When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the storm surge resulted in massive flooding throughout the city, stranding many of the residents who failed or refused to evacuate. Many of them took shelter in the Superdome, Looting and supply problems plagued New Orleans, and over the next few days, most of the survivors were evacuated to other cities. The storm caused over $81 billion in damage to New Orleans.
While 80 to 90 percent of the city's residents evacuated before the hurricane, a number refused or were unable to flee New Orleans. The resulting flooding killed nearly 1,500 people and left survivors stranded atop their homes or in upper floors of buildings. Many residents sought refuge in the Superdome before the storm, and it became the city's largest shelter during Katrina's aftermath. When conditions deteriorated inside the stadium, the government evacuated the 25,000 refugees remaining there to the Houston Astrodome.
The high flood waters caused massive structural damage throughout the city, and many structures were demolished due to the potentially hazardous mold the damp conditions left behind. Many who evacuated the city never returned, and those who did found a city struggling to rebuild. The city spent the next several years re-establishing its economy and recapturing the tourist trade it lost after the devastating hurricane.