Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gulf Coast Continues Recovery Five Years After Hurricane Katrina

It's been five years since Hurricane Katrina came ashore in the Gulf Coast and caused massive devastation between Florida and Texas, with nearly 1,800 people killed in the storm. The majority of those killed were in Louisiana as the eye passed near New Orleans.

The region has slowly been recovering since the storm came ashore, but the recent BP oil disaster and the recession has slowed the recovery considerably.

Slidell, Louisiana has dedicated a Katrina memorial while Habitat for Humanity has built about 500 homes along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including in Pascagoula. Some tremendous strides have been made up and down the Gulf Coast, but quite a bit of work remains. has a series of before and after photos
- comparing the scenes of devastation following the hurricane and subsequent flooding and today. The Lower Ninth Ward, which was the hardest hit by the failed levees, still feels forgotten, but the Army Corps of Engineers has been working on building a comprehensive flood control system for all of New Orleans that addresses many of the key deficiencies in the levee system.

Despite all the improvements to the levee system, the Army Corps is a year away from completing its task of building the levee system to handle a 100-year storm. Miles of new levees have been built, new pumping stations have been built while others have been upgraded, and defense in depth has been incorporated in several areas.

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