Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina left miles of wreckage across the Gulf Coast. Estimated to add to over $100 billion and have killed approximately 1,800 people according to the Washington Post.
Federal agencies have poured millions of dollars into the communities to rebuild schools, hospitals, fire stations, and more. Despite all the talk about the progress that has been made and the improvements to the city, the city still has a hard path ahead.
The city has had the opportunity to renovate and redesign due to Katrina. Secondary education rates have been raised in the city since the new schools were built. According to the Washington Post the Department of Education has funneled $100 million into Louisiana schools.
Also, according to the New York Times many new jobs and opportunities have come to the city including entrepreneurs. This has produced a new era of civil engagement in new Orleans.
On the other hand the city has experienced identical rates of poverty of around 30% since 2000. It’s surprising to see a city so unchanged even after 15 years. The poverty in the city is often unseen due to the separation of the impoverished and the wealthy.
“Our work here won’t be done when almost 40% of children still live in poverty in this city. That’s not a finished job. That’s not a full recovery,” President Barack Obama said, while visiting new Orleans on Aug. 27.
Obama also went on to discuss the inherent racial issues still lingering in the city, according to CNN. He stated that African American households within New Orleans are earning at times more than 50% less income than the white households in the city. Since African Americans are earning such a smaller amount of income compared to European Americans, housing has become very expensive to this group of people. According to the New York Times many live in impoverished neighborhoods that are still yet in need of more repair.
While many new beautiful houses have been built there are still portions of the city that have not yet been repaired. CNN reported that Obama gave his speech at the new multimillionaire Community center, that is surrounded by areas full of abandoned cars and crumbling buildings.
There is also the issue of violence. Although the city jail population has been reduced, the crime rate is still double that of the national average according to the New York Times. It would be unsurprising to have such a high crime rate immediately after a disastrous event such as Katrina, but not after a ten year period.
Although the city has made substantial process in its rebuilding of schools, hospitals and other essential places, it is still in need of reform in many areas. Including the poverty rate, inflation, unequal class divides, repairs to other parts of the city.