made landfall in the Pelican State since Hurricane Rita pummeled southwestern Louisiana during the record-smashing 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.

At peak intensity, Rita was stronger than all but three other Atlantic Basin hurricanes, joining the elite sub-900 millibar minimum surface pressure club (minimum pressure: 895 millibars).

Responsible for an estimated $25.2 billion in damage, Rita fell just outside the top-10 costliest U.S. hurricanes list.

Despite that, Rita may have been one of the most forgotten hurricanes in recent history. Simply enter "Hurricane Rita forgotten" in a search engine, and you'll see many stories written about this storm.

How was this intense, destructive hurricane so overshadowed?

It Followed Katrina

Spinning up less than one month after Katrina ravaged Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana, national attention was still focused on how a 21st century U.S. hurricane, given today's forecast technology, could claim more than 1,500 lives.

Additional storm surge flooding during Rita in southeastern Louisiana prolonged the Katrina recovery. Therefore, it took until early October before all flood water was finally removed from New Orleans.

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