One Year After Katrina, Reconstruction Efforts in New Orleans, Gulf Coast Neglects Millions
Interview with Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies, conducted by Scott Harris
On the one-year anniversary of the massive devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, millions of the storm's survivors are still trying to pick up the pieces of shattered lives. While Congress has allocated $110 billion in disaster relief, Louisiana's U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu maintains that only 12 percent of those funds have actually reached the people who need it most.
President Bush, observing the one-year anniversary of Katrina in New Orleans said, "It's the beginning of what is going to be a long recovery, but I'm amazed by the opportunity. I'm amazed by the hope that I feel down here." But many who were in the storm's path are reminded daily of the Bush administration's indifference and incompetence in preparing for the storm and dealing with its aftermath. One year after Katrina, less than half the population of New Orleans has returned, only half the city has electricity and half its hospitals remain closed. Tens of thousands of families still live in trailers and mobile homes with no plan in place to move them to permanent housing. Rotting debris and toxic waste from the floodwaters remain in many streets.
The Institute for Southern Studies has just released a comprehensive report titled, "One Year After Katrina: The State of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast," which analyzes over 250 indicators and reports on 13 major issue areas related to post-hurricane reconstruction. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute who summarizes his group's report and discusses the challenges ahead.
Contact the Institute for Southern Studies at (919) 419-8311. Download a copy of the group's "One Year After Katrina" report from their website at www.reconstructionwatch.org
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