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On Aug. 29, 2005, at approximately 6 a.m., Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Only two hours later, the levees in New Orleans gave way. As the third-strongest hurricane to make landfall in the United States, Hurricane Katrina was responsible for taking more than 1836 lives and causing more than $81.2 billion in damages — making it the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history. The hurricane displaced 500,000 families and destroyed 275,000 homes. James A. Knox Jr., “Causation, The Flood Exclusion, and Katrina,” 41 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 901, 902 (2006). The insurance industry has paid more than $40 billion in connection with Hurricane Katrina claims. David Dankwa, “New Orleans Port Trumpets Insurance Dispute at RIMS,” A.M. Best: BestWire, May 2, 2007. The Insurance Services Office estimates 1.6 million claims will be made — including residential property, commercial property, vehicle and vessel claims. See Knox, “Causation,” at 905.

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