America saw the loss of a city of enormous cultural and economic value the morning Katrina hit. New Orleans was a cultural epicenter for our country, it was the birthplace of jazz music it’s nickname “The Big Easy”. All came crashing down in a blink of an eye turning what was once a city of laughter, music and known for their mardi gras parade turned into dark skies and disaster causing many residents to loose everything they ever worked for.
Hurricane Katrina, stated one of the strongest storms ever to hit the United States over the past 100 years. It is considered the 3rd most powerful hurricane to make a record of 108 billion dollars in damage. The duration of the storm was from August 23rd to August 31st in 2005, the storm lasted 8 days but the damage that was done was far more tragic. “The damage of the storm resulted in more than 1,500 lives lost, 780,000 people displaced, 850 schools damaged, 200,000 homes destroyed, 18,700 businesses destroyed, and 220,000 jobs lost” (Health Care in New Orleans). An estimated of 11.9 million residents were affected by Katrina between Louisiana, Mississippi, Gulf of Mexico and Alabama (U.S Census Bureau).
With only a few days to grab as much personal belongings as they could many had to evacuate quickly and leave behind the life they knew without knowing if they would go back to a standing home. Sadly, for all those that did not have a chance to grab their belongings had to try to survive with what they had. Sewage and water flooded the streets some areas almost 25 feet deep in water. Many health problems and public safety issues arose, food and drinking water became scarcely available and for some who were not fortunate to take anything with them found themselves in a ...
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...aiting for their homes to be rebuilt, neighborhoods are still in shambles, and business are still trying to rebuild but for some the situation still remains grim.
The city did not return not as it was before but for the first time in 50 years the city is on trajectory that it has not been on organizationally, functionally, economically, almost in every way. The road back has been particularly difficult for black residents whose households now earn 54% less than white households. The poverty rate dropped somewhat after the storm due to the disproportionate exodus of the poor, but has surge to its prior level- an astonishing 27%. A burst of entrepreneurial verve and a new spirit of civic engagement has prime the city for an era of greatness, or, at least, reversed a long running civic disaster narrative. It will be many years before New Orleans can be what it use to be.
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