"1,833 lives lost. 270,000 homes destroyed. $55 billion in insured damage. Up to $1.4 billion in American tax dollars wasted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Today, the costs of Hurricane Katrina are still staggering.
SKYROCKETING HOUSING COSTS: One year after the storm, repopulation in New Orleans "has slowed to a trickle, leaving the city with well under half its prestorm population of 460,000." Lacking the resources to return to the city are many African-Americans who formed the "working-class backbone" of the city.
SLOW ECONOMIC RECOVERY: More than 81,000 regional businesses were impacted by the storm, resulting in the loss of 450,000 jobs... Approximately 60 percent of the businesses in New Orleans have still not reopened.
A 'NONFUNCTIONING CITY': A White House "Fact Sheet" released in advance of Katrina's one year anniversary notes that FEMA has provided $5.6 billion to repair and replace damaged public infrastructure. But Gulf Coast Recovery Coordinator Donald E. Powell has admitted that nearly a third of the trash in New Orleans has yet to be picked up. Sixty percent of New Orleans homes still lack electricity and just 66 percent of public schools have reopened. Only 17 percent of the city's buses are operational, causing severe problems for the many residents who don't own cars."