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President Obama Going to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina Anniversary

Photo: New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images

President Obama will travel to New Orleans on August 27 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. He will accompany Mayor Mitch Landrieu on trips to several neighborhoods to meet locals, and will give a speech on “the region’s rebirth and what’s possible when citizens, city and corporate leaders all work together” to fix the economy. It is likely he will also address continuing efforts to rebuild the city’s infrastructure — and how to make sure that a catastrophic storm doesn’t drench 80 percent of the city in water ever again. At least 1,800 people were killed in the 2005 hurricane, the costliest weather-related disaster in U.S. history. There are about 384,000 people in New Orleans; about 500,000 lived in the city before Hurricane Katrina. An expert on the local population numbers told the New Orleans Advocate in March, “The fact that we’re growing is the important thing. The only time it will become concerning is if we are shrinking.”

In 2010, President Obama, who has dealt with people naming many of the controversies of his administration “Obama’s Hurricane Katrina,” visited New Orleans to mark the devastating storm’s fifth anniversary in 2010. “There’s no need to dwell on what you experienced and what the world witnessed,” he said. “We all remember it keenly: water pouring through broken levees; mothers holding their children above the waterline; people stranded on rooftops begging for help; bodies lying in the streets of a great American city. It was a natural disaster but also a manmade catastrophe — a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men, and women, and children abandoned and alone.”

Obama Going to New Orleans Next Week