Gulf Coast Today By The Numbers

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Aug. 31, 2007 – Here's a look where the Gulf Coast stands today, by the numbers.

  •  Two of three New Orleanians have returned.
  • In the public schools 83 of 128 schools have reopened their doors.
  • Only 13 of the 23 hospital have reopened.
  • The Ninth Ward, which was mainly inhabited by poor Blacks, is still fairly devastated, with the majority of houses not rebuilt.
  •  Home and business insurance, if you can get it, is at least three times as expensive as it was before Katrina.
  • The Katrina death toll is up to 1,836 people. 
  • Crime is above pre-Katrina levels.
  • Only $35 billion has been appropriated for long-term rebuilding, according to a report by the Institute of Southern Studies.
  • Less than 42 percent of the money set aside for Katrina recovery has been spent. The other major source of rebuilding help was supposed to be the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Public Assistance Program. But of the $8.2 billion earmarked, only $3.4 billion was meant for non-emergency projects, like fixing up schools and hospitals.
  • Louisiana officials recently testified that FEMA "low-balled" project costs, underestimating true expenses. For 11 Louisiana rebuilding projects, the lowest bids came to $5.5 million – but FEMA approved only $1.9 million.
  • Additionally, the $3.4 billion FEMA has available to recover local public infrastructure would only cover about one-eighth of the damage suffered in Louisiana alone. But this money is spread across five states – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas – and covers damage from three 2005 hurricanes: Katrina, Rita and Wilma."
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received $8.4 billion to restore storm defenses of the levees. But as of July 2007, less than 20 percent of the funds were spent, even as the Corps admits that levee repairs won't be completed until as late as 2011.
  • On Aug. 29, 2007, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) called upon President Bush to support full-funding for the Road Home Program. Louisiana has more homeowners with more damage covered by less insurance than FEMA estimates, resulting in a shortfall, she said.
  • Louisiana committed $1 billion in state resources toward this gap, and Blanco asked Bush to free up the $1.2 billion dollars of promised Hazard Mitigation funds to cover the rest of the money that would go to homeowners for rebuilding. She also asked the president to waive the local match for the $7.6 billion in levee work needed to strengthen the federal levees. Blanco said the state is too poor to pony up that kind of money.
  • According to Department of Homeland Security figures released Aug. 30, 2007, $24 billion went to rebuild the Gulf Coast states and provide survivors with a place to live, repair damaged infrastructure, and build houses and schools.
  • Of the $114 billion allocated for Gulf Coast recovery, 84 percent has either been disbursed or is awaiting claims. FEMA awarded $8.3 billion in public assistance funding for education, criminal justice, public works, health and hospitals, and historic and cultural resources; education and public works receive $1.3 billion apiece.
  • As of July 2007, more than 95,000 households had received aid.
  • In Mississippi, nearly every public school has reopened and 35,000 people displaced by the storm have been moved from temporary to permanent housing.
  • By Sept. 30, the Corps is expected to have removed, recycled or processed almost 29 million cubic yards of debris, enough to fill the Superdome eight times; demolished about 7,100 structures; and cleaned up almost 70,000 private properties in southern Louisiana.

 

Written by BET-Staff

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