President Obama will travel to New Orleans next week to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest disaster in U.S. history, and highlight the area’s recovery from the devastating storm.
During his Aug. 27 visit, Obama will speak about “the region’s rebirth and what’s possible when citizens, city and corporate leaders all work together” to improve the economy, a White House official said.
Other administration officials will also travel to parts of the region that were affected by the storm, which made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, and killed more than 1,800 people. New Orleans’ levees failed, flooding 80% of the city.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has made more than $5.2 billion available to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for thousands of public works projects, the administration says. Money has also been spent on mitigation projects to help protect against another major storm.
In a 2010 speech commemorating the fifth anniversary of Katrina, Obama called it a “natural disaster, but also a man-made catastrophe -- a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men, and women and children abandoned and alone.”
“In the years that followed, New Orleans could have remained a symbol of destruction and decay,” he said. “Instead this city has become a symbol of resilience and of community and of the fundamental responsibility that we have to one another.”
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