Katrina Update 2008

See also  Katrina Update: A Billion Dollars Later, New Orleans Still at Risk (2007)
and CNN Katrina coverage

After Fanfare, Hurricane Grants Leave Little Mark
NEW ORLEANS — It was the largest housing aid program in American history, billed as the essential government tool that would make New Orleans whole after Hurricane Katrina.
Yet even though about $3.3 billion of federal taxpayer money has been spent here on the cash grant program known as the Road Home, New Orleans on the third anniversary of the hurricane remains almost as much of a patchwork as it did last year, before most of the money was spent.
The program has had no effect on most of the houses in New Orleans, and has played only a limited role in bringing back the neighborhoods most flooded in the storm. And as Hurricane Gustav bears down on the city, many residents are worried that the work already accomplished could be set back.
August 29 2008
New Orleans levee update still not done
(McClatchy Newspapers) WASHINGTON — The levees that ring New Orleans have been substantially fortified since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but the Crescent City is far from protected if Gustav or another large storm were to hit before 2011.
Since Katrina, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been reinforcing and repairing the 325 miles of levees and floodwalls that protect New Orleans and neighboring parishes from the storm surges and flooding that accompany hurricanes.
A $15 billion upgrade to the hurricane-protection system designed to protect the area, scheduled for completion in 2011, is only 20 percent complete, and there are significant gaps that make New Orleans residents nervous as they contemplate Gustav’s possible arrival.
The Patchy Return of New Orleans
A walking tour of three neighborhoods last month offered a glimpse into the uneven nature of post-Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts throughout New Orleans. Though in some estimates the city may have recovered up to 70 percent of its population, about 65,000 residences – more than a third of the total – remain blighted.
Katrina survivors mired in taxes and red tape
They survived Hurricane Katrina, but can these entrepreneurs withstand a fresh whirlwind of bureaucracy?

NEW ORLEANS (Fortune Small Business) — The dunking booth is always the most popular attraction at the Broadmoor Fest, a neighborhood carnival held every year since Hurricane Katrina to celebrate the survival of one of the Crescent City’s low-lying, flood-ravaged districts. At recent fairs FEMA officials were favorite targets in the booth; this year, though, everyone was waiting in line to soak a city tax assessor.
Property taxes across New Orleans are skyrocketing as a result of a citywide reassessment ordered by the Louisiana Tax Commission.

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