The Economic Recovery of New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina

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The Economic Resilience of New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina The United States of America has been a resilient nation throughout its history. For a long time, it seemed that nothing could bring the moral of the union down. The port city of New Orleans, Louisiana was a nationwide leader in the fishing and tourism industries for the majority of the 20th century. Although much of the city consisted of slums and impoverished areas, its economy was thriving. But on August 25, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, everything changed. The levees failed, over 75% of the city was submerged in water and over 1,800 lives were lost. By the time the storm passed, over $81 billion in physical damages had been done. It is estimated that Katrina has resulted in the loss of over 230,000 jobs in Louisiana alone. When the storm struck New Orleans and the levees failed, the low-lying lands flooded at record levels. As only a category 3 storm, Hurricane Katrina could have caused much less damage then it did if the levees held. The reason for the levee failure was due to an engineering fault, leaving the levees prone to malfunction. Tens of thousands of victims were either forced from their homes due to the flooding, or lost their lives trying to ride out the storm. The impoverished areas of New Orleans suffered the greatest losses because the houses were poorly built and many people were not educated on the danger of the coming storm. Even after the storm passed, any average Joe could walk down the streets of New Orleans, “Past variation after variation on a single theme: upended cars and boats, wrecked houses with roofs smashed in, front walls spray-painted with numbers and dates signifying when the house had been searched and how many dead bodies had been found” (Hertsgaard 130). The most preposterous part of the entire event was the sluggish and
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