President Bush tours Katrina affected region
Thursday, January 12, 2006
President George W. Bush made a stop over in two of the worst hit cities by Hurricane Katrina today. His stops included New Orleans, Louisiana, and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
The president made small speeches in both cities, with references to the many problems that still exist due to a lack of housing, the slow pace of Small Business Administration Loans, problems with homeowners insurance payments and the urgent need for bridge rebuilding.
"People in faraway places like Washington, D.C., still hear you and care about you," Bush said standing in a gymnasium at St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis. "I recognize there's some rough spots. We're going to work to make them as smooth as possible."
Bush also recognized and promised that his administration is learning the lessons of its "all-to-slow" and "much-criticized" response to Katrina. "Obviously the federal response in parts of this devastated area could have been a lot better. We want to know how to make them better. We want to make sure that when there is a catastrophe of any kind, this government, at the federal level, is capable of dealing with it in conjunction with the state and local governments.We want to know how to make it better," Bush said during his speech. "I just want to assure you, we are, we are."
Bush went on to praise the city's success in getting the essential utilities, such as, water and electric "mostly" on-line. He also said that federal tax incentives will encourage businesses to create jobs and promised that the new levy system will make the city "both safer and more attractive for investment." He also added that all those things will help New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf, back into a "shining part of the South." He also said "New Orleans is a great place to have a convention" and a "heck of a place to bring your family."
Bush promises that the federal government has allocated 85 billion dollars for reconstruction efforts, $25 billion of which has already been spent on mostly the effort to clean up the debris and provide temporary housing for citizens.
Hurricane Katrina struck the south central U.S. on late August 29, 2005.
Katrina first made landfall in Miami, Florida on August 25, 2005 as a category one hurricane resulting in dozens of deaths in South Florida and spawning several tornadoes.
Katrina then passed over Florida and headed into the Gulf of Mexico where it strengthened into a massive category 5 storm.
She then made her second landfall on the morning of August 29, 2005, near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana with winds at 125 MPH and a central pressure of 920 mbar, a strong Category 3 storm.
Katrina is quite possibly the strongest hurricane on record ever, but estimating the size of storms from before the 1960s (the pre-satellite era) is difficult to near impossible.
As of January 4, 2006, the confirmed death toll from Katrina stands at 1,386.
Demographers estimate of New Orleans' 400,000 residents prior to Katrina only 25% have returned.
- Jennifer Loven. "Bush Plays Booster-In-Chief in New Orleans" — Brocktown News, January 12, 2006
- Wikipedia. "Hurricane Katrina" — Wikipedia, 2005
- Scott Stearns. "Bush: Government to Help Rebuild Gulf Coast" — newsVOA.com, January 12, 2006
- Nedra Pickler. "Update 14: Bush Predicts Gulf Coast Building Boom" — Forbes, January 12, 2006